“In their hearts they turned to Egypt”. In spite of being God’s chosen people, Israel suffers from the leanness of soul syndrome.
In this journey...
We 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-Snapshot
- Psalm 78 – Asaph’s Reflections on Israel
- “In their hearts they turned to Egypt”
- Dangers Today
- Prosperity of Soul
- Leanness of Soul
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)
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
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: …. 4 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
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.