Saturday, 27 October 2012

When He sent leanness to their souls...

They soon forgot His works;
They did not wait for His counsel,
But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness,
And tested God in the desert.
And He gave them their request, But sent leanness into their soul.  
Psalm 106 vs 13-15

Rewind to Numbers 11 and Exodus 16, we see a lot of grumbling, we see a group of people who seem to have forgotten how God had delivered them mightly not too long before, we see the children of Israel wishing they were back in Egypt! Egypt!! where they had been enslaved - crying out for deliverance and now that deliverance had come - they seemed unable to wait for the full out working  of the same deliverance. Talk about not seeing the wood for the trees.

But before we castigate them, we need to examine and constantly examine ourselves that we are not drawing parrallels with this behaviour.

We should be mindful that we don't carry the sort of attitude and behaviour that will attract leanness to our souls. It is not enough only - to get what you want, the end does not always justify the means, it should be about entering into God's blessing with His favour & prosperity. That is that our soul prospers... as well as our hands.

Numbers 16 vs 18-20 "Tell the people: ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The Lord heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days,  but for a whole month until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it because you have rejected the Lord, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?"

God's hand was never too short to provide the meat or to provide bread. Let us settle it in our minds now that that is not in question. Remind yourself of His works in times past, encourage yourself in the Lord; Wait for His counsel - wait for His plan to unfold - NIV translates verse 13 of Psalm 106 to say "But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold." Are you waiting for God's plan to unfold? Do you wait for His plan to unfold?

Father, you are faithful, you came through for me in times past, it's kind of tough out here but You brought me here to bring me through, there is a plan which you are working out and have strategically, lovingly, in all of Your wisdom designed that at this hour and point I should be here. So I am going to wait on You. You wrote Psalm 106 with me in mind, because You knew that I would come to this hour with all the questions. I heard that You were in the South Side River Church last night - healing the sick, giving out jobs and I hopped on the street car but by the time I got there, it seems You had left - did You really leave? On Wednesday too, I heard You would be at Eko Inn doing the same thing, I was there but my situation is still kind of the same as it was Tuesday. Hey! But You know Lord - the God of the universe - Omnipotente - All Powerful - All Seeing God - You KNOW THE WAY THAT I TAKE. The same way you came through for me in 2007, you will come through again for me! How can I forget that, how You moved things around to accomodate me, You will do it again. I am going to stick with the program - Your program - I am not going to detach myself from your process and build my agenda. I am going to be careful to hear and do all that you say to me, I refuse to be directed by the dictates of my flesh or any other flesh for that matter, I am staying on The Lord's agenda, I am going to come out of this process more refined - like gold.

Now see below:

“But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside. I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread." Job 23 vs 8-12

We will have leanness of soul when we take our eyes off the Lord and focus on our circumstances, when we are quick to forget all what He has done and how far He has brought us to date, when we can not be still and wait for his plans to unfold... constantly trying to work things out for ourselves...

I sometimes call it the spirit of the ITK - I too know and in good english - I know too much.

Grumbling is a fast track to leanness, so is being ungrateful and not drawing nearer to the Lord. For most of the children of Israel in the wilderness, they were happy just experiencing the acts of God but perhaps the story for them would have been different- if they had spent more time knowing the God of the act. Joshua did...

Exodus 33 verse 11: The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.

The majority of Israel in the wilderness
Exodus 20 verse 18: They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”

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