Psalm 81:10-161NIV New International Version Translations
10 I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it. 11 “But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. 12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. 13 “If my people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow my ways, 14 how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes! 15 Those who hate the LORD would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever. 16 But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”
Very little is known of the meaning of the title. If it is intended to indicate a vintage song, it speaks well for the piety of the people for whom it was written; it is feared that in few places even in Christian countries would holy hymns be thought suitable to be sung in connection with the winepress. When the bells upon the horses shall be holiness unto the Lord, then shall the juice of the grape gush forth to the accompaniment of sacred song. A Psalm of Asaph. This poet here again dwells upon the history of his country; his great forte seems to be rehearsing the past in admonitory psalmody. He is the poet of the history and politics of Israel. A truly national songster, at once pious and patriotic.
Asaph exhorts Israel to praise God for delivering them from Egypt, complains about Israel’s ingratitude, and portrays Israel’s forfeited blessings.
I. THE PSALMIST EXHORTS ISRAEL TO REJOICE (81:1-4)
A. How? (81:1-2): Everyone should praise God for his strength through singing, accompanied by tambourine, lyre, and the harp.
B. When? (81:3-4): The law of God requires praise during Israel’s scheduled feasts.
II. THE PSALMIST EXHORTS ISRAEL TO REMEMBER (81:5-16)
A. What God has already done (81:5-7)
1. He brought them out of Egypt (81:5-6): He set them free from slavery and relieved their burden.
2. He brought them through the desert (81:7): He answered them from a thundercloud when they complained of no water.
B. What God desires to do (81:8-16)
1. If they will listen and obey (81:8-10, 16)
a. Fill their lives with blessing (81:10, 16): He will fill their mouth with good things.
b. Subdue their enemies (81:13-15): Their foes would cringe before God.
2. If they do not listen (81:11-12): Because of Israel’s rebellion, God will give them over to their own evil devices.
Items for Discussion
- Read verse 12 and discuss what this seems to be telling us?
- Can you remember who in the New Testament reminds us of this same thing?
- Based on this Psalm, why is a stubborn heart so dangerous?
- How does being stubborn hurt us in our own daily life with family, friends, co-workers?
- This Psalm reminds us of both God’s passion for us and the passion that we must have for God. Are there dangers in too much passion? (ideas: is stubbornness a form of passion gone wild?)
- What is our role in this psalm and what is God’s role?
12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you. 16“In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”
Background4Matthew Henry Commentaries: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/henry/mhc5.John.i.html
It is not material to enquire when and where this gospel was written; we are sure that it was given by inspiration of God to John, the brother of James, one of the twelve apostles, distinguished by the honorable character of that disciple whom Jesus loved, one of the first three of the worthies of the Son of David, whom he took to be the witnesses of his retirements, particularly of his transfiguration and his agony. The ancients tell us that John lived longest of all the twelve apostles, and was the only one of them that died a natural death, all the rest suffering martyrdom; and some of them say that he wrote this gospel at Ephesus, at the request of the ministers of the several churches of Asia, in opposition to the heresy of Corinthus and the Ebionites, who held that our Lord was a mere man. It seems most probable that he wrote it before his banishment into the isle of Patmos, for there he wrote his Apocalypse, the close of which seems designed for the closing up of the canon of scripture; and, if so, this gospel was not written after. I cannot therefore give credit to those later fathers, who say that he wrote it in his banishment, or after his return from it, many years after the destruction of Jerusalem; when he was ninety years old, saith one of them; when he was a hundred, saith another of them. However, it is clear that he wrote last of the four evangelists, and, comparing his gospel with theirs, we may observe, 1. That he relates what they had omitted; he brings up the rear, and his gospel is as the rearward or gathering host; it gleans up what they has passed by. Thus there was a later collection of Solomon’s wise sayings (Prov. xxv. 1), and yet far short of what he delivered, 1 Kings iv. 32. 2. That he gives us more of the mystery of that of which the other evangelists gave us only the history. It was necessary that the matters of fact should be first settled, which was done in their declarations of those things which Jesus began both to do and teach, Luke i. 1; Acts i. 1. But, this being done out of the mouth of two or three witnesses, John goes on to perfection (Heb. vi. 1), not laying again the foundation, but building upon it, leading us more within the veil. Some of the ancients observe that the other evangelists wrote more of the ta somatika—the bodily things of Christ; but John writes of the ta pneumatika—the spiritual things of the gospel, the life and soul of it; therefore some have called this gospel the key of the evangelists. Here is it that a door is opened in heaven, and the first voice we hear is, Come up hither, come up higher. Some of the ancients, that supposed the four living creatures in John’s vision to represent the for evangelists, make John himself to be the flying eagle, so high does he soar, and so clearly does he see into divine and heavenly things.
