Psalm 81:1-16 A Song Of Zion By Asaph
Psalm 81:1-16 Open Your Big Mouth
I used to have a dentist in Newark, New Jersey. Every time he examined me, he would begin with, “Open your big mouth, I mean, open your mouth big . . . .” Every time. It was funny every time. Here the psalmist is not being funny. He is exhorting Israel to open her big mouth and have it be filled by the Lord (v. 10). We should do the same and it shouldn’t be like pulling teeth.
Asaph starts on a happy note. He tells Israel to sing a song to the God who had been so good to their ancestor Jacob (v. 1). They could use a variety of instruments, percussion like tambourines, stringed instruments like harps, and brass, like trumpets (vv. 2-3). Any instrument can be used to praise the Lord!
The feast in view in verses 3-5 is most likely the Feast of Tabernacles (cf. Lev. 23:34-43). It lasted a week during which time the Jews all lived in booths, huts made with boughs (cf. Neh. 8:14-18). It was a celebration of the autumn harvest of fruits and olives (cf. Ryrie). It prefigured the rule of the Messiah in the thousand-year kingdom, the Millennium (cf. Zech. 14:16). (It is probably what Peter had in mind when he offered to set up a booth for the Lord in Matt. 17:4. He thought Jesus had brought him and John into His kingdom.) It had been established along with the Feast of Passover and Feast of Weeks after the Israelites had been rescued from Egypt (v. 5, cf. Deut. 16:16). It was when they had heard God’s voice for the first time after their liberation.
They were to celebrate that God had relieved their burden of slavery (vv. 6-7). God’s voice exhorted them to put away false gods (vv. 8-10). He was the One Who wanted to bless them. He would give them an enormous bounty if they would just open their mouths big (v. 10c).
God will fill us if we will let Him. But He will fill us with what He wants not what we want (cf. John 7:17). The result will be an abundant life (cf. John 10:10). We may want a Lamborghini and a mansion the size of the Vanderbilt’s. God gives us spiritual blessings like His Word, His voice, and a character like Christ’s. Which would you rather have? Which has everlasting value?
Israel didn’t want what God wanted (v. 11). So Yahweh let them have what they wanted (v. 12). It broke God’s heart (v. 13, cf. Matt. 23:37 ). Yahweh wanted to conquer Israel’s enemies forcing them to pay obeisance to them (vv. 14-15). God wanted to give them the finest of everything materially as well as spiritually (v. 16).
This prayer will be fulfilled when Christ reigns as King in the Millennium. Are you hoping the right person will be elected and bring prosperity to our nation? Utopia will not arrive on earth until the Messiah brings it in the Thousand Year Kingdom (cf. Rev. 20:4).
Proverbs 13:1 A Wise Guy
I’m from New Jersey. Therefore, I am naturally a wise guy. But if you really want to be wise, you will accept your Father’s correction. If you are younger, you will listen to your Dad. Most likely, he loves you and wants the best for you. More than that, you have a Heavenly Father who cares for you even more than your own earthly father (cf. Heb. 12:5-10). We need to know His Word and listen to whatever He says.
An idiot, by contrast, doesn’t listen to anybody.