O That You Would Listen

Listen to me, O my people, while I give you stern warnings. O Israel, if you would only listen to me!

         Psalm 81:8 NLT

Psalm 81 seems frighteningly appropriate for America in these days.  What does it say? “Praise Yahweh who has saved you – don’t go after some alien god!” What is the issue? Who will we turn to – trust – to defeat our enemies and fill our mouths? That is the basic issue of life: protect me from what would hurt me and provide for my wants. Who will do that? Our very own God who has already delivered us from bondage? Well, no, because he forthrightly tells us that we will have to submit to a “light” yoke and an “easy” burden (Matt 11:28-30). Light or not, easy or not, no yokes or burdens for us!

No, we would rather be seduced by lying gods who tell us that with them we can have our own way at no cost to us at all. Liars all! That road, one on which Yahweh will regretfully let us go, is the road of progressive enslavement to our way – the way of our desires – until in the end, like Pharaoh, we cannot do anything different even if we should want to (which is very unlikely anyway).

Oh, that we would listen! Yahweh alone can deliver us from those enemies, our true enemies, that would enslave us. He alone can fill our mouths with good things. He is calling; is it too late for America to listen? Perhaps so, but it is not too late for you and me. Listen!

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