New American Standard Bible
"Oh that My people would listen to Me, That Israel would walk in My ways!
King James Bible
Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!
Darby Bible Translation
Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, that Israel had walked in my ways!
World English Bible
Oh that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways!
Young's Literal Translation
O that My people were hearkening to Me, Israel in My ways would walk.
Psalm 81:13 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Oh that my people had hearkened unto me - This passage is designed mainly to show what would have been the consequences if the Hebrew people had been obedient to the commands of God, Psalm 81:14-16. At the same time, however, it expresses what was the earnest desire - the wish - the preference of God, namely, that they had been obedient, and had enjoyed his favor. This is in accordance with all the statements, all the commands, all the invitations, all the warnings, in the Bible. In the entire volume of inspiration there is not one command addressed to people to walk in the ways of sin; there is not one statement that God desires they should do it; there is not one intimation that he wishes the death of the sinner. The contrary is implied in all the declarations which God has made - in all his commands, warnings, and invitations - in all his arrangements for the salvation of people. See Deuteronomy 5:29; Deuteronomy 32:29-30; Isaiah 48:18; Ezekiel 18:23, Ezekiel 18:32; Ezekiel 33:11; 2 Peter 3:9; Luke 19:42.
And Israel had walked in my ways! - Had kept my commandments; had been obedient to my laws. When people, therefore, do not walk in the ways of God it is impossible that they should take refuge, as an excuse for it, in the plea that God desires this, or that he commands it, or that he is pleased with it, or that he approves it. There is no possible sense in which this can be true; in every sense, and on every account, he prefers that people should be obedient, and not disobedient; good, and not bad; happy, and not miserable; saved, and not lost. Every doctrine of theology should be held and interpreted in consistency with this as a fundamental truth. That there are things which are difficult to be explained on the supposition that this is true, must be admitted; but what truth is there in reference to which there are not difficulties to be explained? And is there anything in this, or in any of the truths of the Bible, which more demands explanation than the facts which are actually occurring under the government of God: the fact that sin and misery have been allowed to come into the universe; the fact that multitudes constantly suffer whom God could at once relieve?
LibraryHow Christ is the Way in General, "I am the Way. "
We come now to speak more particularly to the words; and, first, Of his being a way. Our design being to point at the way of use-making of Christ in all our necessities, straits, and difficulties which are in our way to heaven; and particularly to point out the way how believers should make use of Christ in all their particular exigencies; and so live by faith in him, walk in him, grow up in him, advance and march forward toward glory in him. It will not be amiss to speak of this fulness of Christ …
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life
The Fifth Day in Passion-Week - Make Ready the Passover!'
'Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!
"Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you; O Israel, if you would listen to Me!
A Song of Ascents. How blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways.
Who gave Jacob up for spoil, and Israel to plunderers? Was it not the LORD, against whom we have sinned, And in whose ways they were not willing to walk, And whose law they did not obey?
"If only you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your well-being would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
"But this is what I commanded them, saying, 'Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.'
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