Honey from A Rock, Part 1

Psalms 81:13, 16

Oh, that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways! I would quickly subdue their enemies and turn My hand against their adversaries…But I would feed you with the finest of the wheat and with honey from the rock I would satisfy.

During this holiday season, I’m going to review and revise some of my posts from the past from the book of Psalms.


Let the Good Times Roll! 

This is a Psalm that projects God in the first person speaking to Israel. God’s main point in this brief motivational message is:  Folks, you all have no idea the fullness of blessings that will come to you if you will just LISTEN AND OBEY! 

In my youth, we would often sing a hymn in church with the following words: 

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, what glory He sheds on our way!

While we do His good will, He abides with us still, and with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and Obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to Trust and Obey.

God begins this Psalm by recounting all the wonderful things He has done for Israel in the past. Then he drops in a great big BUT! Everything is wonderful until God says, BUT! He changes the mood with one key word. B-U-T.  

Verse 11 says, But my people did not listen to my voice and Israel did not obey Me.  

Boom! There it is. They did not listen and obey.  


It’s not that complicated 

Attaining the blessings of God and thus, being happy is not that complicated. Why do we make it so hard? God tells us to listen, surrender and obey! 

When the Israelites didn’t listen to God (and when we don’t) the results are completely predictable. God always does the same thing. I’ve sadly witnessed it in the lives of people I know. I’ve seen it over and over in the narratives of the Old Testament. 

Verse 12 tells us what happens when we DON’T listen, surrender and obey. God said: 

“So, I gave them over to the stubbornness of their own heart, to walk in their own devices.”  


On Our Own

I’ve lived as a Christian for over 50 years now and I can tell you from experience, you don’t want to be ‘on your own’ in this world. You don’t want God to allow you to do your own thing. He doesn’t completely remove His hand from you but He allows you go your own way.  


It sounds liberating but it’s not. Not at all. 

When we DON’T listen and obey, we are actually telling God to leave us alone and let us do our own thing in our own way. And you know what? God does exactly that. He lets us walk in our own devices. Been there, done that. 

We can all reflect and tell stories of this pattern of pushing God away. Usually, the painful consequences begin small and if we’re smart, we come to our senses and surrender to God. But if we don’t, the consequences intensify as time goes on. Instead of surrendering, we sometimes continue to follow our own selfish pursuits. The inevitable results of running from God are relational pain, financial pain, distrust, anxiety, failing health, sometimes disease. Everything you touch turns to dust. The intensity of our problems increases like birth pangs. 

I met a man recently and as we spoke, we discovered we shared a common love for the Lord. But he also let me know that several years back he had wandered from God and was doing his own thing. Then, he said, one of the best days of his life happened. He called it a Hebrews 12:6 moment when God pushed his face into the concrete.  

Hebrews 12.6 says, for those whom the Lord loves, He disciplines. 

He had a bad motorcycle accident. It was extremely painful, as you can imagine. But looking back, he considers it one of the best things that ever happened to him. The pain drove him back to God. He is now listening and obeying God. Joy and purpose have returned to his life.  

God responds to Israel’s disobedience with a fervent calling in this Psalm. In verse 13 He says;  


“Oh, that My people would LISTEN to Me, that Israel would WALK in my ways.”  

We are going to continue in this Psalm next time. Today we are considering what happens when we DON’T listen and obey. Next time, we’ll discuss the amazing, over-the-top blessings that God will quickly give us when we turn to Him and surrender. 


Father, none of us want to have a Hebrews 12:6 moment. Your discipline seems painful when it is happening but deep down, we know if comes to us out of love. The purpose of Your discipline is to bring us back to You, and into the safety and security of your strong hand. We don’t want to follow our own path; we don’t want to be the captain of our own ship; we don’t want to be master of our own life. We want You! We want You to lead us, guide us and bless us. Lord, be our God and we shall be Your people; listening and obeying You. Amen!