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A Promise for the New Year - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
January 1, 2023 12:00 am

A Promise for the New Year - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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January 1, 2023 12:00 am

“I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it” (Psalm 81:10).

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The Baptist Bible Hour now comes to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bradley, Jr. O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise, the praise of my God and King, the triumph of his grace. This is LeSaire Bradley, Jr. inviting you to stay tuned for another message of God's sovereign grace. Over the past couple of years, we've tried to bring messages that would give comfort and hope in very difficult times. Now, on this first Sunday of the new year, we're bringing a message to give us positive anticipation of what great things can be accomplished when we earnestly seek our God, knowing that with him all things are possible.

I hope you will take time to write and let us know that you've listened today. Our address is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. Read to you verse 10 of Psalm 81. Psalm 81, verse 10.

I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt. Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. Maybe the picture is best formed in your mind of a nest of little birds with their mouths wide open, waiting for the mother bird to bring them a worm or some nourishment for which they are so anxiously awaiting. But the figure is used to represent for us something of our anticipation, our great expectation of the blessings and mercies of God. Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. First then, we would note that there is an admonition to open your mouth wide. You are admonished to look to the Lord, seek the Lord, expect from the Lord that he will meet your needs, bestow such mercies and blessings as will be necessary in your life. Let's look at Psalm 62. We note that there is encouragement as we admonish to open our mouths wide.

There is encouragement to do so. We are to have bright expectations first because of his promises as we see here in the fifth verse of Psalm 62. My soul, wait thou only upon God, for my expectation is from him. You know, it's possible to become so cynical that you have lost any bright expectation of unique and special blessings, of an outpouring of God's grace and mercy upon you, of his blessings upon his church and kingdom in this day. But this text says, my soul, wait only upon God, for my expectation is from him.

I don't think that it's vain to wait upon the Lord or to seek the Lord or to call upon the Lord because I'm expecting him to do something. He only is my rock and my salvation. He is my defense. I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory. The rock of my strength and my refuge is in God. Trust in him at all times, ye people.

Pour out your heart before him. God is a refuge for us, Selah. We're encouraged to pour out our heart to him. Sometimes your heart may be heavy.

Sometimes you find it difficult to express to your friends just something of the burden that you carry. But you're here encouraged to bring those burdens to the Lord and to pour out your heart before him. So there is encouragement by the very promises of God to come to him with bright expectations.

Furthermore, there is encouragement because of past mercies and that's indicated in the psalm from which our text is taken. Psalm 81 verse 7, Thou callest in trouble and I delivered thee. I answered thee in the secret place of thunder.

So it's already a fact. His people called upon him. They were in trouble. They had great need. They called and the Lord delivered them.

He answered them at the time that they so desperately needed his help. Verse 10, I am the Lord thy God which brought thee out of the land of Egypt. So right in the very text itself, as God's people are encouraged to open their mouths, to expect, look for, ask for, desire a great spiritual benefit, he says, I'm the God that brought you out of Egypt. Now that ought to bring back a flood of thoughts about the greatness of God, the power of God, what God had done for them in times past. If God was able to bring them out of Egyptian bondage, if God was able to roll back the waters of the Red Sea and bring them safely across, surely then they ought to have their mouth open, expecting that further blessings will follow. The God who has already done such marvelous things is able to provide whatever the current situation may require.

So there is encouragement to bright expectations. I want to ask you today, are you expecting great things from the Lord? Have you gone for a season of time where it appeared that your prayers were not being heard? You've encountered one problem after another. You've had many, many discouragements.

You've reached the point to say, I guess this is just the way it's going to be the rest of my life. There are just so many challenges in this day, such a difficulty having adequate communication with people. People so often misunderstand, misinterpret, misrepresent things.

That's a challenge. The distractions of the world interfere with my spiritual life and my spiritual growth. I don't seem to be making much progress. There are things that deeply concern me. I take them to the Lord. I pray for His help.

I diligently try to pray, but it seems that there's no answer to come. So you really don't expect anything. Our text says you should. You should come before the Lord with great expectation.

