Psalm 81 – If Only You Would Listen

Two ears and one mouth, so an adage suggests, means we should be doing twice as much listening as speaking. Just being able to listen at all is the sad lament of the Lord in this tragic Psalm. 

What is particularly challenging in this Psalm is what is implied as the meaning of listening. This is not a passive exercise, this is active, engaging and responsive. God who rescued the people from slavery wants them to truly enjoy freedom. That freedom would be theirs if they could only be responsive and actively engage in the loving relationship He calls them to. 
The invitation is no different today. Asaph writes this Psalm and today it has the same powerful appeal to us to invest time and energy listening. Jesus, Himself would heartily encourage anyone with the ears to hear to listen closely to what God is saying. 

As we listen there are so many ways in which we can benefit. We can be recipients to so much that comes with a right relationship with God. Just like any relationship, it’s success is based on both parties carefully listening. God heard our cry, God heard our distress, He wasn’t half-hearted in responding. So amazing was His response to our situation. Yet when it comes to giving due courtesy to the One who saved us, we are wilfully ignorant? We want Him to do what we want, but we don’t care to hear what He wants? 

Let’s repent of that attitude. Let’s be the people who learn from history rather than being doomed by repeating it. We can remain free and walk into all of God and the beauty in knowing Him …

If only we would listen. 

For His Name’s Sake 


C. L. J. Dryden 


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