When God went out against Egypt, he established it as a statute for Joseph. I heard an unknown voice say: “I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket. In your distress you called and I rescued you, I answered you out of a thundercloud; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Hear me, my people, and I will warn you— if you would only listen to me, Israel! You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not worship any god other than me. I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it. “But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. “If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways, how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes! Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever. But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.” – Psalm 81:5-16
This psalm is described as a psalm of Asaph and it contains similar circling back and remembering as the last few psalms. The psalmist hears “an unknown voice” that proceeds to describe in intimate detail the ways that God has showed up for the Israelites from the slavery and bondage in Egypt to the conflicts in the Promised Land.
How could the Israelites still not know God’s voice? As I posed this question it occurs to me that in many ways we still do not know God’s voice. God often speaks in a whisper amid the raging storms that distract our attention. We have to develop a very sensitive hearing apparatus to hear the voice of God.
God reminds the Isaraelites that when they called out to Him He answered and rescued them from Egypt. Moses and Aaron failed the “Meribah Test” at the Waters of Meribah. They were not able to faithfully follow God. Then comes a warning “I will warn you— if you would only listen to me, Israel!” God seems to be saying throughout the old testament so far…Listen to Me Israel! God also says it to each one of us who choose to follow Him…Listen to me Peter!
If only Israel had listened things would have been a lot easier for them “how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!” We also can take heart in this promise from God if we listen carefully and seek God then things will go much better for us. No guarantees that all of life will be easy, but it will be easier if we are listening to God than if we are not.
Those who listen and obey God will “be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock” God will satisfy us. Isn’t that what most of us want out of life…to be satisfied. God says listen to me and you will be satisfied.
Prayer: God thank You for speaking to us even when we are hard of hearing, and for providing for us when we carefully listen.