And you're encouraged to do this on the basis of His many promises and on the basis of what He has already proven that He is ready and able to do for His people in general and for you in particular. Secondly, as we consider this admonition to open your mouth, there is encouragement here to those with great need. Open thy mouth wide. Those little birds in the nest appear to be all mouth if you've ever looked at a group of them there. You don't see their little feathers that are beginning to come out. You don't see the rest of their bodies. You don't see their bodies just mouths all wide open. They're hungry. Their need is great.

Their mouth is wide open. It's when we come to the Lord with our mouth wide open, not with our mouth barely opened, coming with little sense of need. I just desire some help for the moment. I'm doing very well, but I need just a little boost to get over this next hill.

No. He's talking about coming before God with a great sense of need. And that's when we pray best.

It's when we're praying with a great sense of need. I know you're familiar with this passage, but let's look at it to get the specific language in the book of 2 Chronicles chapter 20, verse 3. And Jehoshaphat feared and set himself to seek the Lord and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. The enemy is approaching. There's a great multitude coming from beyond the sea on the side of Syria. And so there's fear.

There's apprehension about what's going to transpire. Jehoshaphat feared, but he set himself to seek the Lord. Verse 4. And Judah gathered themselves together to ask help of the Lord. Even out of all the cities of Judah, they came to seek the Lord. Verse 12. Here's how they pray.

O our God, wilt thou not judge them? For we have no might against this great company that cometh against us, neither know we what to do, but our eyes are upon thee. Here is a great need. This is a crucial situation. This is a state of emergency. The enemy is approaching. We don't know what to do.

We have no plan. We have no might, but our eyes are upon thee. They pray diligently. They pray in earnest at this point.

This isn't just a routine thing. This isn't somebody just saying, I'm going to say my morning prayers. This is a people coming from all over the countryside to gather and assemble there, to pray together, asking that the Lord would bless. And of course, knowing this account, you realize that God did bless.

God spared them without even having to draw a sword or to stand in the heat of battle. But what was it that drove them to this kind of prayer? It was a sense of great need. If we don't have that sense of our own emptiness, if we haven't come to an acknowledgement, we have no plan, we know not what to do, we're not going to pray like they prayed. If we're self-satisfied, if we're complacent, if we're content with the situation in which we find ourselves in this world, if we're so enamored with worldly things, we're not going to pray that way. But they prayed out of desperation. Let's look at an example in the book of Jonah chapter 2. Here's a man that had a sense of great need, verse 1. Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly, and said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me out of the belly of hell, cried I, and thou heardest my voice. What else could the man have done?

Couldn't read a manual about what you do when you're swallowed by a fish. Wasn't any effort he could put forth to recover himself. There was but one thing to do.

Pray! And don't you think he must have felt rather desperate? He was acutely aware of how great his need was. For thou hadst cast me into the deep in the midst of the seas, and the floods compassed me about, all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight, yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. He felt that he was under the judgment of God at this moment. Thou hast cast me into the sea. Lord, thou hast dealt with me broadly to this terrible plight.

Feel to be cast out, but I'll look again toward thy holy temple. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul. The depth closed me round about. The weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains.

The earth with her bars was about me forever. Yet thou hast brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God. When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. Here he is in a terrible plight. Here he is wondering if he's going to survive very long.

How can a man possibly survive being swallowed by this great fish and riding around among the mountains of the sea and the fish's belly? But he prayed. In desperation he prayed. With a sense of terrible need he prayed. And his prayer came directly into the temple of Almighty God. Should we not then be encouraged to pray in our moments of great need? And it's encouraging also that when we understand there must be a sense of need to bring us to the right kind of prayer, to realize that the God to whom we pray is one that delights to fill that need. 1 Samuel chapter 2 verse 8.

This being a part of Hannah's prayer. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust. Who are those that are raised up? The poor.

