Oswald Chambers – Sins and the Surrounding of the Soul ( Audio Reading )
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Sins and Surroundings of the Soul
Psalm 6 refers to the surroundings of the soul in bodily sickness and perplexity and the inward results of these. The Psalmist’s first degree of prayer is, “Heal me; for my bones are vexed”; the second degree is, Heal me, “for my soul is also sore vexed,” and the third degree is, “Save me for Thy mercies’ sake.” These are three degrees of perplexity arising from the soul’s surroundings: because of pain; because the mental outlook is cloudy, and because God has not said a word. When the soul is perplexed—and it certainly will be if we are going on with God, because we are a mark for Satan—and the sudden onslaught comes, as it did in the life of Job, we cry, “Heal me because of my pain,” but there is no answer. Then we cry, “Heal me, not because I am in pain, but because my soul is perplexed; I cannot see any way out of it or why this thing should be”; still no answer; then at last we cry, “Heal me, O Lord, not because of my pain, nor because my soul is sick, but for Thy mercies’ sake.” Then we have the answer, “The Lord hath heard my supplication.” The surroundings of the soul, the scenes which arise from our doings, do produce perplexity in the soul. The soul cannot be separated from the body, and bodily perplexities produce difficulties in the soul, and these difficulties go inward and at times intrude right to the very throne of God in the heart.
“Behold, all souls are Mine; . . . the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). In this passage the soul life and the sin that is punished are connected. The inherited disposition of sin must be cleansed, but for every sin we commit we are punished. “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:9). “Salvation” refers to the whole gamut of a man, spirit, soul and body; “Christ the firstfruits,” with the ultimate reach in the hereafter of our spirit, soul and body being like His in a totally new relationship. The soul in the present life can be satisfied in all its perplexities, and in all onslaughts and dangers it is kept by the power of God. Sin destroys the power of the soul to know its sin, punishment brings awakening, self-examination brings chastisement and saves the soul from sleeping sickness, and brings it into a healthy satisfaction.
In 1 Corinthians 11:30 (“For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep”), Paul alludes to sickness which has a moral and not a physical source. The immediate connection is the obscene conduct at the Lord’s Supper of former heathen converts, and Paul says that that is the cause of their bodily sickness. The truth laid down abides, that certain types of moral disobedience produce sicknesses which physical remedies cannot touch; obedience is the only cure. For instance nothing can touch the sicknesses produced by tampering with spiritualism; there is only one cure—yielding to the Lord Jesus Christ.’
Chambers, Oswald: Biblical Psychology
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