There is only one God
Yet without realizing it, our hearts can be divided in worship. There is only one God but we can prize things in this world above Him. Worshiping a strange “god” estranges us from God. Our relationship with God can become a transaction instead of the beautiful relationship we were meant to have.
The Psalmist is calling us to obedience. But not to the flesh or false gods—to the One Who made us!
Bible Reading of the day: Psalms 81-83
Scripture of the Day: Psalm 81:9-10
“You must never have a foreign god; you must not bow down before a false god. 10 For it was I, the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things.”
The word foreign is rendered “strange” in another It is the word, “zoor”, meaning to be a stranger, or to become estranged.
The Strong’s Concordance and Easy English Bible Commentary also said it means to come from another man, place, fanner, go away, estranger, thing, woman, to turn aside; hence to be a foreigner, to commit adultery, go away.
We Don’t Know What We are Worshiping
When we worship a strange or foreign “god”, we are worshiping what we do not know. And chances are, we are not even aware of it.
Because worship is not always so obvious.
Worship does not just happen on a Sunday morning when we hear worship music. Worship happens every day when we live out who or what is first in our lives.
Look at your checkbook and that might give you a clue. Or take note of what you think about a lot. False “gods” don’t have to be wooden statues We can worship things when our heart goes after those things above God. And we can even worship self.
Why worship or hope in what cannot deliver? Worshiping a strange “god” estranges us from the One true God. The Psalmist reminds us what God has done for His people.
Only God Satisfies us
What has your “god” done for you lately? There’s no contest other than our flesh can temporarily be satisfied with idolatry. God wants to satisfy us – Psalm 81:10 “… Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things.” Psalm 81:16, “But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”
But we have to come to Him for satisfaction and not try to satisfy the flesh our own way. Do we believe that friends? Or do we think God is a killjoy who won’t give us what we really want?
When we don’t choose to listen to God, we suffer consequences. But if we will seek God and obey Him, we are blessed abundantly: Psalm 81:11-14.
“But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel did not obey me. 12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own plans. 13 If only my people would listen to me and Israel would follow my ways, 14 I would quickly subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes.”
So why doesn’t everyone obey God? We read about His faithfulness and goodness in the Bible. Who wouldn’t want that? Because we get deceived and we want our way. We think our way is better than God’s. And we can turn the relationship with God into a transaction. We want things or outcomes from God more than we want Him.
God judges all “gods”
In Psalm 82, the Psalmist asks God to judge the “gods” of the nations.
“God stands in the divine assembly; he pronounces judgment among the gods: 2 “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah 3 Provide justice for the needy and the fatherless; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. 4 Rescue the poor and needy; save them from the power of the wicked.” 5 They do not know or understand; they wander in darkness. All the foundations of the earth are shaken. 6 I said, “You are gods; you are all sons of the Most High 7 However, you will die like humans and fall like any other ruler.” 8 Rise up, God, judge the earth, for all the nations belong to you.”
God is good. He reveals in this Psalm that false gods are not. False “gods” do not give justice or help the poor and needy. False “gods” cannot save. Only Jesus can.
In Psalm 83, The Psalmist is asking God to judge his enemies. In the first half of the Psalm, we see what the enemies are doing and in the second half, we see the Psalmist’s request of God.
“Make them like tumbleweed, my God, like straw before the wind. 14 As fire burns a forest, as a flame blazes through mountains, 15 so pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your storm. 16 Cover their faces with shame so that they will seek your name, Lord. 17 Let them be put to shame and terrified forever; let them perish in disgrace. 18 May they know that you alone— whose name is the Lord—are the Most High over the whole earth.
- Ask God to reveal if there are false “gods” in your life.
- Worshiping a strange “god” estranges us from God.
- Don’t turn the relationship with God into a transaction.
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #200: Psalms 81-83
Scripture of the Day: Psalm 81:9-10
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