“Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.”
“Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Psalm 73, ESV
Continuity is a medicine for us who are always on the edge of losing control.
One patriarch in the Book of Genesis was told that “he was unstable as water.” And this pretty much describes me as I struggle with depression. But the promise from Psalm 73 is for a continuous presence. There is no flickering, no jumping about. He is steady. He does not flit or fluctuate.
He is always, and forever, constantly, focused on you.
He provides guidance, free of charge. We can experience many confusing days. We make the attempt to walk through them, but we quickly grasp our ineptitude. It goes very much better when He is speaking into our hearts. Since He is present with us on a continuous basis anyway, let us turn to Him for direction.
There is a realization in verse 25. “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.” This statement declares “point blank” who and what is real. Try reading this verse and emphasize the “you.”
The psalmist has an ‘umbilical cord’ attached to heavenly places.
This feeds him and gives him a radical strength to stand up and ‘to be’. The writer is completely over with the things of this earth. He desires only heavenly things, that which really comes after looking down the long corridors of eternity. He has made his choice. He will follow.
In verse 26 he admits a desperate weakness.
He understands the foolishness of his flesh. He knows that he has been pathetic and spiritually feeble. There is absolutely nothing he can do about this. He has tried and tried repeatedly to change. His heart is like a colander that drains away all the grace and mercy that pours out on him. He holds on to nothing. He must stay under the faucet to survive.
But still, there is a profound realization that God is strengthening his heart. He has done this on an eternal level. What this means is this: He has touched me and by that touch has made me like Him. The rest of this Psalm extends and states certain things that the Psalmist has learned himself.
“For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.”
“But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.”
Psalm 73, ESV
God draws a person, but coming closer is also your choice.
The Psalmist sees that his “nearness to God is my good.” He realizes that by taking refuge in God there is something that will be quite wonderful. There is some effort that must happen. So he makes God his refuge. The Lord God is now a ‘bomb shelter’ or a covering for our souls. He continues this process with a deep commitment to sharing ‘the works of God.’