Like an old, familiar friend it jumps off the page this morning. That’s the beauty of God’s enabling to read through the Bible each year — you’re never more than 365 days away from old friends. From familiar passages made familiar again. From truths, subject to fading memory, brought back into focus. From admonitions which have a way of keeping things on track. From encouragement desperately needed to stay in the game and keep running the race. From life-giving promises connecting you anew to the life-giving Promise Giver.
Like encountering an old friend, a promise and I pick up from where we left off last year. No small talk. Just getting down to the heart of things. My soul revived as my lack of faith is rebuked. My weakness shored up by His power. Experiencing a peace that passes understanding because of a God who continually makes Himself known. Lips, naturally pursed because of life’s stresses, supernaturally loosened as they give way to a mouth wide open.
I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.
(Psalm 81:10 ESV)
The songwriter had just warned his listeners about looking for love in all the wrong places (81:8-9). He had admonished God’s people to keep their distance from “strange gods”; to beware of bowing down to “foreign gods.” Whatever itch they thought they had that only idols could scratch was a lie. A gaze-averting, life-draining, soul-starving lie.
The God of their deliverance from slavery was the God who could amply supply all their needs. The God who had shown His might by breaking the chains of bondage was the God who had the power to deliver water from the rock and bread from heaven. The God who promised to bring them into a land flowing with milk and honey was the God who also promised to sustain them as they sojourned in the desert.
All that they needed to bring to the table was a mouth wide open.
Their head’s tilted toward heaven, directed to things above and not things of this earth. Their gazed fixed on the Sovereign who is seen only with the eye of faith, fully convinced that God is able to do what He has promised. Their pursed lips loosening as a belief response to the reminder that if God is for us, who, or what, can be against us? Their mouths coming wide open knowing again that if the God who did not spare His own Son gave His own Son up for us all, “how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32).
Read that again: He is ready to “graciously give us all things!” Believe it again! And assume the position. Mouths wide open!
No one can fill us like the Father. Nothing satisfies like the Savior. No spring quenches the thirst like the Spirit.
Ours is to stop looking for love in all the wrong places. To stop seeking our identity and our satisfaction in inanimate idols. To stop desiring bread that can never fill us and stop drinking from fountains that will always end up creating more thirst.
Instead, we need to sit down with old friends, like this promise, and believe. And then receive . . . with mouths wide open.
By His grace. For His glory.