Bible Truths5Barnes Notes: http://www.studylight.org/com/bnn/view.cgi?book=joh&chapter=16
Verse 12. I have yet many things to say. There were many things pertaining to the work of the Spirit and the establishment of religion which might be said. Jesus had given them the outline; he had presented to them the great doctrines of the system, but he had not gone into details. These were things which they could not then bear. They were still full of Jewish prejudices, and were not prepared for a full development of his plans. Probably he refers here to the great changes which were to take place in the Jewish system–the abolition of sacrifices and the priest-hood, the change of the Sabbath, the rejection of the Jewish nation. For these doctrines they were not prepared, but they would in due time be taught them by the Holy Spirit.
Verse 13. The Spirit of truth. So called because he would teach them all needful truth.
Will guide you into all truth. That is, truth which pertained to the establishment of the Christian system, which they were not then prepared to hear. We may here remark that this is a full promise that they would be inspired and guided in founding the new church; and we may observe that the plan of the Savior was replete with wisdom. Though they had been long with him, yet they were not prepared then to hear of the changes that were to occur; but his death would open their eyes, and the Holy Spirit, making use of the striking and impressive scenes of his death and ascension, would carry forward with vast rapidity their views of the nature of the Christian scheme. Perhaps in the few days that elapsed, of which we have a record in the first and second chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, they learned more of the true nature of the Christian plan than they would have done in months or years even under the teaching of Jesus himself. The more we study the plan of Christ, the more shall we admire the profound wisdom of the Christian scheme, and see that it was eminently fitted to the great design of its Founder –to introduce it in such a manner as to make on man the deepest impression of its wisdom and its truth.
Not speak of himself. Not as prompted by himself. He shall declare what is communicated to him. Whatsoever he shall hear. What he shall receive of the Father and the Son; represented by hearing, because in this way instruction is commonly received.
Things to come. Probably this means the meaning of things which were to take place after the time when he was speaking to them –to wit, the design of his death, and the nature of the changes which were to take place in the Jewish nation. It is also true that the apostles were inspired by the Holy Spirit to predict future events which would take place in the church and the world.
Verse 14. Shall glorify me. Shall honor me. The nature of his influence shall be such as to exalt my character and work in view of the mind.
Shall receive of mine. Literally, “shall take of or from me.” He shall receive his commission and instructions as an ambassador from me, to do my will and complete my work.
Shall show it. Shall announce or communicate it to you. This is always the work of the Spirit. All serious impressions produced by him lead to the Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 12:3), and by this we may easily test our feelings. If we have been truly convicted of sin and renewed by the Holy Ghost, the tendency of all his influences has been to lead us to the Savior; to show us our need of him; to reveal to us the loveliness of his character, and the fitness of his work to our wants; and to incline us to cast our eternal interests on his almighty arm, and commit all to his hands.
Verse 15. All things. See Matthew 28:18; 11:27. No one could have said this who was not equal with the Father. The union was so intimate, though mysterious, that it might with propriety be said that whatever was done in relation to the Son, was also done in regard to the Father. See John 14:9.
Verse 16. A little while His death would occur in a short time. It took place the next day. See John 16:19.
Ye shall not see me. That is, he would be concealed from their view in the tomb.
And again a little while. After three days he would rise again and appear to their view.
Because I go. Because it is a part of the plan that I should ascend to God, it is necessary that I should rise from the grave, and then you will see me, and have evidence that I am still your Friend. Comp. John 7:33. Here are three important events foretold for the consolation of the disciples, yet they were stated in such a manner that, in their circumstances and with their prejudices, it appeared difficult to understand him.
Items for Discussion
- Can God be deduced or figured out? Why or why not?
- Can God be discovered? If yes, how?
- Can you find the struggle that the apostles were having in this text/message from Jesus?
- Why was it so hard to grasp the concept of the Holy Spirit?
- Why do so many people believe in God, sort of believe in Jesus as at least a prophet but fail to embrace the Holy Spirit?
- Why is the Holy Spirit so important to the Christian Church?
- Can a Christian survive in this world without the presence of the Holy Spirit?
- How can our church bring more empowerment of the Holy Spirit into worship but not cross the line and become reliant on emotions and feelings?
- 1NIV New International Version Translations
- 2C.H. Spurgeon
- 4Matthew Henry Commentaries: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/henry/mhc5.John.i.html