Studies in Psalms – Psa 81:1-7 “Proved At The Waters of Meribah” – Part 1

Psa 81:1-7″Proved at the waters of Meribah” – Part 1

Psa 81:1 To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of Asaph. Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.
Psa 81:2 Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.
Psa 81:3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.
Psa 81:4 For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.
Psa 81:5 This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I understood not.
Psa 81:6 I removed his shoulder from the burden: his hands were delivered from the pots.
Psa 81:7 Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah.

Psa 81:8 Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me;
Psa 81:9 There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.
Psa 81:10 I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
Psa 81:11 But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me.
Psa 81:12 So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels.
Psa 81:13 Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!
Psa 81:14 I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.
Psa 81:15 The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for ever.
Psa 81:16 He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.

Twice in this Psalm we read of God’s desire for Israel to hearken unto him, once in verse eight “O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me” and again in verse thirteen “Oh that my people had hearkened unto me and Israel had walked in my ways!”.

For God’s elect, this desire of God is understood to be spoken in a rhetorical way, because we are convinced that God alone is the one who is allowing the hearts of man today to be hardened so that they can’t hearken unto Him as these following verses witness.

Eze 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
Eze 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes[H2706 an appointed time of judgment], and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

Eze 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:
Eze 11:20 That they may walk in my statutesH2708, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

How blessed we are to hear the voice of the true Shepherd within each other, and to know that we are being sanctified by the word of God as the comforter leads us into all truth, including the understanding that our sins are being washed by the word of God as God leads us unto repentance and burns away everything that is contrary to the soundness that is Christ’s mind, so that we can be of the same mind.

Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled [seduce whollyG1818] Eve through his subtilty [craftiness or subtiltyG3834], so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity [singlenessG572] that is in Christ.

Php 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
Php 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

God’s people are going to overcome the false prophets of this age who will “lie in wait to deceive” (Mat 24:24, Eph 4:14) by overcoming the craftiness and subtilty of deception that has the whole world deceived through handling the word of God deceitfully (1Jn 5:19, 2Co 4:2). It is the singleness of mind that keeps us healthy as Christ’s body that comes about as a result of being blessed to hear the voice of the true Shepherd which hearing gives us the power to be quickened so we can rightly divide the word.

1Jn 4:6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

The ‘appointed time’ of judgment that is needed upon the house of God or the day of the Lord is the means by which God is keeping us unified as one body that is being received of our Father who has called us to endure through the chastening and scourging process that burns away the schisms in the body of Christ, which schisms allow for the crafty and subtle lies of the devil to continue to lay hold of our hearts. It takes God’s love being shed abroad in our hearts to be able to endure His judgments, and when we are trained up by our Father, we will truly be receiving strong meat which we know comes about through discernment that is formed through the heavy or fiery trials that God’s elect must go through in this age if we are going to grow unto maturity and not see that love wax cold as it will in many (Heb 6:1, Heb 5:14, Mat 24:12).

1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Heb 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

2Ti 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

1Co 12:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

Rom 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

The singleness of mind that God is forming within the body of Christ today is being forged by tearing down the powers and principalities that would otherwise continue to defile our heavens and keep us blinded if we were not granted to fight a good fight of faith toward the end of cleansing those heavens. It is when those heavens are cleansed that we rejoice “with exceeding joy” and “make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob” as stated in verse one of our study.

2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled [seduce whollyG1818] Eve through his subtilty [craftiness or subtiltyG3834], so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity [singlenessG572] that is in Christ.

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

1Ti 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
1Ti 6:13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
1Ti 6:14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

G572 simplicity [singleness]
ἁπλότης
haplotēs

Total KJV Occurrences: 8

simplicity, 3
Rom_12:8 (2), 2Co_1:12, 2Co_11:3

singleness, 2
Eph_6:5, Col_3:22

bountifulness, 1
2Co_9:11

liberal, 1
2Co_9:13

liberality, 1
2Co_8:2

These following verses describe the joy that comes into our lives as a result of being “likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, [and] of one mind”

Php 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
Php 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

1Co 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1Co 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

In this week’s study we will look at the absolute ongoing need to have our heavens cleansed as we die daily so that we can continue to hear the voice of the true Shepherd in each other and be blessed to follow each other as we follow Christ, who enables us to maintain the singleness of mind we need in His body through the structure that He has created so that we can go from glory to glory and endure until the end and be raised in a moment and in the twinkling of an eye one glorious day.

1Co 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
1Co 11:2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
1Co 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

1Co 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
1Co 12:5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
1Co 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
1Co 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
1Co 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
1Co 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
1Co 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

2Co 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Luk 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

All the words of praise, the singing aloud unto God, the making a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob, the timbrel, the pleasant harp, mentioned in this study, are all types and shadows of the fruit that is borne out of the life of those who are blessed to be judged or pruned in this age by our Great Creator.

Joh 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Joh 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Joh 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

We are being proved together today and need to be helpers of each other’s joy as we go through this process of being “proved at the waters of Meribah”.

2Co 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

Rom 1:12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

2Co 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

Psa 81:1 To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of AsaphH623. Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.

The word AsaphH623 tells us that there is a process of ‘three Israelites’ that God is going to enable us to go through because of the strength that He will give us to do so (Php 4:13). That gift of being able to overcome gives us reason to “make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob”, as we’re being told that this process of overcoming is possible through “God our strength”.

H623
אסף
‘âsâph
aw-sawf’

From H622; collector; Asaph, the name of three Israelites, and of the family of the first: – Asaph.

