81:1 To the chief Musician upon a Gittith, [A Psalm] of Asaph. Sing b aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.
(a) An instrument of music brought from Geth. 81:3 Blow up the trumpet in the c new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.
(b) It seems that this psalm was appointed for solemn feasts and assemblies of the people to whom for a time these ceremonies were ordained, but now under the gospel are abolished.
(c) Under this feast he comprehends all other solemn days. 81:5 This he ordained in d Joseph [for] a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: [where] I heard a language [that] e I understood not.
(d) That is, in Israel for Josephs family was counted the chief while before, Judah was preferred. 81:6 I removed his shoulder from the burden: his hands were delivered from the f pots.
(e) God speaks in the person of the people because he was their leader.
(f) If they were never able to give sufficient thanks to God, for this deliverance from corporal bondage, how much more are we indebted to him for our spiritual deliverance from the tyranny of Satan and sin? 81:7 Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I g answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah.
(g) By a strange and wonderful fashion. 81:8 h Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me;
(h) He condemns all assemblies where the people are not attentive to hear Gods voice, and to give obedience to the same. 81:10 I [am] the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: i open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
(i) God accuses their incredulity, because they did not open their mouths to receive Gods benefits in such abundance as he pours them out. 81:13 k Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, [and] Israel had walked in my ways!
(k) God by his word calls all, but his secret election appoints who will bear fruit. 81:14 I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand l against their adversaries.
(l) If their sins had not. 81:15 The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time m should have endured for ever.
(m) If the Israelites had not broken covenant with God, he would have given them victory against their enemies. 81:16 He should have fed them also with the n finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.
(n) That is, with most fine wheat and abundance of honey.