Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: https://sothrichfield.podbean.com
Psalm 81:8-14 (NIV)
8 Hear me, my people, and I will warn you—if you would only listen to me, Israel! 9 You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not worship any god other than me. 10 I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth and I will fill it. 11 “But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me.12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. 13 “If my people would only listen to me,if Israel would only follow my ways,14 how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!
“What are the benefits of listening to God?”
Almighty God, since Adam and Eve You have told people how to live in joy and harmony with You and they have chosen their own way. You have seen it all before. How it must ache Your heart to provide people with Your Word as guidance, Your Son as an example and Your Spirit as a power to help us follow You and Your ways, but we still think we know better than You. People choose to change Your laws and their meaning to satisfy sinful desires. People are prideful and selfish and worship themselves instead of serving You or others. Life is no longer sacred and people sell, murder or otherwise exploit the innocent for their personal gain. They are not listening to You, Lord, and You promise to give them what they ask for. That is very scary for me, Lord. I do want to listen to You. Please help me and Your whole church to ignore the chatter of the wicked and listen intently to Your wisdom. More than ever we need Your strength and perseverance and it comes from listening to You. Guide us to show kindness and love where others fail to do so. Let us share Your Gospel story so that others can know the joy of Your salvation. Help more people be bold to go against the times and listen to You and follow Your ways so that You will answer our prayers and subdue our enemies. Thanks be to God. Amen