"Open wide your mouth and I will fill it." (Psalm 81:10) This is the Scripture that came to my mind as I looked at a video posted by Franklin Graham, leader of Samaritan's Purse. Every summer this organization invites wounded veterans and their spouses to a three-week stay at their camp in Alaska. It is a time for these vets to enjoy the majestic surroundings of Alaska, heal from pain and trauma of their past, and draw closer to God. One of the groups of vets came across a wide, fast-moving stream with a bear stationed right in the middle of it. A multitude of salmon were jumping up stream. As the bear opened his mouth a fish jumped right into it.
Let's look at the context of Verse 10 in Psalm 81, a poetic Psalm written by Asaph. There seems to be four streams of thought in this Psalm. It begins with a note of celebration. I like the way The Passion Translation describes what is happening: "Lord, just singing about you makes me strong! So, I'll keep shouting for joy to Jacob's God, my champion. Let the celebration begin...Blow the jubilee trumpet to begin the feast...For God has given us these seasons of joy." (Psalm 81:1-4)
Next, the Psalm reminds God's people of what He has done: "He has given these feasts to remind us of His triumph over Egypt." (Verse 5 - TPT) God says through the Psalmist, "You called to me in your trouble and I rescued you...I came down to save you." (Verse 7 - TPT) Then comes a warning from God interspersed with instructions and promises. "Hear, O my people, and I will warn you--if you would but listen to me, O Israel! You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not bow down to an alien god. I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it." (Verse 8-10 - NIV)
The problem that the Lord presents next is that his people were not listening to Him or following His ways. They were being put down by their enemies because they had not followed the ways of the Lord. God was telling His people that if they would obey Him, their enemies would be subdued, and they would be rewarded. The last verse of Psalm 81 says, "But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you." (Verse 16 - NIV) Now let's look at Verse 16 in The Passion Translation: "But I will feed you with my spiritual bread. You will feast and be satisfied with me, feeding on my revelation--truth like honey dripping from the cliffs of the high places."
The interpretation of Verse 10, "Open wide your mouth and I will fill it," is further explained in Verse 16. It is interesting to note that the New International Version seems to have a physical bent, while The Passion Translation has a spiritual one. The Lord is a god of more! He wants to fill us with riches from heaven that come in the form of physical needs (e.g. wheat and honey) and spiritual truth that builds us up and gives us the strength we need to overcome, and the desire to worship the Lord as described at the beginning of this Psalm.
What is required of us? Listen to the Lord. Have no other gods before Him. Follow His ways. Then, we must station ourselves in the strategic place of worship and wait for our mouths to be filled with delicacies from heaven.
Joan E. Mathias