God declares the end from the beginning in the name Abraham, the end being Christ in us who Abraham is a type of who will inherit eternal life and be a “father of a multitude”. The process of overcoming and receiving this inheritance can be seen in the three names Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and again we are gathered or collected from all nations to become this kind of first fruit family of God (Jas 1:18, 1Pe 2:9).

H85
אברהם
‘abrâhâm
ab-raw-hawm’

Contracted from H1 and an unused root (probably meaning to be populous); father of a multitude; Abraham, the later name of Abram: – Abraham.

H3327
יצחק
yitschâq
yits-khawk’

From H6711; laughter (that is, mockery); Jitschak (or Isaac), son of Abraham: – Isaac. Compare H3446.

H3290
יעקב
ya‛ăqôb
yah-ak-obe’

From H6117; heel catcher (that is, supplanter); Jaakob, the Israelitish patriarch: – Jacob.

Psa 81:2 Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.

“Take a Psalm”, any Psalm, and read it against the sum of God’s word (Psa 119:160 ASV, etc.), and you will see the pleasantness that God is declaring for those who are granted to see the fruit of Christ’s life in us being described in the type and shadow events of the old covenant. It only becomes joyful and like the sound of a timbrel or a pleasant harp with the psaltery once we see how it applies to our sojourn in the Lord today.

Psa 81:3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.

This word “blow up”H8628 has to do with making a noise with the trumpet, and demonstrating by that action that you are part of something that is new, a new creation (2Co 5:17). In this verse the “the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day” again reminds us that we are appointed unto judgment, and once again there are three main festivals that Israel was called up to celebrate, again showing the process that we must go through to go unto perfection on the third day (Deu 16:16, Luk 13:32).

Psa 81:4 For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.

Part of that coming together was the rejoicing and praising of God, and as it says here “For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob”.

You can’t force someone to be happy or to rejoice in the Lord, and again I say rejoice, but what we are being told here is that when God does change our hearts and works with us, the fruit of our lives will turn to joy, and there will be praise on our lips and rejoicing in our hearts because “a law of the God of Jacob” will have been written on our hearts which is a symbol of a mind that is converted and has lips of praise and thanksgiving on it (Heb 13:15, Psa 119:171).

Psa 81:5 This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I understood not.

This statute of Israel [we are the Israel of God – Gal 6:16] was ordained in Joseph [who is a type of the elect] and is a type and shadow for God’s people today of how we can “blow up”H8628 the trumpet or rejoice in the Lord even as we go through Egypt, through the world, not taken out it (Joh 17:15) but going through it no longer learning the ways of the heathen anymore, insomuch that “I heard a language that I understood not” and that language is Babylon that we come out of so that we can be of one mind and of one voice blowing one trumpet and speaking the same thing or symbolically being of one new language (negative Gen 11:1; positive Zep 3:9).

Psa 81:6 I removed his shoulder from the burden: his hands were delivered from the pots.

Remembering that Joseph is a type and shadow of God’s elect helps us see that this verse is talking about how the Lord is the one upon whom we cast all our cares (1Pe 5:7), and we bear each other’s burden and so fulfill the law of Christ as He gives us the ability to do this.

Christ delivers us “from the pots” or from the law which those pots symbolize (H1731) which were used in the temple of God (Mar 7:8).

Psa 81:7 Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah.

The last verse will look at in this study tells the story of our journey in Christ so succinctly. “Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee” (Psa 107:28). The deliverance as we will see is tied into the bitter waters being made sweet which can only come about through the process of receiving stripes as described in (Gen 30:36-43).

The secret place of thunder is where God works in our heavens and gives us power to cast Satan down like lightning which is what will produce thunder (Luk 10:18, 1Jn 4:17). The thunder is a declaration of something hitting the ground, in this case the earthly sensual powers and principalities against which we are all wrestling and overcoming by the grace and faith of Christ (Jas 3:15, Eph 6:12, Eph 2:8).

We are “proved”,H974 not that God doesn’t know what is already in our hearts, but so that we can learn of His greatness and ability to turn the bitter waters of our life into something sweet as a result of the stripes and the proving that He brings upon those with whom He is working in this age. These last sections of scripture are very connected and remind us that the waters that were made sweet in Moses’ day did not change the heart of Israel in type and shadow, but only the wood that was “pilled white strakes in them”, typifying our stripes and suffering in Christ, was able to bring forth the abundance of cattle that typifies our abundant life in Christ that is formed via the rod of God’s righteous word taking hold in our heavens and changing us from glory to glory.

Exo 15:22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.
Exo 15:23 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.
Exo 15:24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?
Exo 15:25 And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them,
Exo 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

Gen 30:36 And he set three days’ journey betwixt himself and Jacob: and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.
Gen 30:37 And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chesnut tree; and pilled white strakes in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods.
Gen 30:38 And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink.
Gen 30:39 And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ringstraked, speckled, and spotted.
Gen 30:40 And Jacob did separate the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the ringstraked, and all the brown in the flock of Laban; and he put his own flocks by themselves, and put them not unto Laban’s cattle.
Gen 30:41 And it came to pass, whensoever the stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods.
Gen 30:42 But when the cattle were feeble, he put them not in: so the feebler were Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s.
Gen 30:43 And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses.

2Co 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
2Co 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Next week Lord willing we will conclude Psalm 81 as we consider again the great blessing that is ours to be able to hear the voice of the true Shepherd in advance of the other fold who God will save in due time.

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