Much of life is a trade-off. In the case of the married woman, it’s trading independence for intimacy; and if this results in children, it’s trading privacy for pandemonium! This principle is true in the spiritual realm, as well. The context of the cited verse tells us that if we disdain the counsel of God (v. 13), lusting instead for the things of the world (v. 14), God may very well grant our desires; but the trade-off will never be worth it. As one preacher has characterized the people referred to in this text, “They got what they wanted, but they lost what they had.”
This should be sobering to you and me. We can never alter God’s ultimate order of things, but we can limit His power in the present (Mark 6:5). For although God is sovereign, He has chosen to allow us to override His good judgment, at times, in order to give us something we think we want. And when that happens, we can be sure we’ve made a bad trade: fullness of joy for leanness of soul.
The leanness that follows a life lived independent of God always leaves one so hungry, nothing in this world can ever relieve the pangs. It would be like offering cotton candy to a famine victim. It may look exciting, but it’s still just air, sweet to the taste but useless to the body. Who in their right mind would settle for a good time when they could have a good life (Luke 15:15)?
The body may require a diet from time to time, but never the soul.
“…let your soul delight itself in fatness.” (Isa. 55:2)