Reading: Psalm 73
Focus: Psalm 73:25-26
Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you. But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.
Years ago, we had some folks in our neighborhood who had everything. Nice cars, more than one home, kids with every toy imaginable, a cute little family. Around Christmastime, one of their kids came to play at our house, and he noticed the nativity we had prominently on display. “What is that?” he asked. I gave the 5-year-old, “That’s baby Jesus, we celebrate His birthday at Christmas” answer, and off he went to play.
I get it that it was a witnessing opportunity. I get it that I got to plant a seed. I get it that I will likely never see the fruit of that seed, if it even ever manifests. What I didn’t get is why is there life so good?? They had everything they could possibly want or need. In Christain-ese, we’d say they were blessed beyond measure. But they had no knowledge of, no dependence on, no faith in God. Why would God pour blessing on them?? I can very much identify with the struggle we see the writer dealing with in Psalm 73. It seems really unfair!
It wasn’t until I read this Psalm for this very writing that I understood. Isn’t God good? I forgot that I even had this question until I started reading with, “Yeah! I know, right??” running through my mind!
I’m grateful that the psalmist resolved this issue for himself; he resolved it for me, too. The bottom line being that we don’t live for the “things” on this planet. We were put on this earth, not to GET things, but to GIVE things. We’re to give our gifts to others and back to God. When we do that, God is our treasure, not things.
The psalmist goes so far as to say that those who live without God are on a slippery path to destruction. Their prosperity has no firm foundation. Stuff is not eternal. In an instant they are destroyed, completely swept away by terrors (v19). Loss – of health, of job, of family members, of money, of things, of status – destroys them. They are prosperous for a time, but destroyed forever.
So, would I rather have all the things my neighbors had, or would I rather have an eternity with God? Given that choice, I realize that not only do I not want the “stuff,” but I don’t even want to be envious of it. How ‘bout you?
God, I want to be near to you, and want you to be my treasure. Forgive me for my want and envy, and remind me of my firm foundation in you. I know that you will cover all my needs, and it’s in you that I put my trust. Thank you, Father, for the promise that I am yours forever. In Jesus’ name, Amen.