Open your mouth wide and I will fill it, says the LORD – written August 2009
Greetings. Do you like to join in and sing before the Lord. There is something uplifting about singing the songs of the Lord. This evening, the psalm we read begins with an instruction to sing loudly and joyfully together to the Lord God. Actually it is more than an instruction to sing. It it was a statute, a law of the God of Jacob. The God of Jacob is the same God we worship today. He is the creator of the heavens and the earth. To sing loudly and joyfully to God is easy when we want to but what about when things are not going well. This psalm does not present the command to sing as a choice. It is the law. It is commanded. How can this be? How can we be expected to sing loud and joyfully to God at all times?
We are told that this law was established or made when the LORD God brought the His people the Israelites out of Egypt. They had been slaves in Egypt and had been forced to work very hard and to carry baskets with heavy burdens. Likely, there was not a lot to be joyful about. In their trouble they cried out to the LORD their God and He answered them.
God proved that He is the all powerful one. Remember how the Egyptians did not want to let them go and worship God. So, God demonstrated His power over all things. God sent ten plagues on Egypt and He forced Pharaoh and the Egyptian slave drivers to let let His people, the Israelites go. He brought them out of the land of Egypt. Do you remember how God divided the red sea, making a path through the sea to let His people cross on dry ground? Do you remember how he let the water flow again so that the Egyptian army was drown in the sea? Yes, the LORD brought His people out of Egypt with a strong hand and an outstretched arm.
After this, God spoke to them from the secret place of thunder, from mount Sinai giving them the ten commandments. There the people saw a dark cloud, and heard thunderings and lightening. The LORD spoke. He gave them His ten words of the law, His commandments.
We can understand why being delivered from slavery in Egypt could command loud joyful songs of praise but what about God bringing the commandments, all those rules. How can this be a reason for loud joyful singing to God?
No sooner were they brought out of slavery in Egypt, then they started to complain against the LORD their God saying that it would have been better to be left in Egypt. What? Would it really be better to remain embittered slaves to the Egyptian taskmasters? If God had let the Israelites have their own way this is what they would have done. They would have gone back to Egypt. How often are we like this. When the LORD has delivered us from bondage to sin, we too often turn back to sinful ways.
When they complained, the Lord did not leave them. He bought them the commandments that it would go well with them. If they kept his commandments life would be blessed. Just before He spoke the commandments the LORD reminded them saying, I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt out of the house of bondage. He then gave them His law, instructing them how to live well. If all men keep these commandments, then we would live in freedom. The world would be free from sin, from murder, from adultery and from stealing.
In the psalm we read, the LORD said it this way. I am the LORD you God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, open your mouth wide and I will fill it.
It is the LORD’s desire that His law, His word fill us, as baby robin’s are filled by their mother when they open wide their mouths.
Today, the LORD delivers His people from being slaves to sin. Each of us know, if we are honest with ourselves, that we are, too often, draw to the ways of sin, to anger, to hatred, to bitterness, to lies, etc. Sin takes away real peace and joy. But the LORD God who is rich in mercy graciously sent His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ to bear the punishment we deserve for our sins by shedding His blood on the cross of calvary.
Christ has taken the full punishment that we deserve for out sins. He has brought us out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. This is reason enough to wholeheartedly and joyfully sing loud praises to the God of Jacob.
God has done even more than this. He has sent us the Holy Spirit at Pentecost who opens the eyes of those who believe in Jesus Christ. He opens our eyes to His word. His word includes the ten commandments and instructs us in how to grow in freedom from the bondage of sin. All we need to do is to open our mouths wide and the LORD our God will fill us with His word and lead us to Himself, to the place of all joy. All those who believe on the LORD Jesus Christ and open their mouths wide for the LORD to pour in His blessed word, the LORD will one day take to live with Him in the new heaven and the new earth, where no haters of God will be and where there will be no more sin, no more sickness and no more tears.
If you have this blessing, rejoice. If you desire this blessing, seek it and the Lord will free you from the bondage of sin through Jesus Christ and send the Holy Spirit to open your mouth.
May this be the way for each one of us. Let us, with joy, believe, more and more, on the LORD Jesus Christ and to, more and more, open our mouths wide to His word, to be led by it, to be filled with joy and to sing loudly.
Let us also beware that you do not refuse to follow the word of the Lord. For then you will be left to our own stubborn hearts. Then you will not be rewarded. Not because the Lord does not want to fill your wide open mouth – for He would have feed them with the finest floor – but because you refuse to open your heart to God.
So listen to the law of the Lord. Come to him with wide open hearts, as little robins do with wide open mouths, and be fed. Be filled and loudly sing! Make a joyful shout to God!
For those who are interested I have written a more extensive commentary on Psalm 81 which can be found at the following link – Commentary on Psalm 81 – by Greg Kenyon
For direct quotes from scripture I used
The New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.