“If My people would only listen to Me,
if Israel would only follow My ways,
how quickly I would subdue their enemies
and turn My hand against their foes!
Those who hate the Lord would cringe before Him,
and their punishment would last for ever.
But you would be fed with the finest of wheat;
with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”
Psalms 81:13-16 NIVUK
What a wonderful and compassionate God He is! In spite of their rebellious and stubborn hearts, God continually reaches out to His people. The phrase “if My people” occurs several times in the Bible. And in particular in 2 Chronicle 7:14 God again used the phrase “if My people”. We read, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” He was consistent in His advice and appeals to His people, that if they followed His ways all would be well, but if they didn’t, then disasters would overtake them.
The same advice applies today. We see our political leaders diverging from God’s ways, embracing the advice of godless people and following their own deceitful wishes, and by so doing legislating wickedness into our statute books. And unintended consequences emerge, causing difficulties and misery to many. “If My people would only listen to Me” is advice that has been rejected. We see people around us in our communities, who too have rejected His ways, instead blindly following the paths of sin and wickedness that lead to a sticky end.
So we, as God’s people, pray. Seek His face. Repent of our sins. And all in the knowledge that God will truly hear us from Heaven. And we pray that He will have mercy on our nations, forgiving our national sins. But sadly those who hate God will one day discover their eternal punishment. We have to use every opportunity to introduce them, through Jesus, to our gracious God and help them follow His ways. There is no other solution to their otherwise terrible fate.
But to end on a positive, we read the lovely picture of enjoying the “finest of wheat” and “honey from the rock”. A picture of not just ordinary provision, but a banquet of plenty never before experienced. We get a picture of natural and spiritual provision directly from God, bringing a state of satisfaction almost unheard of and only dreamed about. In the eternal context of the previous verse, perhaps God is painting a picture of our Heavenly home. Providing a hint of the wonderful life we will have one day in His presence, a seat at His table of plenty.