Psalm 81 - God's Eternal Covenant and the Chosen People

    [New International Version] Psalm 81 belongs to Book III of the Book of Psalms. The Psalmist recalls the commandments and the experiences lived by the people in the desert on their way to the promised land and the goodness of God.

    The PS 81 belong to Book III of the Book of PS composed of a collection of texts 150 arranged by 5 poetry books. The Book of Psalms, for its wisdom and basic principles of human action , is considered the heart of the Old Testament. Book III encompasses Psalms 73 to 89 . The PS 81 is divided into 17 verses. The Psalms are poems-prayers addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak to Him. These prayers represent human experiences and religious conscience . They portray the common man , with his faults, insecurities, fears and hopes and, even today, we can identify with the Psalmist and draw inspiration from these texts to pray and plead with God when we feel lost and anguished or to express our gratitude for any blessing received. "There are enemies or friends, there is life or death, health or illness, pain or joy and, most of the time, there are no changes or gradations. Words are like stones and poetry like boulders carved by chisel"; "The Psalms are a bit like mountain paths, simple, especially when walking on snow, but they lead to the peaks; they are paths toward the peaks of meeting the Lord." - Carlo Maria Martini, Cardinal of Milan

    Psalm 81 - Eternal Covenant

    1  To the director. About Gat's lyre. Of Asaf. 2  Rejoice in God, our strength, acclaim the God of Jacob! 3  Lift up a chant, play drum and gentle zither along with harp. 4  Make the trumpet sound in the new moon and in the full moon, our feast days. 5  For this is a precept for Israel, a sentence of the God of Jacob; 6  is a testimony he left in Joseph when he left the land of Egypt: "I heard the voice of someone I didn't know. 7  Then I removed his shoulders from the yoke, his hands ceased to carry the baskets. 8  In anguish you called and I delivered you, I answered you, from the midst of thunder. And I put you to the test by the waters of Meriba. 9  Listen, my people, that I will warn you! O Israel, see if you can hear me! 10  There must be no strange god among you, neither shall you prostrate yourself before any strange god. 11  I am the Lord your God, the one who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it. 12  But my people would not listen to my voice, and Israel would have nothing to do with me. 13  So I gave him to the stubbornness of their hearts. May they follow their purposes. 14 I  wish that my people would listen to me, and that Israel would follow my ways! 15  In an instant, I would humiliate your enemies and raise My hand against your adversaries. 16  Those who hate the Lord must bow down to Him, their destiny is forever fixed. 17  But I will feed the people with flour and fill you with honey from the rocks. "

    Meaning and interpretation

    The Psalm 81 is a prayer has characteristics of a prophetic exhortation. It begins with a hymn (Verses 1-6), inviting people to the feast, and then includes a divine oracle (Verses 7-17), which recalls the commandments and the experiences lived by the people in the desert. The new moon and the full moon were the two most significant moments in the moon's monthly movement and represented the most important festival days of the month. They defined a biweekly cycle of festivals, in a month divided by the phases of the moon into four weeks. The direct speech used in most of the Psalms verses turns it into a declaration or testimony placed in the mouth of God as a message to be preserved since the departure from Egypt. The Prophetic Psalms or Royal Psalms are prayers of praise to the king, affirmations of God's favor to the king, prayers for the king, royal oracles, and descriptions of the righteousness and piety due to the figure who has the responsibility to govern the people. These Psalms were performed at court parties, in the presence of the king, in celebrations of victory over an enemy, among other occasions involving the government. Often, the text refers to a messianic note where certain behaviors can lead to certain outcomes. The Prophetic Psalms reinforce the holiness of God , creator of all that exists between heaven and earth. They also remember his mercy and eternal justice and the importance of showing your face to the believer and to the peoples. Their action provides a guide to behavior not only for individuals but also for those responsible for governing and enforcing justice.

    The Book of Psalms

    The Joy and Happiness of the Righteous in Communion with God

    The Psalms are prayer-poems addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak with Him. Depicting the common man , with his failures, insecurities, fears and hopes, we can still identify with the Psalmist and be inspired today in Psalms to make prayers and supplications to God in times of trouble or express our gratitude for some blessing received. The Psalms, despite being written in Antiquity, still move , sensitize , awaken feelings , inspire and enchant . In them, we can identify anguish and joy , deeply human feelings, praises, supplications, teachings of reflection on spiritual wisdom and prophetic words. Written for different situations , some Psalms are intimate, revealing the author's personal relationship with God; others provide guidelines and advice for life, others are compositions for specific liturgical events such as rituals and pilgrimages. The Book of Psalms is composed of a collection of 150 poetic texts and is divided into five parts, called Psalm Books or Booklets. Each Book closes with short hymns of praise to God . The division into five parts was considered to correspond to the five books of Moses and it is assumed that each passage in the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible, called Torah by the Jews) was read in parallel with the corresponding Psalm. Its main forms are lamentation , supplication , praise, and gratitude .

    The Power of Prayer in Dialogue with the Divine

    The Psalms elevate our thoughts to the Divine and prayer is the power of the word . Prayer is the language of faith. Any thought, word or image addressed to God is called prayer . It is through it that we come into contact with our God within and, therefore, it is so powerful in transforming life . Prayer can produce miracles , turn dreams into reality, give us hope for change , harmony and peace with ourselves and the world. Each Psalm has an intention that helps us meditate and walk with our God . For many theologians, the Book of Psalms has a prophetic or messianic tone as its verses refer to the coming of Christ into the world of men to guide them through the uncertainty and doubts of Human existence. The prayer has the power to call the Spiritual Universe full mode, honest, sincere, conscious, for the purpose of spiritual self-protection, family protection and those who are dear to us, to have peace of mind, spiritual and physical, for prosperity and success, to protect health and relationships, to ward off negative energies and, above all, to connect us to something bigger than ourselves. From this peace , well-being, hope and goodness in front of everyone and everything result. The faith can change our lives. It gives us tranquility and spiritual strength to face challenges. It helps us to meditate on our mission in life and to create a balanced and healthy environment for ourselves and those we love. When you pray, fill your heart with love and determination . The Psalms will guide you on a path of peace and communion with the higher energy.