Not those who are rich, satisfied in themselves, but those who are empty. He lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill to set them among princes and to make them inherit the throne of glory for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's and he hath set the world upon them. Now that should be a tremendous source of encouragement to us. To know that while it requires a sense of need to move us to the kind of diligent prayer that's going to be pleasing and acceptable to God, but to know in advance that the Lord is not reluctant to come to our rescue. I talk to people periodically that have a strange concept about God. Their thought about God seems always to revolve around the idea that God is just looking for an opportunity to zap them. Somehow if I just have some misstep, the chastening rod is going to immediately fall and God is very reserved and reluctant to give me the things I need.

No, we're talking about a God who favors the poor, who delights to rescue those in need, who comes to these in desperate straits. Understanding that, why should we be so reluctant? Why should we fail to approach his throne of grace? Why should we not open our mouth wide? I think some Christians are about like children when their parents are trying to get them to eat something they don't want. See a little child who's being asked to try spinach for example, he doesn't open his mouth wide.

He's barely allowing enough space between his teeth to get the spoon in. Well, somehow we can develop that kind of attitude that no need to open my mouth. I haven't had any good things happening to me and nothing good is likely to happen.

May look back fond memories upon some great days in the past but nothing's happened recently and I'm not anticipating that anything's going to so there's no opening of the mouth wide. The same principle is seen in the book of Luke, the Gospel of Luke chapter 1 verse 52. He hath put down the mighty from their seats and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things. So if you're hungry enough to open your mouth wide, say, Lord, my need is great. I desire your blessing. I have many burdens, many needs, many trials. I'm very hungry. I'm very thirsty.

I need thee. He fills the hungry with good things and the rich he hath sent empty away. So if you come to the Lord as one who is rich, one who is self-righteous, one who feels sufficient and adequate in yourself, he's already said I'll send you away. You must come to the throne of grace as one who is needy. So there is encouragement because this one to whom we pray delights to meet our needs and there is encouragement then to ask for great things. If he just said open thy mouth, we might anticipate that there would be some small blessing as the need might require but he says open thy mouth wide. That very expression says God is able to give you something big.

He's able to do great things. Now somebody may say, well, I don't feel like I can ask God for anything big. I don't feel worthy. Listen, you're not even worthy of something little.

So if you're going to wait until you get worthy, you won't pray at all. Well, talking about what you deserve, we're talking about what God is willing to give, open by mouth wide. You know that Jeremiah chapter 33 and the third verse is a favorite of mine. Call unto me and I will answer thee and show thee what? Great and mighty things which thou knowest not.

Great things for his glory. Now we know if we're asking for something that is selfish, where our motivation is not right, we're greedy, we're not concerned about the glory of God, we know that kind of prayer is not going to be heard. But whatever it may be, if it's something that pertains to your marriage, to your family, to your job, and you're calling upon the Lord, he says he will do great things.

Now some things you already have marked off the list. You say, well, this probably is not going to happen. This isn't very likely.

I don't see how this could ever work. I've had to put up with this situation for years. It'll probably be the same until I die. So you've quit asking the Lord for great things. You reluctantly come and ask him for a few small things, but this text says open thy mouth wide.

Look for something big. Let's look at Isaiah chapter 41. Here we see how God works in a unique way, willing and able to do what is beyond human ability. Isaiah chapter 41 verse 14, Fear not, thou worm Jacob and ye men of Israel, I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp thrashing instrument, having teeth, and thou shalt thrash the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. Now in our day, if you were to encourage somebody and say, fear not little worm, they'd be just a bit offended. But Jacob didn't have his feelings hurt.

He knew that from the standpoint of his lowliness, this adequately described him. But the Lord says, fear not. Fear not, thou worm Jacob. I'm going to make you a sharp thrashing instrument, and you're going to thrash the mountains, and beat them small as chaff. How many times are there mountains in our way, obstacles in our path? We say, how could this mountain ever be removed? If you started working and digging at it, take more than your lifetime to ever move it. But think of a little worm.

How can a worm move a mountain? And yet that's the promise. You say, well this doesn't sound realistic.

