Psalm 73:28 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.
It is good to realize that David didn’t write all the Psalms; there were other gifted poets who loved God. This says it is “of Asaph,” but given Hebrew conventions, it could have been written by one of his descendants. In any case, it was written by a Levite, someone whose life revolved around the temple. Today that would be someone who was on the church staff, but not necessarily the senior pastor. Looking at it that way, it’s easy to understand why he would resent the apparent prosperity of wicked people, particularly when his life was far from trouble-free. He had the good sense to realize that grousing about it would be damaging to those who were in his spiritual care, (verse 15) and that when he was consumed by resentment he was no better than an animal. (verses 21-22) Verses 25-26 have been set to music very nicely, and are well loved. All of that leads to the conclusion expressed in this last verse: he is blessed to be near God, he has set his heart to depend on God, and he is going to tell others how good God is. Whatever our circumstances, we too can be near God by faith, if we will choose to turn to Him in all that happens in our lives. When we live like that, we will have plenty to tell others about God, because we will see Him at work in every area of our lives.
This is certainly my testimony! By God’s grace I have indeed been “close to God” all my life, even when I was ignoring Him, but it was when I acknowledged my absolute dependence on Him that I started growing in every area that matters. Resentment is still a trap to me at times, but it is easier every day to rest in the reality that what is waiting for me is infinitely better than what awaits anyone who is rejecting God. My biggest heartache at this point is all the people who refuse to open their eyes to the truth, repent, and believe for their salvation. I was talking with someone just yesterday about how, having a great-grandchild on the way, I realize that material wealth doesn’t matter at all; what matters is people. Jesus didn’t come and die for wealth, or for the environment, or for political power, or any of that sort of thing, He came for people. I am to be focused on the people Jesus came for, sharing the good news of His grace and love so that they may open their hearts to Him. Frankly, that doesn’t come naturally to me, because I am at heart a rather solitary geek, so I need to let it come supernaturally, particularly since I couldn’t save anyone in my own strength anyway. It is nothing short of amazing that God does use me to draw people to Him, and I am deeply grateful.
Father, thank You for this expression of Your grace that I can relate to so closely. Help me live out all You have spoken to me and done in me, so that I may fulfill all of Your purposes for me, for the blessing of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!