When I was reading Psalm 81 recently, the above verse stood out to me. Why would God talk about satisfying us by bringing honey from the rock? No-one would ever think of honey coming from a rock – it’s unimaginable and naturally impossible. But, as the angel Gabriel said to Mary, “Nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). He can surprise us by doing something amazing, something seemingly impossible which we couldn’t ever imagine in the difficult situation we find ourselves in.
It’s like bringing honey from the rock. He is able to work for our good, often in totally unexpected ways.
I decided to see what Matthew Henry, my favourite commentator, had to say about this verse. This is what he wrote: ‘What is our duty? To raise our expectations from God and to enlarge our desires towards Him. We cannot look for too little from the creature nor too much from the Creator … Nothing should be thought too good, too much to give us if we would but keep close to God’.
Matthew Henry is pointing out a very important truth here, that although it may be that there is nothing we can do to actually change the situation, there is one thing we can and must do at such times, and that is to look to God, to consciously focus our spiritual eyes on Him with expectation and faith that our help will come from Him as His Word promises (Psalm 46:1).
In this psalm, God is lamenting the fact that, in their times of hardship, His people do not turn to Him - ‘if you would but listen to Me, O Israel’ (verse 8). ‘If my people would but listen to Me, if Israel would follow My ways, how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn My hand against their foes!’(verse 13–14). He wants them to look to Him and open their mouths wide in full expectation of being fed by Him (verse 10). If only they would do this, He would satisfy them, for He does not disappoint those who put their hope in Him (Isaiah 49:23). Out of the rock, that hard place in our lives, God can bring something sweet that will nourish us, as only He can.
I’m reminded also of 1 Corinthians 10:3-4, where Paul is writing about how God led and fed His people when they were in the wilderness. He writes: ‘They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ’.
Christ, our Rock, accompanies us too through our wilderness experiences. Since He lives in us by His Holy Spirit, no-one is closer or more aware of our circumstances than He is, and no-one is more able to bring the help we need. He is all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful, ever present with us.
So whatever circumstance you may find yourself in today, choose to look to God in faith – listen to Him, follow His ways, and you can be sure that He will meet your needs with ‘honey from the rock.’
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