No one is listening (Ps 81:11-81:16)

“‘But my people did not listen to my voice.

Israel would not submit to me.

So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts.

They followed their own counsels.

O that my people would listen to me!

O that Israel would walk in my ways!

Then I would quickly subdue their enemies.

I would turn my hand against their foes.

Those who hate Yahweh

Would cringe toward him.

Their fate would last forever.

I would feed you with the finest of the wheat.

I would feed you with honey from the rock.

I would satisfy you.’”

This psalm ends with the Temple prophet speaking in the name of Yahweh. They would not listen to the voice of Yahweh. Israel did not submit to Yahweh because of their stubborn hearts. They followed their own counsel. They would not listen to Yahweh and walk in his ways. If they had, Yahweh could have quickly subdued their enemies. He would have turned against their foes. Those who hated Yahweh would cringe. Yahweh would have feed them with the finest wheat and honey that would have satisfied them.

Public worship (Ps 66:1-66:4)

To the choirmaster leader, a song, a psalm

”Make a joyful noise to God!

All the earth!

Sing the glory of his name!

Give glorious praise to him!

Say to God.

‘How awesome are your deeds!

Because of your great power

Your enemies cringe before you.

All the earth worships you.

They sing praises to you.

They sing praises to your name.’”

Selah

Psalm 66 is a public worship thanksgiving song and psalm with a choral leader. It has a strong communitarian rather than individualistic tone. In fact, it is almost cosmic with all the earth asked to chime in with a joyful noise to God. They were to sing glory to his name. God’s deeds were awesome. He had such great power that his enemies would cringe. The whole earth worshipped God. They sang praises to him and his name. This section concludes with a musical interlude meditative pause, the Selah.