Prose

Yehoshua ben Peleh Shim'onai


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24 october 2015

The Folly of Seeking Satisfaction in Sin

(original draft written in 10/14/15)



"O God, You are my God;
     early will I seek You;
 my soul thirsts for You,
     my flesh faints for You,
 in a dry and thirsty land
     with no water.
 I have seen You in the sanctuary,
     to see Your power and Your glory.
 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
     my lips will praise You. 
 Thus will I bless You while I live;
    I will lift up my hands in Your name.
 My soul will be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
    and my mouth will praise You with joyful lips."

 
- Psalm 6:1-5, MEV
 
Last night, the company that I'm currently working with held the opening ceremony of its basketball tournament in our office. Although it is a call center's production area (and we're not suppose to be very noisy), there were screams of enthusiasm almost everywhere in the floor. The noises even got louder when a female mascot with a seductive look and costume showed up in front. I also heard a familiar voice from behind me crying out like a hungry beast after its prey.
 
That is the condition of an unregenerate man (a person who is not born of God; read 1 Corinthians 2:14 and ) in his lust - a flesh crying out for another flesh. And having this insatiable craving, he had to scream in order to express his desire. He had to shout it out to show how badly he wanted whatever that is that he wanted. The problem is that none of the things of the flesh can ever satisfy the insatiable desires of the fallen man's heart. As the French philosopher Blaise Pascal puts it,
 
 "There once was in man a true happiness which now remain in him only the mark and empty trace, which he in vain tries to fill from all his surroundings, seeking from things absent the help he does not obtain in things present. But these are all inadequate, because the infinite abyss can only be filled with by an infinite and immutable object, that is to say, only by God Himself."
 
The problem is, the fallen man will continually want more and more of those fleshly and material things, finding out that those that he already had cannot satisfy him. Just like what I have written in my journal, ignorance of the God's perfect goodness and sufficiency leads to ungratefulness, which leads to discontentment, which leads to covetousness, which lead to all kinds of evil.
 
This is the foolishness of us sinners - yes, you and me (Romans 3:9-18). We always struggle to satisfy the abyssal thirst of our souls with the scarce waters of our own economy. We all have tried in vain to seek in this fallen world the state of blessedness - the heavenly kind of fulfillment - which we have lost when the first man Adam was cast away from the Garden Eden. And having this infinite void of happiness in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11), we have this "ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure", which according to the famed writer C. S.  Lewis, " is the formula [for destruction]." How utterly blind and foolish we are for trying to fill these bottomless wells of longing with quickly vaporizing waters of of this world's ever fading pleasures (1 John 2:16-17)!
 
The good news is that we don't have to feel "thirsty" forever. In the psalm, David sung, 
 
"...my soul thirsts for You,
     my flesh faints for You,
 in a dry and thirsty land
     with no water." (v. 1)
 
With this song in his mouth, David knew that there is only One who could fill his eternity of longings, and that only One is God. He even proceeded to sing in the same psalm,
 
"My soul will be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
    and my mouth will praise You with joyful lips.
 When I remember You on my bed,
    and meditate on You in the night watches..." (vv. 5-6)
 
This is the heart cry of the regenerate man (a person who is born of God; read John 3:3-8 and Galatians 5:16-24) - because he knows that true satisfaction can come from God alone in Christ alone. This is the reason why in the midst of wilderness, it was God Whom David sought for. Same was the reason why Christ said to the woman at the well - who had five failed marriages and was living in adultery - that,
 
"Everyone who drinks of this water [that is to say, water from this world] will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks this water that I give [satisfaction that comes only from God in Christ] him will never thirst again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life" (John 4:13-14).
 
This water is the eternal life which proceeds from God in Christ through His Holy Spirit - the blessed presence of God which alone can fill the infinite void of happiness in the heart of man.
 
Everyone thirsts, but only some will be filled - and these are the ones who seek after what is rightly to be sought. We all, in our fallen state, have this eternity in our hearts void of satisfaction which can only God can fill; but only  some seek after it. Even so, there is an open invitation, and it says,
 
"Come. Let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price." (Revelation 22:17)
 
- Yehoshua Shim'onai :D






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