13. Israel – Leanness of Soul

Everyone seeks earthly prosperity. Few seek prosperity of soul. In spite of being God’s chosen people, Israel suffers from the leanness of soul syndrome.

Objectives

  • To understand the meaning of:
  • Prosperity of soul
  • Leanness of soul
  • To seek and enjoy true prosperity (of soul) in our lives

Israel – Leanness of Soul-Presentation Overview

  • Psalm 78 – Asaph’s Reflections on Israel
  • “In their hearts they turned to Egypt”
  • Dangers Today
  • Prosperity of Soul
  • Leanness of Soul
  • Discussion

Israel – The Chosen Nation

Israel – The Chosen Nation

Generations after Abraham when the population had multiplied into lakhs, rebellion set in:

  • Barring Moses, the next level leadership was tainted (Aaron and Miriam)
  • The third level leadership corrupt
  • The conflict between God and His nation, reflects the conflict between God and His church today.

Psalm 78 – Asaph’s Reflections on Israel-(The message Translation)

God

Israel

He set his word firmly in Israel, commanded parents to teach to children

Ephraimites were cowards to God’s covenant, refused to walk by his Word. Forgot what he’d done right before their eyes

He performed miracles, led them out

All they did was sin even more, rebel against the High God, clamored for favours, for special attention, whined like spoiled children

God was furious, his anger flared, he lost his temper

It was clear they did not believe God, had no intention of trusting in his help

God helped them, opened the gates of heaven, handed everything they craved on a platter

Greed knew no bounds

God was fed up, cut down their brightest and best

Kept on sinning, still wouldn’t believe, lives dribbled off to nothing

Cut them down

Came running for  help, turned and pled for mercy, witnessed that God was their rock, lied through their teeth, could not have cared less about  him

Compassionate, forgave their sin, didn’t destroy, over and over restrained his wrath

Time and again pushed him to the limit, provoked Israel’s Holy God. Quickly forgot

God

Israel

Scattered everyone who got in his way, staked out an inheritance for them

Kept on giving him a hard time, rebelled, worse then their parents, crooked as a corkscrew..pagan orgies provoked God’s anger, idolatories broke his heart

Furious, walked off, abandoned the shrine where he had met them, turned his back on the pride of his life, turned them loose on the battlefields, let them fend for themselves

Young men went to war and never came back, young women waited in vain, priests were massacred, widows never shed a tear.

The Lord was up on his feet. Hit his enemies and sent them running. Disqualified Joseph and chose Judah. Built his sanctuary, chose David

 “And you continue, so bullheaded! Calluses on your hearts, flaps on your ears! Deliberately ignoring the Holy Spirit, you’re just like your ancestors. Was there ever a prophet who didn’t get the same treatment? Your ancestors killed anyone who dared talk about the coming of the Just One. And you’ve kept up the family tradition—traitors and murderers, all of you. You had God’s Law handed to you by angels—gift-wrapped!—and you squandered it!” Acts 7:51-53

..In their hearts they turned to Egypt

Acts 7:39 Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and in their hearts they turned to Egypt.

 Matthew 15:8 “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”

“In their hearts they turned to Egypt”

“A whole new generation of Christians has come up believing that it is possible to accept Christ without forsaking the world.” AW Tozer

“Our standard of living has gone up, but are we really better off? 40 years of consumerism and media influence has created a basic shift in values. Overall we live in a culture dominated by the secular life view.” Pat Morley – Man in the mirror

Dangers Today - Deeds without Love

Ron Jensen travelled around the country with his wife in a camper and interviewed 350 Christian leaders. At the end of the tour he made a discouraging observation. He said “I found a great deal of zeal for God’s work, but very little passion for God”.

Rev.2: …. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.

Dangers today - “Lean Christians

Rev.3:15-17 You say, “I am rich. I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.” But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked

Prosperity in Soul

3 John 1:2 : “I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.”

Leanness of Soul

Psalm 106:14,15 – In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wilderness they put God to the test. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.

It’s better that God denies something in love than gives something in anger

Leanness in Soul

One year the Standard Oil Company had a stunningly beautiful float in the Pasadena rose parade. Right in the middle of the parade, the float ran out of gas!

The float was beautiful, fully decorated with American Beauty Roses, something that J. Vernon McGee says he “shall never forget”. He had not seen anything that beautiful before, nor has he seen anything as beautiful as that since that time.

