When we are feeling empty, it seems that we cannot find satisfaction in anything. We feel discontent and are left wanting. Sometimes we feel as if we don’t know which way to turn. We often wonder why we are feeling this way.
Psalm 81 gives us a hint to a possible reason. Psalm 81 is a call to obedience. The psalm shares an overview of the Israelites journey out of Egypt and their choices to live in disobedience. The Lord wanted His people to listen to Him, as a parent wants their children to listen and be obedient. But the Israelites wanted their own way, they wanted to make their own plans, so they refused to live in submission to God a lot of the time.
Things haven’t changed much. Fast forward to my life or your life. There are times in life that our emptiness can come out of a place of disobedience. we too choose our own ways, and make our own plans apart from the Lord. We soon find out that we cannot find satisfaction apart from the Lord. No matter how many options, we try we are left unsatisfied.
F.F. Bruce explains our plight this way, “The soul’s deepest thirst is for God Himself who made us so that we can never be satisfied without Him.”
The LORD tells the Israelites in Psalm 81:10, “I am Yahweh your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.”
The Lord wants us to be satisfied, He wants us to know abundance in Him and not hunger, but only in turning to Him to have our needs met can we experience true fulfillment.
Emptiness may also come to our hearts and lives in order to create a spiritual hunger. The Lord wants us to desire Him and be in relationship with Him.
Deuteronomy 8:2-3 says, “Remember that the LORD your God led you on the entire journey these 40 years in the wilderness, so that He might humble you and test you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands. He humbled you by letting you go hungry; then He gave you manna to eat which you and your fathers had not known, so that you might learn that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”
The Lord humbled the Israelites by letting them go hungry. He wanted them to realize their absolute dependence on Him He wanted them to feel their desperate neediness apart from Him. He wanted to know what was really on their hearts. Were they fickle or true? Yet, when they cried, out He provided them with manna in the wilderness. He showed them His love by meeting their need.
The Lord desires for us to see that He is present to meet all of our needs. He loves us too much to allow us to constantly feed on the junk food of this world. So, although we may go through times of emptiness, when we run to Him, like the prodigal son, we will find that His heart is always love and His desire is to satisfy us.
God is a good Father who wants the best for His children in every situation. He loves us with a perfect love. God will allow us the freedom to seek other things to satisfy ourselves, but once we realize how empty we are, He knows we will run to Him. He waits for us to cry out to Him, “Lord, I need You.” And then there in our emptiness He will satisfy our hungry hearts with the perfect manna.
It always comes down to recognizing the REAL need so that we really may know satisfaction. The need is Jesus.