Just a Bit O’ History… Psalm 81: A Framework of an Appeal, and a Lament of Blessings Lost

Psalm 81

“Hear, 0 my people,and I will testify unto thee: 0 Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me: there shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god. I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt.”

–Psalm 81: 8-16.

The whole passage forms the beginning of the appeal…

…the Scottish exiles in Newcastle, Aug. 10, 1584. They had been compelled to quit Scotland, owing to the oppressive course which was afterwards pursued in Church and State for a full century, during the reign of the later Stuarts. At the head of the exiled party were Andrew Melville and his nephew James, and here was drawn up the system of government for the Church of Scotland, which fought its way to a definite triumph in the Glasgow Assembly of 1638.

Andrew Melville took up the standard from the dying hand of John Knox, and, instead of Frankfort and Geneva, the shelter of the refugees was found in Berwick and Newcastle. The common interest of the Reformation was now drawing England and Scotland more closely together, especially to the side of the Puritans, and was even then preparing the way for the union of the kingdoms.

Psalm 81

Geneva Bible

Sing joyfully unto God our strength: sing loud unto the God of Jacob. Take the song and bring forth the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the viol. Blow the trumpet in the new moon, even in the time appointed at our feast day.

For this is a statute for Israel, and a Law of the God of Jacob. He set this in Joseph for a testimony, when he came out of the land of Egypt, where I heard a language, that I understood not. I have withdrawn his shoulder from the burden, and his hands have left the pots. Thou calledst in affliction, and I delivered thee, and answered thee in the secret of the thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah.

Hear, O my people, and I will protest unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me, And wilt have no strange god in thee, neither worship any strange god, (For I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt); open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. But my people would not hear my voice, and Israel would none of me, So I gave them up unto the hardness of their heart, and they have walked in their own counsels.

Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I would soon have humbled their enemies, and turned mine hand against their adversaries. The haters of the Lord should have been subject unto him, and their time should have endured forever. And God would have fed them with the fat of wheat, and with honey out of the rock would I have sufficed thee.

Written by John Ker, D. D.
Taken from, “The Psalms in History and Biography,”
Wikipedia, and other sources.
Edited for thought and sense.