The Psalms of David in Metre

 Back to the 1650 Scottish Psalter


Psalm 81

This psalm was probably composed for the Feast of Trumpets, on the first day of the seventh month, Lev. 23:24. Here are, (1.) Solemn exhortations to praise God for what he is to his people, and for what he hath done for them, ver. 1-7. (2.) Instructions concerning God’s new-covenant grant of himself and his benefits to men; their ungrateful refusal thereof; and the misery they incur, and happiness they lose thereby, ver. 8-16.

While I sing, let my soul consider what God is to, hath done for, and given to men ­ to me: and let all my inward powers steadfastly believe his declarations, and eagerly embrace his offers. Let my heart be filled with grief, that ever I refused to hear my own gracious God speaking from heaven, and offering to me all the unsearchable riches of Christ.

To the chief Musician upon Gittith,
A Psalm of Asaph.

1 Sing loud to God our strength; with joy
to Jacob’s God do sing.
2 Take up a psalm, the pleasant harp,
timbrel and psalt’ry bring.

3 Blow trumpets at new-moon, what day
our feast appointed is:
4 For charge to Isr’el, and a law
of Jacob’s God was this.

5 To Joseph this a testimony
he made, when Egypt land
He traveled through, where speech I heard
I did not understand.

6 His shoulder I from burdens took,
his hands from pots did free.
7 Thou didst in trouble on me call,
and I delivered thee:

In secret place of thundering
I did thee answer make;
And at the streams of Meribah
of thee a proof did take.

8 O thou, my people, give an ear,
I’ll testify to thee;
To thee, O Isr’el, if thou wilt
but hearken unto me.

9 In midst of thee there shall not be
any strange god at all;
Nor unto any god unknown
thou bowing down shalt fall.

10 I am the Lord thy God, which did
from Egypt land thee guide;
I’ll fill thy mouth abundantly,
do thou it open wide.

11 But yet my people to my voice
would not attentive be;
And ev’n my chosen Israel
he would have none of me.

12 So to the lust of their own hearts
I them delivered;
And then in counsels of their own
they vainly wandered.

13 O that my people had me heard,
Isr’el my ways had chose!
14 I had their en’mies soon subdued,
my hand turned on their foes.

15 The haters of the Lord to him
submission should have feigned;
But as for them, their time should have
for evermore remained.

16 He should have also fed them with
the finest of the wheat;
Of honey from the rock thy fill
I should have made thee eat.