The voice (Ps 81:5-81:7)

“I hear a voice I had not known.

‘I relieved your shoulder of the burden.

Your hands were freed from the basket.

In distress you called.

Then I rescued you.

I answered you in the secret place of thunder.

I tested you at the waters of Meribah.’”

Selah

The psalmist noted that he heard an unknown voice. This voice said that he relieved them of their burdens. He freed their hands from the basket in their distress. He had rescued them. He had answered them with thunder. He had tested them at the waters of Meribah. These are references to the activities found in Exodus, chapters 17-19. This section ends with the musical meditative interlude pause of Selah.

God protects his people (Ps 66:8-66:12)

“Bless our God!

O peoples!

Let the sound of his praise be heard!

He has kept us among the living.

He has not let our feet slip.

O God!

You have tested us!

You have tried us as silver is tried.

You brought us into the net.

You laid burdens on our backs.

You let people ride over our heads.

We went through fire.

We went through water.

You have brought us out to a spacious place.”

God has been good to the Israelites. They should bless God. The sounds of praise should be heard because he kept them among the living. He did not let their feet slip. They were tested like silver is tested in minting it. They fell into nets. They had burdens on their backs. People ran over them. They went through fire and water. However, in the end, they settled into a spacious place, the Promised Land.