“I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it” (Psalm 81:10).
This verse has often been used wrongly by preachers of the gospel to justify a lack of sermon preparation — as in, all they have to do is open their mouths and the Lord will give them a message. The true meaning, however, is that if God’s people come to Him with great petitions, He will grant them.
The God of past mercy, “which brought thee out of the land of Egypt,” expects present petitions, “open thy mouth wide,” and promise future blessings, “I will fill it.”
In Charles H. Spurgeon’s excellent work on the Psalms, The Treasury of David, we find this explanation of the above verse:
The custom is said still to exist in Persia that when the king wishes to do a visitor, an ambassador for instance, especial honour, he desires him to open his mouth wide; and the king then crams it as full of sweetmeats as it will hold; and sometimes even with jewels. Curious as this custom is, it is doubtless referred to in Psalm lxxxi.10: “Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it;” not with baubles of jewels, but with far richer treasure. (The Treasury of David, Volume 2, page 406).
The story is told of a small boy who came to a feeding center where the children were each given a cup of soup. This child, however, came bringing a small pail that held at least a half gallon! His bold asking touched the heart of those dispensing the food, so that he went away with twice as much as anyone else! Oh, that we might approach the throne of grace in such fashion!
There is an important, balancing truth we need to understand regarding prayer, and it is found in the practical book of James. “…ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:2b-3).
Did you notice the two problems we have as believers? They are: (1) a lack of prayer and (2) praying with the wrong motive. We will not receive what God has for us if we do not ask OR if we ask with selfish motives. But I fear that we so often fail to receive simply because we don’t ask, especially for big things! Perhaps we need to pray, as did the apostles, “Lord, Increase our faith” (Luke 17:5).
Somewhere along the way, I remember reading the following little poem, which seems very appropriate here:
“We are coming to a King,
Great petitions let us bring;
For His love and power are such
That we never can ask too much!”
“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 33:3).
Beloved, let us not be afraid to ask our all-powerful God for those great and mighty things!