December 19, 2011
The Hand of God:
Delighting in God Alone
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We have seen in Psalm 73 that God holds the right hand of each believer and guides them continually. The presence of the living God in our lives results in direct guidance from Him. He promised thousands of years ago to be with each believer. Today, we will see the contrast between a physical body that may fail, and the spiritual strength of God that endures forever. When the Lord Jesus Christ becomes the power of our lives, when we focus more on Him and desire only God while we remain on earth, He becomes the strength of our heart. So, let us study Psalm 73 further.
Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
God in Heaven. Asaph completely understood that God inhabited heaven. Yet, God also held Asaph’s right hand continually, and Asaph knew it. In our thinking, we sometimes feel that God not only is in heaven, but we feel far from Him and our hearts yearn to be closer to Him. Asaph has no thoughts about a pantheon of different gods in heaven, but only one God. In Deuteronomy 6:4, Moses proclaimed to Israel that the living God is only One God. This one God resides in heaven, but has direct, continuous contact with believers. Anytime you start thinking that God has lost touch with you, remember to check your right hand. He promised to hold it continually and forever.
I Desire Nothing on Earth But God. In this same verse, Asaph tells us about his desire (“חָפַצְתּ”). This Hebrew term for desire means to take pleasure in, to delight in. Just as we delight in God, so also He delights in the steps of the man He leads (Psalm 37:23). When you think about it, Asaph explains to us his innermost feelings during times of great turmoil, caused by bitterness about the wicked, resulting finally in Asaph being senseless and ignorant. In this low state, Asaph still knows that he delights in God, because the envy towards the wicked results only in bitterness and acting like a beast before God. We should examine very carefully the desires of our hearts. Asaph would tell me that the only thing on earth he desired was God. As you think about Christmas coming soon, think too about what you really desire. Gifts, relationships, healing–you name it. Think about desiring only God, like Asaph said. I see too that Asaph had to go through the envying of the wicked before He came to appreciate fully his relationship with God as paramount in every aspect. The counsel and presence of God in his life was far more precious than wealth and wickedness. Perhaps you know people still on the journey of envying the wealthy and still seeking more money, bigger homes, nicer cars, the best schools, and so on. At some point, you will find the real treasure for believers is only God, and only the desire for God within your heart, spirit, and soul. We must truly love Him with all we are.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Flesh and Heart May Fail. Asaph comprehended the limitations of his physical body and knew it would eventually fail, resulting in physical death. Likewise, Asaph also appreciated that spiritually, his heart may forsake him, being supremely deceitful and desperately sick (Jeremiah 17:9, page 1210-1211). For Asaph, the only hope for life resided in God. God alone provided the strength for living.
God alone My Strength and Portion. Asaph also mentions that God is the strength of his heart. When you go through the process of envying the wicked, you come out of it with a new appreciation for the true strength of God. Not only does God hold your right hand and guide you, He also provides continual strength for your heart, sufficient to carry you through times of envying the wicked. Finally, Asaph speaks about his portion. In Israel, the tribes received a portion in the promised land allotted to them by God. They each had a portion. Within the tribe, individual property rights were given to people, marked off by boundaries. In the case of Asaph, God was the portion of the tribe of Levi, the priestly tribe of Israel. They had no apportioned land, but we all share spiritually in the concept that God alone is our portion. We do not desire anything on earth, except to be with God. In our lives, when we act like a senseless beast before God, we can still trust God will hold our right hand and lead us out of such bad behavior. He will rescue us from our own sinful actions. When we come to our senses again, we will see that only God matters, and we delight in God alone. Nothing on earth compares to Him. When you think about Jesus, ponder how great life has become because He lives within you and helps you with guidance every day of your life. Jesus loves us all the time, every day.
So we learn more about the Hand of God.
● When my body and heart fail, I rest secure in knowing God will always be with me, and I with Him.
● I desire nothing on earth except God.
● God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Application for Today
As I walk through life today, God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Even if my body or heart fails me today, God will never fail me. I delight in God, and He loves me. Will you be delighting in God and desiring nothing but Him today?