My husband says I have this uncanny ability to turn leisure into work. I begin a project solely for the enjoyment of it, but then the fun quickly fades in the shadow of my obsession and haste for the finished product. Can you relate? I think I can probably blame some of it on my personality. But, to a certain extent, it’s human nature to take the good gifts of God and twist them into something not so good, isn’t it?
When God rescued His people from slavery in Egypt, He “removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free…” (Psalm 81:6). Then He brought them to Mount Sinai and gave them a beautiful gift — He gave them His law, a law that showed them how free people live! But in their hardness of heart, they bent it from a blessing into a burden for themselves. They just couldn’t seem to make the leap from slavery to sonship. They twisted God’s word to them into a heavy load to bear and fashioned it into a noose around their necks, something it was never meant to be.
Over and over again, the Lord said, “Hear me, my people…if you would only listen to me…I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it. But my people would not listen to me…would not submit to me” (Psalm 81:8-11).
Their posture as a freed people should have been one of submission, one of wide openness to the ways and the word of God, one of knowing God as the satisfaction of their deepest desires and the fulfillment of their every need. But they wouldn’t listen. They wouldn’t submit. They wouldn’t follow. And sadly, God “gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices” (Psalm 81:12). They twisted His words of life into a heavy yoke, only to look for clever loopholes to slide out from underneath their man-made burden. They couldn’t seem to leave that slavery mindset behind.
If only they had humbled themselves and trusted God with childlike faith, how quickly He would have subdued their enemies and turned His hand against their foes! He said so (Psalm 81:14). And that’s not all. He said:
…you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.Psalm 81:16
But clenched jaws and clenched fists can’t receive such gifts. What “enemies” am I busy battling in my own strength? What plans am I busy making that are only going to end up as a heavy burden for me to bear? I’m reminding myself today to release, to relax, to move from slavery to sonship. Open your hands, Erin. Open wide your mouth. Open your heart to the One who has good gifts, an easy yoke, and a light burden for you…the One who offers to carry all your cares because He cares for you. Teach me, Lord. Lead me. Satisfy me. You are enough! You are more than enough!!