And J. Vernon McGee said that “As I looked at that poor, helpless float, and I heard everyone laughing, I felt sorry, because it was like the church of today. We are beautiful, decorated in style with all of our buildings, our programs, our services, and our propaganda, but we have no power. Power is what the church needs, and power is what each individual believer needs.”

The Spread of God’s word

Discussion/ Activity

It is a challenge while we wait on earth on our journey to heaven.

  • What is the soul? What is prosperity of soul? What is leanness of soul?
  • How can we truly enjoy “prosperity of soul”? Enact scenario/s.

Related Posts

14 God’s Commandments

Is the Old Testament Law relevant today? Jesus says I came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfil it. He gives God’s commands a new perspective and takes it up a notch.God gave the Israelites hundreds of instructions for the people. These were divided into three phases...

13 Israel – Leanness of Soul

Everyone seeks earthly prosperity. Few seek prosperity of soul. In spite of being God’s chosen people, Israel suffers from the leanness of soul syndrome. To understand the meaning of: Prosperity of soul Leanness of soul To seek and enjoy true prosperity (of soul) in...

12. Moses – Humble Faith

Born in Egypt, Moses is beautiful in God’s eyes. He experiences the best of worldly knowledge, power and riches as well as spiritual power and riches yet remains most humble in all the earth. To understand God’s preparation ground for Moses: In his family In the...

11 God’s Special interventions

We have seen God’s activity throughout Genesis. Was Jesus involved? How do we know it was Jesus? What message does He communicate on those occasions?To: Understand Christ’s role throughout the Bible Understand the significance of Christ’s special appearances in...

10. God’s Direct interventions – Genesis

God is actively participating in our lives. In Patriarchal ages and throught the Bible we see specific instances of God’s active involvement.To: Understand how proactively and actively God is involved in our lives Get a glimpse of God’s attributes Know and connect...

9. Joseph – Unwavering Faith

The touching story of Joseph inspires, as he transitions from father’s pet to second most powerful person in the world. As God is with him throughout, what looks like the end of the game, triggers his rise to fame.To Understand God’s training ground for top leaders...

8. Jacob Compelling Faith

It is Jacob, who becomes Israel and fathers/grandfathers children who represent the tribes of Israel. God deals with deception and brings out his passion and drive for the right things.To Understand Jacob’s strong driving forces Be clear on our purpose and direction...

7 Isaac – Gliding Faith

Isaac is “gliding” on the faith and blessings of his father. While he does carry the legacy to some extent, we do see numbness to God taking over and complacency setting in. Abraham - Soaring Faith Isaac - Gliding Faith Jacob –Compelling Faith Joseph – Unwavering...

6 Abraham – Soaring Faith

At the time God calls Abraham to father the nation Israel, civilization prospers and grows; so does idolatory. Abraham takes time to respond and build faith but eventually goes all out in faith and obedience. Background of Abraham Abraham’s journey Abraham’s faith...

5 Job – Faith under Fire

Job enjoys close fellowship with God. Caught between a crossfire between God and Satan, he stands firm defying Satan before his proud father God and getting to see God in a new light. Objectives Job – Chronologically in the Bible Authorship of Job Job’s Disposition in...

4 The World in Confusion – Babel

After saving the world, Noah himself takes a fall. Again God steps into a godless world – this time, in a much more subdued manner. Objectives Standards falling Irony of Noah Irony of Noah Folly of Ham/ Canaan Tyranny of Nimrod Folly of Ham/ Canaan Tyranny of Nimrod...

3 From Fall to Flood

As earth’s population grow, murder, lust and evil spread their tentacles into every aspect of creation. While God saves Noah and his family, ample warnings sound out to the rest of the world. Objectives The Times First Prediction of Doom A Few Good Men Abel –...

2 Adam – A Fallen Faith

A word from God, a burst of light; the world was born. Creation, culminating with the crown of creation, Adam and Eve, was good in God’s eyes. Objective A perfect world Forbidden Fruit The World with Satan Pain and Suffering Woman and the Fall Satan’s Strategy God’s...

1 Old Testament Summary

Why is the Old Testament important to us? Timothy emphasizes that “All Scripture is God-breathed.” The amazing unity of theme and purpose makes it nothing less than the living word of God.To understand: The infallibility of the Scriptures Their consistency through...