Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Open Wide!

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

I read this verse today and thought of mornings long ago when our boys were very small and we spoon fed them. (Failing that, though each child tried very hard to get the meal into his mouth, most of it wound up smeared all over his face, in his hair, in his ears, on his tray, on the floor or all over us.) Here, I picture God picking up a spoon and saying, "Here comes the little train down the little track; Choo. Choo. Choo. Open wide."

If first two lines of the verse sound familiar it's because they're a direct quote from the preamble to the Ten Commandments: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt..." The commandments follow: "Thou shalt not; thou shalt not; thou not..." (Exodus 20:2). 

Here in this psalm, however, where we expect to find another set of rules, God makes this offer: “Open your mouth wide and I will fill it."

Israel's history, like mine, is a tale of underachievement, yet God does not call for greater effort. He rather asks us to lay our "doing" down, open our hearts wide and receive what He longs to give us.

Trying to keep a bunch of rules and make ourselves better is a losing cause. I know because I tried it for years. God alone is the source of goodness for God alone is good. We must ask for his righteousness and keep on asking. "Ask and it will be given to you" Jesus said (Matthew 7:7). It's a promise. 

Long, long ago, on the cross, Jesus did away with our wrong-doing. Now He lives to make us good children. If we "open our mouths wide" He will, in His time, fill us with love, joy, peace, patience, and all the virtues we admire in Jesus and seek for ourselves. He will feed us with the "finest of wheat," and satisfy us with "honey from the rock" (Psalm 81:16). 

Cream of wheat and honey. YUM. Open wide!

Weary, working, burdened one,
Wherefore toil you so?
Cease your doing; all was done
Long, long ago.

—James Proctor

David Roper

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