The man who wrote Psalm 81 was obviously not British. I guess he was a Hebrew, because Psalms is in the Old Testament section of the Bible and that was the Hebrew people’s ‘God Book’ before it was anyone else’s.
But look at the sort of behaviour he’s suggesting in that Psalm!
“Sing for joy to God our strength” Well, this IS Wales … but can you imagine the response you’d get to that sort of thing in the produce aisle at Tesco?
“Shout aloud to the God of Jacob!” Really?! How long do you think it would be until somebody called the psychiatric ambulance and the big burly men in the white coats? (Do we still have those guys? Well, you know what I mean …)
This man is clearly bung full of how good God is and he can’t help shouting about it. But Wales isn’t like that any more. You are not ‘allowed’ to “Begin the music, strike the tambourine, play the melodious harp and lyre”. This is ‘multi-cultural’ Britain and you might cause offence if you did something like that, you see? In fact, I used to be a Christian Minister in an immigrant area and in fact my Sikh and Hindu friends there (I had plenty!) were far happier with me having a clear Christian faith than none at all! If I was happy about Jesus, then they were happy for me!
So maybe it’s time to give what the author of this psalm is saying a bit of serious thought. Maybe it’s time now to make a change … or to BE the change ourselves … which makes giving God His due credit a little bit more common, and drags the lamp of God’s godness to me from under the bushel of social respectability (whatever that is) to give a bit more light to the land of Wales … Heaven knows, she needs it!
Defiantly shout and sing about the times we’ve seen God being good to us.
That sounds like a feisty sort of attitude in a time of secular recession, doesn’t it?