He Satisfies the Longing Soul

Psalm 107:4-9 ESV

“Some wandered in desert wastes,
finding no way to a city to dwell in;
hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
till they reached a city to dwell in.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
For he satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul he fills with good things.”

As human beings, we have an innate hunger and thirst to love and to be loved. We are born into sin in this world, too, and thus we come up short of attaining God’s righteousness and his divine approval. So, we also have a God-void within us that can only be filled by God via genuine faith in Jesus Christ, in death to sin, and in living to righteousness in the power of God.

But, even though God has revealed himself to all humankind through his created works, human beings, in their sin nature, end up suppressing the truth about God by their unrighteousness. And, thus they are without excuse. For, it isn’t that they don’t know about God and his divine character and will, but it is that they refuse to obey what they do know. So, God gave them over to the lusts of their flesh (Romans 1:18-32).

So, they end up wandering in their sin, trying to fill that God-void in their hearts and lives with the things and the pleasures of this world, and with the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life. But, only to come up empty, still hungering and thirsting for anything to fill that void. But, nothing but God can fill that void and satisfy the true hunger of their hearts and souls.

So, for those who finally come to this realization, that only God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – can truly and fully satisfy that hunger and thirst within their souls, they end up crying out to the Lord in their distress. And, God hears them, and he delivers the penitent from their slavery to sin. And, then he leads them by a straight way, i.e. by the way of holiness (Eph. 4:17-24).

And, those he has truly delivered from their bondage to sin, and they are now walking in that freedom, they are grateful to God for not only setting them free from sin, but for satisfying the deep longings of their souls with good things, i.e. with the good things of God and of his righteousness and holiness. Herein true joy is found!

Psalm 107:10-16 ESV

“Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
prisoners in affliction and in irons,
for they had rebelled against the words of God,
and spurned the counsel of the Most High.
So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor;
they fell down, with none to help.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
and burst their bonds apart.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
For he shatters the doors of bronze
and cuts in two the bars of iron.”

To sit in darkness means to situate yourself on a sinful course. And, that means that you are still in bondage (in chains) to sin. You may think you are free to live however you want, but that isn’t freedom. You are still in chains because you rebelled against God and his moral laws, and against his divine will and purpose for your life.

So, you are still weighed down with sin, which is a heavy burden to carry. And, so you end up struggling in the flesh, trying to satisfy the deep longings of your souls with other gods of this world, and with sinful pleasures. But, nothing helps. Nothing truly satisfies. For, nothing and no one but God can fill that void in your life.

So, if this is where you are, God is calling out to you to cry out to him for deliverance. And, he will deliver you out of your darkness. And, he will bring you into his wonderful light (Jesus Christ, truth, and righteousness). And, he will break away your chains so that you will now be able to walk in freedom from slavery, and so you will now be able to obey the Lord with your life.

And, when he delivers you out of your darkness, and he breaks the chains that bind you, and you truly know freedom from that slavery, thank the Lord for his steadfast love. For, he waited patiently for you to come to repentance, to leave your life of sin behind you, and to now follow him in a walk of obedience to his commands and in intimate fellowship with God.

Psalm 107:17-22 ESV

“Some were fools through their sinful ways,
and because of their iniquities suffered affliction;
they loathed any kind of food,
and they drew near to the gates of death.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them,
and delivered them from their destruction.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!”

Many people reject the Lord Jesus in favor of “other gods,” or “other lovers.” Perhaps outwardly they don’t. They may profess faith in Jesus Christ. But, by their lifestyles they deny him.

For, they choose their idols over God, and over spouse and family sometimes, too. And, this is because they like how these idols make them feel inside. But, feelings come and feelings go, and feelings can be so deceiving. Many people, in following their feelings, thus, end up in hell, not in heaven. And, that is because they followed the way of the flesh.

Many people, in seeking to satisfy the hungers of their hearts and souls go all the wrong places to try to fill that void. So, they end up in extramarital romantic and/or sexual affairs. Or, they end up being addicted to porn. Or, they may find themselves married to their jobs, or addicted to entertainment. Or, their “other love” may be technology, and so they give their hearts and their time, money, and passion to technology.

Their true idol, though, is themselves and their own self-pleasure. And, so they pursue their idol(s) no matter the cost to their marriages, to their families, and perhaps even to their careers.

And, for those who profess to be Christians, it costs them their relationships with the Lord, their communion with God, their fellowship in the Spirit, and the fruit of obedience. And, if they remain on a sinful course and do not repent, it will cost them their lives.

Those who let their flesh rule their lives and lead them into a sinful course, though, are allowing themselves to be intoxicated by the flesh rather than living under the control of the Holy Spirit.

And, it will lead them down a dangerous path. Often it will end up badly, too, with broken marriage vows and marriages, split families, ruined reputations, loss of jobs, or perhaps even imprisonment for doing what is truly stupid and depraved.

The lusts of the flesh and the pride of life have so overtaken this person’s mind that he no longer makes rational decisions, but he is led by his sensual desires, instead. But, no matter how “good” it may feel at the time, it will come back to bite whoever follows this path in the end.

The Good News!

But, the good news here is that there is still hope, if they will call out to God, will humble themselves before God, repent of sin, confess where confession is required, and turn from their wicked ways to follow the Lord in obedience.

For, there is healing for the sin-sick soul. There is forgiveness for the penitent. And, God will restore them and give them a new lease on life if they will only call on him in truth and in repentance.

And, for those who have gone down this path of wickedness, when they truly repent, and God sets them free, they will not be able to hold back the praise to God for what the Lord did in their hearts in lives in delivering them from the pit of hell. They will rejoice in God for his steadfast love for them, and that he didn’t give up on them, but was loving and patient with them, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

But, please don’t take God’s love and grace for granted. Don’t assume you have all the time in the world to change your life course and to surrender your all to the Lord Jesus. You may not.

And, don’t waste the rest of your life, too, following after your flesh, destroying your own life and other lives, too, because of your selfishness. You may get to heaven one day if you do repent, but you will have wasted your life on what will be burned up.

So, give your life completely to Jesus while there is still time. And, let the joy of the Lord be your strength, comfort, and help, rather than continue to rely on your own strength, which will fail you, and which will never satisfy the deep longings of your soul, but which will always leave you empty.

The Joy of the Lord

Twila Paris

The joy of the Lord will be my strength
I will not falter, I will not faint
He is my Shepherd, I am not afraid…

The joy of the Lord will be my strength
He will uphold me all of my days
I am surrounded by mercy and grace
And the joy of the Lord is my strength…

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