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Friday, July 29, 2016

Hungry For God (Psalm 81:10-16)

"I am the LORD your God,who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it. "But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you."

Recently as I mowed my yard I bumped a tree limb and knocked two featherless baby birds out of their nest onto the ground. I placed a broken limb over them to protect them while their mother fluttered and chirped about in panic. During the following days I watched their mother fetch worms, keep them warm, and generally hover nearby at all times. Their open mouths demonstrated their dependence upon the care of their mother and she did not disappoint them.

God brought the children of Israel up out of Egypt and would have fed them with the finest of wheat. Just as the birds' parents hovered over the baby birds anticipating their every need, so the LORD would have hovered over Israel to satisfied them. Did they rely upon Him in their hunger? No, their appetites and stubborn resistance led them elsewhere for fulfillment, to foreign gods.

We enter this world hungry. Hungry for God. Most people misunderstand their hunger and look to human relationships, hobbies, vacations, the accumulation of things, etc., to fill the place left empty by the Fall. "Open wide your mouth and I will fill it," says the LORD. We are as dependent upon the care and provision of the LORD just as those baby birds were upon their mother. Americans celebrate independence. Yet, like Israel, independence is the very thing that keeps us from crying out to God. In her proud independence Israel refused to come with an open mouth to the LORD.

If only we would recognize our absolute dependency upon Him! We must cry out to the LORD like the Psalmist, "Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon the earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" (Psalm 73:25-26).

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Psalm 81:1-16
  • Read Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 10:10. When was the blowing of the trumpets established and what purpose did they serve?
  • What does Josiah's leading the people in this celebration tell you about Josiah and his knowledge of the Book of the Law?
  • What event does the Psalmist use or remind the people of in order to turn their hearts back to God?
  • How is the heart of God for His people revealed in this Psalm?
Jeremiah 47:1-48:47
  • Who does the LORD raise up to destroy the Philistines?
  • What does this tell you about the LORD?
  • Why does the LORD pronounce judgment against Moab?
  • What does this tell you about wicked nations?
2 Kings 23:29-30; 2 Chronicles 35:20-36:1
  • Why does Josiah engage in battle against Egypt?
  • Why do you think Josiah refused to withdraw from the battle with Egypt?
  • Why do people enter into battles that aren't really theirs to fight?
  • What did he think he would be able to do to protect himself in battle?
  • Describe Jeremiah's relationship with Josiah.
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the LORD to reveal the things you turn to when filling the empty places of your life. Ask Him to make you more aware of your total dependence upon Him.