Psalm 73:25-26 (NIV)
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Our Verse of the Day comes from the beautiful Psalm 73. I decided to reprint the entire Psalm for us today because of the message it conveys regarding our attitudes towards those who seem to prosper in this world; and yet, they do not know God nor have a faithful relationship with Him. When Asaph, the Psalmist, went into the sanctuary of God, he discerned the end of the unrighteous and took hope in the resurrection to come for the righteous.
Psalm 73 – A Psalm of Asaph.
1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.
3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.
5 They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.
7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity; their evil imaginations have no limits.
8 They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression.
9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.
10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.
11 They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?”
12 This is what the wicked are like— always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence.
14 All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments.
15 If I had spoken out like that, I would have betrayed your children.
16 When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply –
17 Until I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.
18 Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin.
19 How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!
20 They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.
21 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.
23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.
Do you ever have thoughts or feelings like those expressed in this psalm? Do you envy others because of their apparent wealth or prosperity? Do you feel the arrogant have treated you with malice, contempt, injustice, or oppression? Do you seek revenge or demand justice based on your own perceptions? I believe Asaph affords us some great perspective when we need to process through any feelings of jealousy, disappointment, injustice, inequity, bitterness, or pain. He paints a vivid contrast between the destinies of those who live in covenant with God and those who live apart from Him in this life. He reminds us that there is a Day of Judgment coming, and there is hope for those who submit themselves to God….
However difficult it might be for us to put into practice, our Lord Jesus taught us to have a mindset of love and forgiveness that supersedes the natural inclinations of our hearts. He reminds us that our hearts are to be compassionate just as our Heavenly Father is compassionate toward all:
Matthew 5:38-48 (NIV)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.
My friends, no matter what your circumstances might be, God is for you! We know in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. (Cf. Romans 8:28) As King David reflected, we are always before God … always in His presence. It is He who sustains us and guides our hearts. (Cf. Psalm 139) It is He who will take us into glory. As Paul affirmed: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (Cf. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18) Oh, yes, God is the strength of our hearts and our portion forever! Let this truth be the anthem of our faith.
So Now You Know…
Have a Blessed Day!
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. ~ 1 John 2:15-17