|First Line:||Sing a psalm of joy|
|Title:||Sing a Psalm of Joy|
|Versifier:||Marie J. Post (1984)|
|Copyright:||Text and harmonization © 1987, CRC Publications|
An exhortation to Israel to renew their faithfulness to God as they celebrate the LORD's deliverance out of Egypt.
st. l = vv. 1-2
st. 2 = vv. 3-5
st. 3 = vv. 6-7
st. 4 = vv. 8-9
st. 5 = v. 10
st. 6 = vv. 11-15
st. 7 = vv. 8, 16
The psalmist addresses the people of Israel at an annual festival celebrating their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. He begins with a call to joyful celebration (st. 1) and praise of the LORD (st. 2), remembering God's saving answer to the people's cry in bondage and God's test of their faith in the wilderness (st. 3). As God's spokesperson, the psalmist calls Israel once again to be faithful to the LORD and to reject all false gods (st. 4). In remembering the Exodus, Israel is reminded of its own unfaithfulness in the wilderness and how God dealt with them. The LORD, who brought them out of Egypt and who has supplied all their needs, will surely bless the people if they wholly trust in him (st. 5). God's great desire is for the people to obey and trust him, so that they may enjoy his protection and abundant blessings (st. 6-7).
In singing this psalm we too need to respond obediently to God's call. In the post-exilic temple liturgy this psalm was sung during the morning sacrifice on the fifth day of the week. Marie J. Post (PHH 5) versified Psalm 81 in 1984 for the Psalter Hymnal.
Call to commitment or rededication.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook