Have you ever missed a great opportunity? I think everyone has at some time or another. However, the greatest opportunities missed are often in the spiritual realm. God desires to fill our mouth with spiritual blessings, but often finds us with mouths shut unable to receive them.
We see this great tragedy in Psalm 81 as God deals with His chosen people- Israel. In this Psalm, the Psalmist reminds the people of God of the Divine deliverance that they have seen time and time again. It was God who was their strength in the midst of their weakness (v. 1). It was God who was their deliverer in the midst of their troubles (v. 7). It was God who trained them and provided for them in the midst of their complaining (v. 7). It was God who liberated them when they were in bondage to the Egyptians (v. 10). In light of God’s faithfulness to His people, God reminded them that they were to put away all “strange gods” (v. 9). No other “god” had done anything for these people. Only the Lord God was worthy to be honored and praised. God made a promise to His people in verse 10- “…open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” God desired to bless them greatly. God desired to provide for them faithfully. God said that He would provide if only they would open wide their mouth. If they would in faith open their mouth wide in anticipation of His provision, He would provide and fill. “…God’s bestowals are practically measured by men’s capacity and desire. The ultimate limit of them is His own limitless grace; but the working limit in each individual is the individual’s capacity” (Maclaren). The limitation of God’s rich blessing is not God’s ability or desire but is our own unbelief and misdirected desire. How often we go to the well of the world with our mouths wide open seeking to fill it with pleasure, popularity, wealth, or self-seeking.
The great tragedy of the Israelite people was their opportunity to receive God’s rich blessing, yet their refusal to receive it. God told them to open wide their mouth and He would fill it but “…my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me” (v. 11). God was willing and ready but the rebellious Israelites rejected all the God had done for them and all that He would have done for them. God’s judgement was to leave them alone in their own stubbornness- “So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust…” (v. 12). If they would have listened to God, He would have “…subdued their enemies…fed them with the finest of wheat…and…satisfied” them (v. 14-16). This is the tragedy of missed opportunities and unclaimed blessings.
Let us learn from the Israelite’s example. God desires to satisfy us with His presence, feed us His Word, and provide us with His blessing. Let us open wide our mouth and receive!