Leanness of the Soul

I am currently teaching a Bible Study at St. Matthew’s on Tuesday afternoon.  We’ve walked through the book of Judges earlier but right now we are looking at some of our favorite Psalms.  I mention it every so often, but I truly love the book of Psalms.  They are so honest, capturing the joy of faith, the struggle of pain, anger, everything.  I love Psalms.

Today’s readings have us in Psalm 106.  And I think there’s something very important for us to hear.  Listen to what we are told in Psalm 106: 12-15:

12Then they believed his words *
and sang him songs of praise.
13But they soon forgot his deeds *
and did not wait for his counsel.
14A craving seized them in the wilderness, *
and they put God to the test in the desert.
15He gave them what they asked, *
but sent leanness into their soul.

We see this recounting of the story of the Exodus.  The people made it into freedom.  They were free from the yoke of slavery.  But yet, they weren’t happy.  Yes they were free, but they did not have what they thought they “wanted.”  So, the Lord gave them what they thought they wanted.

dry_groundBut then He also sent leanness into their souls.

What a powerful phrase.  Leanness of the soul.  It’s almost haunting to me.  It says to me, we can have everything we want.  Money.  Fame.  Perfect job.  Perfect family.  Beach house.  All-star children.  Every dream a person could desire.

And yet still have leanness of the soul.  In our culture, I think many have everything they think that they want.  But they have leanness of the soul.

Because the stuff of this world will never, ever make us happy.  It just won’t.  Contentment is never found in the stuff of this world.  Only in God.

We can have all that we ever dream.  Everything. But if we are not walking faithfully with God, we will find leanness of the soul.

So, today, how is it with your soul?

Is your soul lean today?  Is your soul hungry?  Is it thirsty?

Do you have all you could desire?  But is your soul lean?

Or are you placing your hopes on the things of this world?  Know they will leave your soul lean.

Only in God is true, abundant life found.  Only in God is fullness of the soul found.

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