It’s possible to have a fat wallet and a skinny soul. Psalm 106 is a poetic description of the Israelites’ inward poverty despite their outward wealth.
The psalmist recalled how God in His grace had repeatedly rescued His people as they traveled through the desert (Ps. 106:7-11). He supplied them each day with manna (Ex. 16:4-16), but the people didn’t like the diet. Instead, they fondly recalled the menu they were served as slaves in Egypt, and grumbled, “Who will give us meat to eat? . . . There is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!” (Num. 11:4,6).
God got tired of all their griping, and He judged them in an interesting way—He gave them what they asked for. A wind blowing in from the sea covered the ground with quail. For 2 days and a night the greedy people feasted on quail, but while the flesh was still between their teeth God hit them with a deadly plague (Num. 11:31-34). The psalmist commented, “He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul” (Ps. 106:15).
Our rebellious desires do not become good prayers just because we address them to God. How much better to say, “Above all, Lord, I want Your will!” That way, we’ll not only get what we pray for, we’ll want what we get.
My love and fear, Lord, You require,
You'd have me choose to go Your way;
So grant me one supreme desire—
Your Word, O Lord, I would obey. —DJD
Be careful what you pray for—you might get it.