8 Hear me, my people, and I will warn you—
if you would only listen to me, Israel!
9 You shall have no foreign god among you;
you shall not worship any god other than me.
10 I am the Lord your God,
who brought you up out of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.
11 “But my people would not listen to me;
Israel would not submit to me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts
to follow their own devices.
13 “If my people would only listen to me,
if Israel would only follow my ways,
14 how quickly I would subdue their enemies
and turn my hand against their foes!
15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,
and their punishment would last forever.
16 But you would be fed with the finest of wheat;
with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.” Psalm 81:8-16
The Lord speaks to Israelites in verse 8, “Hear me, my people, and I will warn you – if you would only listen to me, O Israel!” God demands their diligent and serious attention.
Sometimes, there is a need to speak to our children in this same way, ‘if you would just listen to me, life would be better.’ That’s what God is doing here. He is saying, ‘you are my child, I bought you with a price, I am your Lord and your Redeemer, you’re not to have any foreign gods among you and you shall not bear down to an alien god for I am a jealous God. I am not jealous of you but for you. I redeemed you, not for some other little, pretend ‘g’od but unto Myself!
It remains true today, Jesus paid the price for our freedom. It was not so we could go around tasting, flirting and playing with the powerless, imitation ‘g’ods of power, position, money, drugs, alcohol, night life, and sex; or our emotions, bodies, clothes, vehicles, and houses nor our spouses, children, and self- the biggest ‘g’od of today.
The Lord warns, you’ve got a taste for a whole lot of things that can only give you temporary satisfaction but know that I, the God who bought you out of Egypt, out of sin and bondage, am the all-sufficient God and the only One who is able to keep you and satisfy you. But the Israelites would not listen (verse 11) no more than many today.
In verse 10, the Lord invites us, “open your mouth and I will fill it.” The picture here is a mother bird and her baby waiting with its mouth open wide. Only its mother knows what to put, how to put, when to put, how much to put in its mouth that it will have the strength it needs to grow, mature and fly. The Lord says, I wonderfully and fearfully created you and long to fill, nourish, and to satisfy you like no other can…stop chasting and tasting everything this world offers for I won’t share you – you are mine, I have summoned you by name (Isaiah 43)! Listen to Me, my child, I and I alone am your only true source, I Am that I Am, everything you need! Draw near to me and I will draw near to you. I’ll fill your cup until it overflows. Taste and see that I am good – the man who delights in me will lack no good thing.
I promise to satisfy your desires with good things (Psalm 103:5), satisfy you in the morning with My unfailing love, you will sing for joy and be glad all your days (Psalm 90:14), the man who hungers and thirsts (has a taste for) righteousness shall be filled (Matthew 5:6), satisfy the thirsty and fill the hungry with good things (Psalm 107:9), your soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods (Psalm 63:5). What a smorgasbord, a banquet!
Eat and declare with Jeremiah 15:16, “when Your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear Your Name O Lord God Almighty.” God is faithful; He speaks today and promises that if we will just open our mouths, our hearts – He will fill it! He is the only One who can truly fill us until we hunger and thirst no more.
He gives us the testimony of verse so we can see how the ungrateful hearts of the Israelites caused them to experience the justice of the Holy God as He “gave them over to follow their own devices.” I don’t know about you but just the thought of being left to my own devices causes my heart to flutter.
Now for the saved, we’re not talking about losing your salvation but we are speaking of a relationship where a person has chased after everything this world offers instead of a real, true, vibrant, intimate and personal relationship with the God who saved them. God says today, if you choose to flirt and play while in relationship with Me, but I warn you, it will only bring heartbreak, trouble, and discipline. He comes today to offer you the same Word of hope that He gave the Israelites in verse 13, “If My people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow my ways, how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn my hands against their foes.” He says, it’s not too late, if you would but listen now, if you would follow My ways, I would subdue your enemies and feed you “with the finest of wheat and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”
The Lord speaks, I want you to know that I sure do have a taste for you. In fact, I’m hungry for you, that’s why I gave my Son, my love, my desire for you is just that great. You see, before you were ever born, I knew you and loved you and I’ve been courting you all these days of your life because I desire intimacy with you. I know you have other lovers but if you will just repent of them, and put them behind you, I will forgive and forget – it will be as though they never were. I also know that you don’t have much to bring to this relationship but if you will just bring your love and your heart totally surrendered, I will do the rest. It’s time to stop tasting all those imitation ‘g’ods and allow me to fill you with Myself. I promise that when you do, you’ll be able to sing with joy to God your strength; you’ll understand that you’ve got something to shout about. O come on now, Taste and see that I am good; the man who trusts in Me will lack no good thing.