No, we're not talking about realistic. We're talking about what God does by His power, overruling the obstacles, the things that we see as standing in the path of those blessings that we so much need and desire. Thou shalt fan them, and the winds shall carry them away, and the whirlwinds shall scatter them, and thou shalt rejoice in the Lord, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel. When the poor and needy seek water, here's confirmation once more that it is to those with a sense of need that such blessings are provided. When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, so there's a strong desire, their tongue's failing for thirst.

I need to be refreshed. I need water. I, the Lord, will hear them.

I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places. Now you don't expect to find a river in a high place.

That'd be in the low place. But when the Lord is blessing by His mercy, He puts rivers in the high places, in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and dry land springs of water. He's going to reverse that which is ordinary. That's what we're talking about.

We're not talking about that which just happens on a routine day-to-day basis. We're talking about opening your mouth wide with fun, bright expectations of what God is able to do. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the sheta tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree. I will set in the desert the fir tree. You don't expect to find the evergreen in the desert, but the Lord's going to reverse that which is ordinarily anticipated and do something that you wouldn't expect. And the pine and the box tree together.

Now get this. That they may see and know and consider and understand together that the hand of the Lord has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it. God works this way so that when the blessing has come, it's evident that it came from Him. It wasn't because you had the ability to change the course of the river and get it up on the top of the mountain.

It wasn't because you had the ability to plant the evergreen in the hot, burning sands of the desert. It was because God intervened and God did what man couldn't do. Great things. And why is it that we can pray for great things? Anticipate and expect great things to the glory of His name?

Because we're calling on a great God. Let's look at Nehemiah chapter 8. Nehemiah chapter 8 verse 6, And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands, and they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. This follows that reading of the scripture at the Watergate where they stood attentively and listened to the book of the law as Ezra read. And when they completed the reading, he blessed the Lord, the great God. Reading the word makes us aware that the God that we worship is a great God, a God of sovereign majesty, a God of power. So as he speaks of a great God, verse 12 says, All the people went their way to eat and to drink and to send portions to make great mirth because they had understood the words that were declared unto them. Now because they're worshiping a great God, they have great joy.

There is great mirth as they delight in the Lord and then the things that they have heard concerning Him. Verse 17, And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths and sat under the booths, for since the days of Joshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so, and there was very great gladness. You recall that as the scriptures were read, they became aware of the fact that they had neglected to sit in booths as they had previously been commanded to do. No doubt there were some of the people there who said, Well, I've never seen this before and I'm not comfortable to participate in anything that I haven't ever seen. I don't think our fathers did this and they might have asked Grandpa if he did it.

No, no, they didn't do it in my day, but it didn't make any difference how long it had been neglected. God said do it so it was time to cut down the trees and to build a booth and sit under it. Somebody might have said, I don't see any good reason for it.

You don't have to see a good reason for it. If God said make a booth and sit under it, then that's what you're to do. It was a reminder to them that they were but strangers and pilgrims here.

They had no permanent dwelling place so they were to go outside their houses there to build a booth out of tree limbs and live in it for seven days. So as they were reading the word, Ezra blessed the great God. They had great mirth and great gladness. It should stir all of our hearts with a greater desire to seek the Lord on a consistent basis knowing that He is ready to do for us great and mighty things which we know not.

Yes, He says open thy mouth wide and I will fill it. Let us seek that He will pour out blessings upon His people, upon His church that His name will be exalted in this day. I hope that you will write us in until next week at this same time. May the Lord richly bless you all. Thus commanded to keep. The direction, Lord, laid out in thy word is a map of the path for our feet. The Baptist Bible Hour has come to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bradley, Jr. Address all mail to the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217.

That's the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. We are blessed in the law of the Lord, free from sin as we walk in His ways. Teach us how to hear Thy judgments, O Lord.

Teach the righteous to walk, Lord, we pray. I will never of thee be ashamed. When I have that respect of Thy word, I will praise Thee with the brightness of heart. O forsake not Thy children, my Lord. I will never of thee be ashamed. When I have that respect of Thy word, I will praise Thee with the brightness of heart.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-01 02:08:31 / 2023-01-01 02:18:15 / 10

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