Study Guide – Psalm 81:1-7


1 Sing praises to God, our strength.
    Sing to the God of Jacob.
2 Sing! Beat the tambourine.
    Play the sweet lyre and the harp.
3 Blow the ram’s horn at new moon,
    and again at full moon to call a festival!
4 For this is required by the decrees of Israel;
    it is a regulation of the God of Jacob.
5 He made it a law for Israel
    when he attacked Egypt to set us free.

I heard an unknown voice say,
6 “Now I will take the load from your shoulders;
    I will free your hands from their heavy tasks.
7 You cried to me in trouble, and I saved you;
    I answered out of the thundercloud
    and tested your faith when there was no water at Meribah. NLT


Look at verses 1-3. Describe the details of this song of praise.


Sometimes we praise God because we are so impressed by him or because we love him. Sometimes we praise God because we need to focus our hearts on what is good is true. But there are also some other, more sobering reasons to praise God.  What do verses 4-5 give as a reason to praise God?


Is it okay for God to “require” praise from us? What position does this “decree” put us in? Explain your thoughts.


Look at verses 6-7. What tone does the “unknown voice” have?


If you heard this voice, which words would comfort you and which words would trouble you?


::::: DIGGING DEEPER :::::

If you want to take the time, go back to Exodus 17 to read about the quarreling at Meriabah.



Try to praise God for the next 24 hours out of obedience… and notice the impact this has on your heart, your thoughts, and your actions.

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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