Depending on God; November 11, 2017

Psalm 81:10 I am the Lord your God,
who brought you up out of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.

This is the simplest of interactions, bringing to mind baby birds in a nest, opening their mouths when a parent shows up. God is here reminding the children of Abraham just who He is, and telling them to act accordingly. Since we are children of Abraham by faith, (Romans 4:16) it applies to us as well. Talking about leading them out of Egypt is shorthand for all the demonstrations of power that happened, from the point Moses showed up in Pharaoh’s court until Joshua led them across the Jordan. Taken together, all of that should be enough to convince anyone that God is both holy and loving, and absolutely powerful. The contrast with us is even greater than the contrast between a fledgling and an adult bird. The events of the Exodus should make it clear that we are responsible to follow God’s rules, but they should also be a clear illustration that God can and will provide for us when we cannot. That’s where the image of the little birds with moths agape comes in. I just noticed that word is spelled the same as the Greek word for God’s unconditional love. We can’t generate that love on our own, any more than newly hatched birds can find their own food, but we can receive it from Father God and let it operate in and through us. That too is something we can’t take pride it but should be extremely grateful for.

Like most of us, and particularly like most men, I like to be able to take pride in something I’ve accomplished. I’ve had to learn over the years the futility, even danger, of that attitude. Any time I think I can do something on my own, I make a mess of it. As Jesus said flat out, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) I am certainly no more capable of independent living that a newly hatched bird. However, I have also learned that God is big enough and powerful and loving enough to use even such a weak and helpless one as I am to do His work. That’s certainly miraculous, and it’s also incredibly good news. For my part, I need to stay aware of God at all times and seek to stay open – mouth, arms, everything – to Him. He has both filled me with His provision and placed His words in my mouth for me to speak. I am no more worthy of that than a beggar is worthy to be a king, so my response must be grateful obedience. When I manage to live like that, everyone benefits and God is glorified.

Father, thank You for the many word pictures in the Bible to help us grasp more of Your truth. Help me indeed express Your truth in Your words, so that Your Word through me may accomplish everything for which You send it, (Isaiah 55:10-11) for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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1 Response to Depending on God; November 11, 2017

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