The Hungry Soul

April 17, 2018

Psalms 107:8-9… 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.

            Psalms 107 gives many examples of the children of Israel in need and God providing for their need. Verses 8 & 9 are requested responses from people who could not find a place to dwell. God led them to cities to dwell in. Verse 9 is what caught my eye this morning, “He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with good things.“ I have watched scripture for a good explanation of ‘soul’. We use the word rather flippantly, but I wonder if we understand what it describes. Some people, right about now, are thinking, “Who cares?” And one of the wonders of human nature is that we are all different.

            Anyway, my soul doesn’t long for meat and potatoes. The longing of my souls is on a different level than eating and drinking. That describes the longing of my body. But God, in infinite wisdom, created us triune. We are spirit, soul and body. Each contributes to the others, and each is sensitive to the needs of the others. The longings of my soul are less intense when my body is satisfied. I suppose that is most easily explained by my need for sleep. My body needs a regular rhythm of sleep. When I get it, I am at peace and my soul can relax.  When I don’t get regular sleep, I become irritable.  In that state, my soul is easily frustrated and annoyed. This morning’s verses gave me an insightful picture of the relationship between the soul and body. The ending phrase is crucial… “The hungry soul He fills with good things.”

            If we look at the whole psalm, we see that God provided for the bodily needs of the people. The soul, which was longing and hungry, was provided for by meeting the needs of the body.  But, not necessarily… it could be that the body quit complaining and the soul found room to be at peace. However God did it, the soul, which can get agitated, was brought to peace by God’s provision.

            I find this important because we can become caught up in the demands of our bodies. They consume our emotions. But, our souls have needs also.