Deuteronomy opens with an story of rebellion against God that does not go well.
“But you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God, and you would not enter the land. You grumbled to one another: ‘The Lord hates us. He brought us out of Egypt just to hand us over to these Amorites, so that they could kill us. Why should we go there? We are afraid. The men we sent tell us that the people there are stronger and taller than we are, and that they live in cities with walls that reach the sky. They saw giants there!’
“But I told you, ‘Don’t be afraid of those people. The Lord your God will lead you, and he will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt and in the desert. You saw how he brought you safely all the way to this place, just as a father would carry his son.’ But in spite of what I said, you still would not trust the Lord, even though he always went ahead of you to find a place for you to camp. To show you the way, he went in front of you in a pillar of fire by night and in a pillar of cloud by day. – Deuteronomy 1:26-33 GNT
It is my reminder that God is affected by my rebellion and I double down in my prayer and pursuit of wholehearted devotion to Him. It is hard when those around me do to not have the same passion, but if I must do it as an individual, I must. By that I mean I want to be like Caleb. He had a different spirit that enabled him not to be scared. He believed in God and walked with God. That will not mean I am perfect or will not experience unbelief or rebellion – for I do – but it means my faith will prevail. My sins do not have the final word in my life as I persevere in my belief in God, the gospel and His Word. What it means is that I am not sitting back and relaxing and not praying – but rather engaged in persevering prayer and pursuing God.
The Psalmist called this one out himself.
I am the Lord your God,
who brought you out of Egypt.
Open your mouth, and I will feed you. – Psalm 81:10 GNT
What a promise to faithful people, who in faith, anticipate God’s provision. Of course, a closed mouth means they are not filled as there is no anticipation or faith.
“When the mother-bird brings food she never has to ask the little ones to open their mouths wide; her only difficulty is to fill the great width which they are quite sure to present to her: appetite and eagerness are never lacking, they are utterly insatiable…picture a nest of little birds reaching up their mouths, and all opening them as wide as they can.” – Spurgeon
What an encouragement for me to offer myself wide open to God in whatever I do. I cannot open myself any wider or deeper that God cannot fill me.
“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 expectation upon him; it is a sanctifying of God in our hearts.” – Case, cited in Spurgeon
I open my mouth wide when I understand the greatness of the God I pray to.
“That great saying teaches, too, that God’s bestowals are practically measured by men’s capacity and desire. The ultimate limit of them is His own limitless grace; but the working limit in each individual is the individual’s receptivity, of which his expectancy and desire are determining factors.” – Maclaren
I open my mouth wide when I pray on Jesus’ merits, not my own.
“Our cup is small, and we blame the fountain.” – Spurgeon
“Wisdom is knowledge with the knower left in; or better, it is knowledge with God left in. True knowledge begins and ends with God.” – Clowney