Psalms  ◦   Chapter 81

1Sing the joyous strains about God our refuge and remedy;
proclaim your praise to the God who transformed Jacob!

2Begin the musical score, strike the tambourine,
play the melodious story on harp and lyre.

3Blow the trumpet at the New Moon,
and when the moon is full,
to start our recurring celebratory enactment;

4this is a script for the descendants of Israel,
a direction from the God who transformed Jacob.

5He established this as a prescription for the descendants of Israel,
when he attacked the false beliefs promoted in Egypt,
in order to set us free.
There we heard a voice we did not recognize, saying,

6"I have lifted the burden from you;
I have set you free.

7When you were distressed and called on me, I saved you,
I answered you from the thundercloud;
I gave you the opportunity to exercise and strengthen your trust in me
when I provided water for you at Meribah.

8"Listen to me, my people, and I will tell you the way of life —
O that you would follow my prescription!

9You must never allow false gods to infect your understanding;
you must never trust them or surrender your hearts to them.

10I am the Creator, your God
who set you free from the bondage of Egypt.
Hunger for truth, righteousness, and mature character,
and I will fill you.

11But my people refused to listen to me;
they would not follow my prescription.

12So I let them go the way on which their stubborn hearts insisted
to fulfill their own selfish desires.

13If my people would simply follow my prescription,
if they would embrace the truth
and live in harmony with my design for life,

14I would quickly silence all enemies
and use my healing power against all destructive forces.

15Those who hate me and reject my remedy cower before me,
and their terminal condition will never be cured.

16But you who trust me will be fed with the bread of life;
with the honey of perfection that comes from the rock, I will heal you."