Verse 10. I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt. Thus did Jehovah usually introduce himself to his people. The great deliverance out of Egypt was that claim upon his people's allegiance which he most usually pleaded. If ever people were morally bound to their God, certainly Israel was a thousand times pledged unto Jehovah, by his marvellous deeds on their behalf in connection with the Exodus.
Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. Because he had brought them out of Egypt he could do great things for them. He had proved his power and his good will; it remained only for his people to believe in him and ask large things of him. If their expectations were enlarged to the utmost degree, they could not exceed the bounty of the Lord. Little birds in the nest open their mouths widely enough, and perhaps the parent birds fail to fill them, but it will never be so with our God. His treasures of grace are inexhaustible,
"Deep as our helpless miseries are,
And boundless as our sins."
The Lord began with his chosen nation upon a great scale, doing great wonders for them, and offering them vast returns for their faith and love, if they would but be faithful to him. Sad, indeed, was the result of this grand experiment.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 10. Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. Surely this teaches us, that the greater and more valuable the blessings are which we implore from the divine beneficence, the more sure shall we be to receive them in answer to prayer ... But, though men are to be blamed, that they so seldom acknowledge God in any thing, yet they are still more to be blamed, that they seek not from him the chief good. Men may, however, possibly cry to God for inferior things, and apply in vain. Even good men may ask for temporal blessings, and not receive them; because the things we suppose good, may not be good, or not good for us, or not good for us at present. But none shall seek God for the best of blessings in vain. If we ask enough, we shall have it. While the worldling drinks in happiness, if it will bear the name, with the mouth of an insect, the Christian imbibes bliss with the mouth of an angel. His pleasures are the same in kind, with the pleasure of the infinitely happy God. John Ryland.
Verse 10. Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. You may easily over expect the creature, but you cannot over expect God: "Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it;" widen and dilate the desires and expectations of your souls, and God is able to fill every chink to the vastest capacity. This honours God, when we greaten our expectations upon him, it is a sanctifying of God in our hearts. Thomas Case (1598- 1682), in "Morning Exercises."
Verse 10. Open thy mouth wide. This implies,
- Warmth and fervency in prayer. To open the mouth is in effect to open the heart, that it may be both engaged and enlarged... We may be said to open our mouths wide when our affections are quick and lively, and there is a correspondence between the feelings of the heart and the request of the lips; or when we really pray, and not merely seem to do so. This is strongly and beautifully expressed in Psalms 119:131 : I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments.
- It implies a holy fluency and copiousness of expression, so as to order our cause before him, and fill our mouths with arguments. When the good man gets near to God, he has much business to transact with him, many complaints to make, and many blessings to implore; and, as such seasons do not frequently occur, he's the more careful to improve them. He then pours out his whole soul, and is at no loss for words; for when the heart is full, the tongue overflows. Sorrow and distress will even make those eloquent who are naturally slow of speech.
- Enlarged hope and expectation. We may be too irreverent in our approaches to God, and too peremptory in our application; but if the matter and manner of our prayer be right, we cannot be too confident in our expectations from him... Open thy mouth wide then, O Christian; stretch out thy desires to the uttermost, grasp heaven and earth in thy boundless wishes, and believe there is enough in God to afford the full satisfaction. Not only come, but come with boldness to the throne of grace: it is erected for sinners, even the chief of sinners. Come to it then, and wait at it, till you obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Those who expect most from God are likely to receive the most. The desire of the righteous, let it be ever so extensive, shall be granted. Benjamin Beddome.
Verse 10. I will fill it. Consider the import of the promise: Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. "Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find." Particularly,
- If we open our mouths to God in prayer, he will fill them more and more with suitable petitions and arguments. When we attempt to open the mouth, God will open it still wider. Thus he dealt with Abraham when he interceded for Sodom; the longer he prayed, the more submissive and yet the more importunate he became. By praying we increase our ability to pray, and find a greater facility in the duty. "To him that hath shall be given, and he shall have more abundantly."
- God will fill the mouth with abundant thanksgivings. Many of David's psalms begin with prayer, and end with the most animated praises. No mercies so dispose to thankfulness as those which are received in answer to prayer; for according to the degree of desire will be the sweetness of fruition...
- We shall be filled with those blessings we pray for, if they are calculated to promote our real good and the glory of God. Do we desire fresh communications of grace, and manifestations of divine love; a renewed sense of pardoning mercy, and an application of the blood of Christ? Do we want holiness, peace, and assurance? Do we want to hear from God, to see him, and be like him? The promise is, My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus, Philippians 4:19 . You shall have what you desire, and be satisfied: it shall be enough, and you shall think it so. "The Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly." Benjamin Beddome.
Verse 10. 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 Psalms 81:10 : Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it; not with baubles of jewels, but with far richer treasure. John Gadsby.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 8-10. See Psalms on "Psalms 81:8" for further information.
- Emptiness supposed in poor sinners: they have lost God.
- A fill proposed and offered to empty sinners. This is a soul fill; a filling with all the fulness of God.
- The party communicating this soul fill to the sinner: I, more generally, I the Lord, in opposition to strange gods.
- The sinner's duty in order to this communication: Open thy mouth wide. Thomas Boston.
- The God of past mercy: which brought thee out of
- Expects present petitions: Open thy mouth wide.
- Promises future good: I will fill it.