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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

July 10 2023

Today, Monday July 10

“My Desire is God Himself…”

Psalm 73:23-28 A Psalm of Asaph.

“Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry.

But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, That I may declare all Your works.

Psalm 73 was written by the Asaph who was appointed by King David to be chief musician and worship leader in the Worship Center there in Jerusalem. He no doubt was a very godly man and a great leader. He was a poet, he could sing, he could play instruments and he was a teacher. Remember he wrote Psalm 50 and the first eleven Psalms of Book Three of the Psalms (Psalms 73-83).

I love how the Lord, in His Word, allows us to see how human some of His choice servants are. They struggled with the same issues and problems that we have to deal with in our own lives. God lets us see their thoughts and what is going on in their emotions and this gives us hope realizing that they were not “perfect” people. Asaph allows us to see that he also struggled and wrestled with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and covetousness just like we do.

Asaph revealed that he was envious of the ungodly who seemed to be at ease and prosper despite their evil and wicked ways. He felt like he experienced nothing but trouble and difficulties ever since he started serving the Lord. And he was tempted to hang up his harp and resign his position as a worship leader and go back to living in the world.

As I thought of this, I remembered the story of Abraham, “the father of the faithful”, in the book of Hebrews. As great as his faith and obedience was, Hebrews 11:15 tells us that: “And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.” Even these great patriarchs would have made excuses to return to their old lives of idolatry, if they began to think about the “good life” of ease and comfort they had before they began to follow the Lord.

When we come to these last verses in Psalm 73, we see Asaph as a conqueror rejoicing over God’s goodness (vv. 23-28). The Psalm opened with "Truly God is good to Israel," but Asaph wasn't sure what the word "good" really meant. (See Matt. 19:16-17.) Is the "good life" one of wealth and authority, pomp and pleasure? Surely not! The “good life” is really knowing God and desiring Him alone!

The contrast is striking between Asaph's picture of the godless life in verses 4-12 and the godly life in verses 23-28. The ungodly impress each other and attract admirers, but they don't have God's presence with them. The Lord upholds the righteous but casts down the wicked (v. 18). The righteous are guided by God's truth (v. 24) but the ungodly are deluded by their own fantasies. The destiny of the true believers is glory (v. 24), but the destiny of the unbelievers is destruction (vv. 19, 27). "Those who are far from You shall perish".

The ungodly have everything they want except God, and the godly have in God all that they want or need. He is their portion forever (Psalm 16:2). The possessions of the ungodly are but idols that take the place of the Lord, and idolatry is harlotry (Ex. 34:15-16; 1 Chron. 5:25). Even death cannot separate God's people from His blessing, for the spirit goes to heaven to be with the Lord, and the body waits in the earth for resurrection (vv. 25-26; 2 Cor. 5:1-8; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).

When the worship service ended and Asaph had gotten his feet firmly grounded in the faith, he left the sanctuary and told everybody what he had learned. He had drawn near to God, he had trusted God, and now he was ready to declare God's works.

My friend, we also need to remember: "Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37). And may the Lord help us “to declare all His works” to the generations to come!

God bless!

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