6 October 2022 Anno Domini
the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. * * 3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. * 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” (Psalms 23:1-6; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
The English language has been corrupted over the many years by social engineers who have undertaken to assist the serpent of Eden in deceiving us and our children. That which is good has been labelled as bad, and that which is bad is being taught as good. One example is the term GAY. Until contemporary times, GAY meant happy, but not anymore. Another example is the term, ‘alternate lifestyle’ which is intended to brunt the guilt of adultery or perversions of every tenor. Our children are even being taught pornography in schools and told that it is good – including every unimaginable perversion.
Now come to the term that is the subject of this brief devotion and has been re-engineered by either intent, or else a common carelessness in vulgar rhetoric – that is the term ‘WANT.’ The Prodigal Son did not “come to himself” until he began to be in WANT the Bible tells us. In the Bible, and in classical English, the word WANT does not mean ‘desire’ but rather grave NEED. That is also the primary definition given in Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary: “Deficiency; defect; the absence of that which is necessary or useful; as a want of power or knowledge for any purpose; want of food and clothing. The want of money.” Today, our desires have become what we ‘think’ we want. An old Greek adage goes thusly: “When God is displeased with a man, He gives him what he desires – but not what is wanting.”
St. Paul assigns our wants to where they truly belong: “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” (Philippians 4:11-12) We may never desire the chastisement of the Lord for our wayward sins, but certainly that chastisement is a want of our soul.
Real want of the body derives from a hunger for bread, a thirst for water, a healing for as malady, clothing for the body, shelter from the storms, etc. But there is a greater want to which Paul makes reference – the wants of the soul! It is often the case that our physical wants lead to a satisfaction of our spiritual wants. That example of the Prodigal Son has direct relevance to that condition. “He would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat, and no man gave unto him.” (Luke 15:15) That physical want led to a spiritual satisfaction that resulted, also, in a satisfaction of his physical want.
How carelessly do we use the word want in place of desire. I want a big house, a fancy car, a large payroll, etc. Those things have, at times, led to the destruction of the more important nature of man – his soul. Those are not wants, but DESIRES. There is nothing wrong with those material possessions in and of themselves, but certainly the gravity we attach by calling them wants is misplaced.
A similar misuse of the English language is our wholesale use of the term love to mean ‘like’ or a ‘preference.’ You may LIKE ice cream, but you do not LOVE ice cream enough to sacrifice blood for it. Love is self-sacrificing, but liking something is not that for which we would greatly sacrifice. Love is spiritual, like is mundane. Want, too, is spiritual in its highest meaning, but desire is certainly mundane.
There is an ongoing confusion of tongues in modern society. It is a result of the sinful imaginations of men. God confused the tongues of the builders at Babel for sin. Confusion of tongues is also even practiced in some churches. Let’s get back to real words for real meanings. Lets once again resort to calling evil by it’s proper name, and goodness by its traditional and biblical meaning. Let us pray the prayer of David in the wilderness:
“O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.” (Psalms 63:1-2) Our thirst for God’s favor, and hunger for His Word represents our real WANTS.