The other day in my devotions I was reading Psalm 106. The Psalm is going over the history of Israel starting from the plagues in Egypt. It describes the plagues and the parting of the Red Sea and how the Israelites praised God. Verse 13 however, drastically changes the whole attitude of the Psalm, "Yet how quickly they forgot what he had done! They wouldn't wait for his counsel!" How easy it is for any of us, myself included, when life is going good to forget the things that God has done for us and to not listen to Him. The Psalm goes on to tell how they began to worship other gods and go after the things that they wanted. Verse 15 says, "And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul." That last phrase really got me, so often I choose to go my own way and and I refuse to listen to God's warnings and every time that I do that He does give me a leanness of soul. The sad thing is, I'm so often caught up in whatever I'm doing that, like the Israelites, I don't even realize what I'm doing until God has to do something drastic to get my attention. In the Jews case, even the deaths of Dathan and Abiram didn't wake them up. It got to a point where God was ready to destroy all of His chosen people, but had it not been for the prayers of Moses the Jewish nation as we know it today would not be around. "Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath lest he should destroy them." (verse 23).
The Hebrews continually got worse. Finally God sent them into captivity. This passage hints at the fact that God not only sent them into captivity once, but He sent them many times because of their lack of ability to stay close to God. "Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity." (verse 43). The best part comes in verses 44 and 45, "Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry: and he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies." Ah, how good of God to rescue us from the situations that we put ourselves into. As long as we are saved it doesn't matter where we go, or to what extent of sin we get into, if we cry to God, and repent and ask Him to rescue us, He will. "He made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them captives." (verse 46).
It would be so much easier and better for all of us were we not to ever get out of God's will for our lives. However, I honestly don't know anyone who has never done anything wrong, or at some point been out of God's will. I know that I've been in that position, and I know that I've messed up big time in many areas and had a lot of that "leanness of soul." I also know that God has had to use some pretty drastic situations in my life to get my attention. Yet each and every time that I've cried to Him in my captivity, He has been merciful to me and rescued me from my distresses. What an awesome God. "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the Lord." (verse 48).