Psalm 81: The Lord Meditates on the First Commandment

(16 verses, 1:33 to read)


What I am about to READ

  • The Lord Himself encourages us to keep the First Commandment.


  • The entire Psalm is an exhortation to keep the First Commandment.
  • After Asaph calls us to worship the Lord, most of the remainder of the Psalm is the Lord speaking directly to us, His people.
  • In this regard, 81:13-14 are very interesting. The Lord stops talking to His people, and begins to talk to someone else ABOUT His people. It could be that the Lord is talking to the angels, but I think it is safe to consider these verses part of the wonderful conversation between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.


  • Compare Ps 81:10 with Exodus 20:2. It is beautiful how this Psalm of the First Commandment takes up the preface to the Ten Commandments.
  • Luther once said that the entire Psalter (book of Psalms) is a meditation on the First Commandment. That is seen wonderfully in this Psalm.


  • 81:10 is a beautiful promise: “Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” When we think of the Lord we are often tempted to think of God’s anger, His wrath over sin, etc., but time and time again the Lord holds out His compassion and generosity for us to consider. Here again the Lord promises His undeserved and overflowing kindness to us.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group:
-Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller


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