The Arms of Love

Psalm 81:8-16
I would feed you with the finest wheat. I would
satisfy you with wild honey from the rock

Donna Simpson weighs 600 pounds, but she’s
working on gaining another 400. Intending
to become the heaviest woman alive, Donna
commenced a public campaign to market her intentions.
She intends to eat healthy, but she plans to eat a lot. In
her words, she eats “massive quantities of healthy food,”
including more than 70 pieces of sushi and 20 chicken
wraps in single meals. While Donna’s appetite captures
headlines, other personal details appear to also be at
play. Journalist Karine Ioffee writes that Simpson admits
“she is as hungry for attention as for calorie-rich food.”

Whatever Simpson’s motivations and whatever one
thinks of her choices, we all crave love and attention—and
we work our own angles in attempting to secure them.
The psalmist reiterated over and over again how vast and
limitless God’s love was for His people. Repeatedly, the
Psalms reminded Israel of God’s kindness, mercy, and
protection. They retold the story of how God had “rescued
[Israel] from the land of Egypt” and how, if Israel would
simply obey God and receive His love, God would “fill
[them] with good things” (81:10).

“But no,” says the psalmist, “[God’s] people wouldn’t
listen. Israel did not want [Him] around” (v.11). Isn’t it
interesting that we spurn the very One who loves us most
deeply? Often, we keep at arm’s length the only One
who has the capacity to fill our deepest longings and

The psalm speaks of God’s intent to feed and satisfy us (v.16). He desires to
love us in the places where we’re most deprived of love, and He wants to satisfy
our deepest longings—our longings for Him. But God will not force Himself upon
us. We have to open ourselves to Him. We have to walk into the wide arms of
His love. —Winn Collier

Psalm 81 speaks of
Israel’s “stubborn desires”
(v.12) that seem to be at
odds with the people’s
longings God wants to
fill (v.10). Look through
the psalm and see what
these competing desires
might be.

What longing do you
most want God to meet?
What would keep you
from simply receiving
God’s care and provision
for you?


Mandisa - Relying on Scripture