“And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” (Psalms 106 verse 15)
In PART 1 of this discussion, we tried to give some information regarding the background and context of Psalms 106. We then proceeded to give a proper description of what a lean soul means.
Let’s read Psalms 106 verse 15 in Amplified Bible, Classic Edition: “And He gave them their request but sent leanness into their souls and [thinned their numbers by] disease and death.”
Quickly read Psalms 78 verses 27 through 31 and Numbers 11:31-33.
To conclude this section, let’s briefly take a closer look at Psalms 106 verse 15:
HE GAVE THEM THEIR REQUEST:
We see here that despite the anger of God towards his people, he still granted their request. A father no matter how incensed against his children will always take care of their needs. The people asked amiss, out of their lust, but God still granted their desires. This shows that answers to our prayers are not 100% proof of right standing with God.
The universal blessings of God such as the sun, rain, oxygen, food etc are there for both believers and sinners (Matthew 5:45). Furthermore, in Ezekiel 4:14 we see that God can answer people according to the idol in their heart. You can read up how God permitted a spirit to corrupt the tongues of Ahab’s prophets in 1 Kings 22:21-23.
So, never make the mistake of thinking that your relationship with God is in a healthy state because your needs were met. At best God is using such acts of kindness to lead you to repentance (Romans 2:4). That satan’s desire to tempt Job was granted doesn’t make him a born-again Christian.
In fact, the Italian Bible translation states that God fed them to a point where they had nausea, that is, they ate quails until they felt like vomiting because the answer came in anger.
HE THINNED THEIR NUMBERS BY DISEASE AND DEATH:
Numbers 11 verse 33 says “and while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the lord was kindled against the people, and the lord smote the people with a very great plague.”
Basically, while the people were enjoying their meat, god’s anger couldn’t wait till they were done. He sent a disease into their camp which selectively killed the strongest of them, as well as the choice young men (psalms 78:32 amp). Maybe these were the ones that were the lead singers in the song i described earlier.
HE SENT LEANNESS INTO THEIR SOULS: PSALMS 106 VERSE 15
The Hebrew word ‘nephesh’ translated ‘soul’ in our passage is the same word that’s used in most places where the word ‘soul’ appears in the bible. Nephesh means soul; self; life; person; heart. Basically, it has to do with the inner person as opposed to ‘Shem’ that refers to the outer person.
A verse of the bible that can best define the soul is psalm 103 verse 1 “bless the lord, o my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name”. Simply put, the soul is that which is within me.
Having established that the soul is referring to the inner person, it then means that the leanness (or thinness) of the souls of Israelites was a serious issue. There wasn’t only a physical plague of the body that thinned their numbers, there must have been a spiritual plague that also destroyed their spiritual health. The destruction resulted in spiritual malnutrition.
It’s interesting to note that while the people ate the quails to look robust and nourished on the physical, their spiritual bodies were kwashiorkored. They were so after what would satisfy their human organs that they forgot about the nourishment of the heart (soul).
And since the heart is the organ specialised in pumping blood to the rest of the body, it was not long before death caught up with them.
Let me stop a minute to say that you can look fleshy on the outside but dry in your soul. You may be a giant on the outside but heavily malnourished on the inside. Some people look very elegant and beautiful, handsome, and tall on the outside but withered/dead on the inside.
And this includes churchgoers who may look spiritual on the outside but are carnal on the inside
MANIFESTATIONS (SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF A LEAN SOUL)
In the preceding section we saw that the soul is the inner person, and sometimes also means the heart. Not the physical heart but the spiritual heart.
Just like there are signs and symptoms that accompany heart failure in the physical, there are also signs and symptoms that are present whenever the soul is lean (read sick). While signs are objective, that is, they can be observed with the nude eyes or with some special instruments, symptoms are subjective, that is, only you can feel them.
And this makes it sometimes difficult to diagnose because someone could possess a sick soul but has only symptoms.
The more the body is fed, and the soul left to starve, the more the characteristics of the carnal man (that is, the sick soul) will be manifest. And the gravity of the leanness determines what signs and symptoms will be observed.
I’ll limit myself to listing them without further explanations because of the length of this article. So, here are some pieces of evidence of a lean soul (the list isn’t exhaustive):
- Careless speech including murmuring and injurious words.
- Resistance to God and godly counsels.
- Dispute over the existence of God and lack of respect for his true servants.
- Disobedience to authorities (godly and worldly)
- Envy and jealousy
- Hate and intolerance
- Seeking for conflicts and partaking in conspiracies.
- Idolatry, including idol of pleasure
- Immoral lifestyle e.g., adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lascivious behaviour
- Murder including cursing.
- Witchcraft, including disobedience
- Lack of interest in God and in godly activities.
- Lack of appreciation for provisions received.
- Unbelief/doubt of God’s words and promises.
- Sorcery and divination.
- Championing evil cause
- Lying spirit and evil tongue.
- Continual rise and fall in your walk with God.
CONSEQUENCES OF A LEAN SOUL
I’ll also limit myself to listing a few consequences of possessing a lean soul, leaving space for a future breakdown of each as God will lead and inspire.
- When the soul is lean, the spiritual immune system that serves as a defence to ward off spiritual infections is weakened, making the carrier defenceless and prone to attacks both spiritually and otherwise. And if left untreated urgently, the condition of the individual could deteriorate further leading to more grave consequences.
- The person becomes easy prey for the devil and ungodly doctrines as the lean soul is unable to differentiate between truth and falsehood.
- Inability to enter, dwell and enjoy the promised land (both here on earth and in paradise above).
- Spiritual death though physically alive.
- Physical untimely death as a result of god’s wrath.
- Eternal alienation from God in hell at death or in rapture.
CURE FOR A LEAN SOUL
The cure for a lean soul is quite simple: take care of it and feed it seeing that it’s more important than the flesh. So:
- Come in humble repentance and reconcile with God
- Read the word and, above all, meditate on the word daily
- Spend time in prayers and praises.
- Be content with what you have.
- Avoid company with the mixt multitude.
- Keep trusting God despite apparent difficulties.
- Always come to the fountain for refreshing.
In conclusion, let’s prayerfully sing this song written by Fanny Crosby and published in 1869
Jesus, keep me near the cross;
There a precious fountain,
Free to all, a healing stream,
Flows from Calvary’s Mountain.
Refrain: In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever,
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.
Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me,
There the Bright and Morning Star
Shed its beams around me.
Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
Brings its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day,
With its shadows o’er me.
Near the cross, I’ll watch and wait,
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand
Just beyond the river.