Psalm 81[a]

For the director of music. According to gittith.[b] Of Asaph.

Sing for joy to God our strength;
    shout aloud to the God of Jacob!(A)

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Footnotes

  1. Psalm 81:1 In Hebrew texts 81:1-16 is numbered 81:2-17.
  2. Psalm 81:1 Title: Probably a musical term

10 I am the Lord your God,
    who brought you up out of Egypt.(A)
Open(B) wide your mouth and I will fill(C) it.

11 “But my people would not listen to me;
    Israel would not submit to me.(D)
12 So I gave them over(E) to their stubborn hearts
    to follow their own devices.

13 “If my people would only listen to me,(F)
    if Israel would only follow my ways,
14 how quickly I would subdue(G) their enemies
    and turn my hand against(H) their foes!
15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe(I) before him,
    and their punishment would last forever.
16 But you would be fed with the finest of wheat;(J)
    with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

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Jeremiah’s Complaint

12 You are always righteous,(A) Lord,
    when I bring a case(B) before you.
Yet I would speak with you about your justice:(C)
    Why does the way of the wicked prosper?(D)
    Why do all the faithless live at ease?
You have planted(E) them, and they have taken root;
    they grow and bear fruit.(F)
You are always on their lips
    but far from their hearts.(G)
Yet you know me, Lord;
    you see me and test(H) my thoughts about you.
Drag them off like sheep(I) to be butchered!
    Set them apart for the day of slaughter!(J)
How long will the land lie parched(K)
    and the grass in every field be withered?(L)
Because those who live in it are wicked,
    the animals and birds have perished.(M)
Moreover, the people are saying,
    “He will not see what happens to us.”

God’s Answer

“If you have raced with men on foot
    and they have worn you out,
    how can you compete with horses?
If you stumble[a] in safe country,
    how will you manage in the thickets(N) by[b] the Jordan?
Your relatives, members of your own family—
    even they have betrayed you;
    they have raised a loud cry against you.(O)
Do not trust them,
    though they speak well of you.(P)

“I will forsake(Q) my house,
    abandon(R) my inheritance;
I will give the one I love(S)
    into the hands of her enemies.(T)
My inheritance has become to me
    like a lion(U) in the forest.
She roars at me;
    therefore I hate her.(V)
Has not my inheritance become to me
    like a speckled bird of prey
    that other birds of prey surround and attack?
Go and gather all the wild beasts;
    bring them to devour.(W)
10 Many shepherds(X) will ruin my vineyard
    and trample down my field;
they will turn my pleasant field
    into a desolate wasteland.(Y)
11 It will be made a wasteland,(Z)
    parched and desolate before me;(AA)
the whole land will be laid waste
    because there is no one who cares.
12 Over all the barren heights in the desert
    destroyers will swarm,
for the sword(AB) of the Lord(AC) will devour(AD)
    from one end of the land to the other;(AE)
    no one will be safe.(AF)
13 They will sow wheat but reap thorns;
    they will wear themselves out but gain nothing.(AG)
They will bear the shame of their harvest
    because of the Lord’s fierce anger.”(AH)

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Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 12:5 Or you feel secure only
  2. Jeremiah 12:5 Or the flooding of

The end of all things is near.(A) Therefore be alert and of sober mind(B) so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply,(C) because love covers over a multitude of sins.(D) Offer hospitality(E) to one another without grumbling.(F) 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,(G) as faithful(H) stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.(I) If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides,(J) so that in all things God may be praised(K) through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.(L)

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