READ Psalm 81:5–10.
5 When God went out against Egypt, he established it as a statute for Joseph. I heard an unknown voice say: 6 “I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket. 7 In your distress you called and I rescued you, I answered you out of a thundercloud; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. 8 “Hear me, my people, and I will warn you—if you would only listen to me, Israel! 9 You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not worship any god other than me. 10 I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.
THE JOY OF OBEDIENCE.
Verses 8–10 echo Exodus 20:2: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt.” Immediately after saying these words in Exodus 20:2, God gives the Ten Commandments—do not worship other Gods, do not kill, do not bear false witness (Exodus 20:2–17). Yet here, just where we expect him to list his commands, God makes a sheer promise: “Open wide your mouth and I will fill it” (verse 10). God’s laws are not merely onerous busywork. They are for our good, that we may prosper (Deuteronomy 6:24); they reflect consummate wisdom; they help us live in such a way that fulfills our designed nature. This text means that the ultimate purpose of obedience is joy, the fulfillment of knowing the God you were built to love.
Lord, I praise you for your holy law. Because I am saved by Jesus’s work, it is no way of salvation for me, but it is a rule of life. Indeed, the more I obey it, the more spiritually alive I become, the more I become the self you made me to be. Help me obey you more and more. Amen.