September 09, 2020 | Stories by Josh Johnson
“Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee.”
Psalm 73 is a psalm that each of us can likely relate to, as much of God's word is. I would encourage you to read it.
The psalmist is reflecting on how the wicked prosper and even admits to envy. (v.3) They seemingly have no trouble in life, they consume all they want, enjoy all they can, often oppress the poor and those with less, and even go so far to profane God and live as if He does not exist or govern all things.
And they say, (v.11) “How can God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?
It leaves the author feeling that his life lived obediently to God was in vain. (v.13)
Each of us was once an enemy of the cross of Christ and now, through Christ's atoning substitution for us on the cross, we are now not just made righteous but adopted. It was true physically for Adam and now spiritually for us. We are now “sons of God”.(Luke 3:38)
Now we see things as they are, by God's spirit. We see the flesh, the devil, and the world are all set against us. James 4:6 tells us that “friendship with the world is enmity with God.”
Worldliness is the rock by which so many make a shipwreck of their faith. It was worldliness that caused Gehazi to make shipwreck of his faith desiring the gifts of Naaman that were not his to take (2 Kings 5:15-27). It was worldliness that caused Lot’s wife to turn back, desiring the pleasures of Sodom rather than life by obedience (Genesis 19:26). Worldliness caused backsliding in Simon the magician. And it was worldliness that made the Israelites demand a king other than God himself.
“And the Lord said to Samuel, ... they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them” (1 Samuel 8:7)
It was worldliness that the psalmist in Psalm 73 is seeing and envying, and who of us hasn’t done that? Who hasn't seen the way those in the world live and the seeming joy they might have or the lack of consequences for their actions and not envy them? But the psalmist, by God's revealing, discerns the end of the wicked (v16,17) and concludes with:
"Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee."
Can we honestly say that with the psalmist? Is it true for us that there is nothing here we desire but God himself, and that our greatest desire is to know and be with God one day in heaven? If we had everything we ever wanted in heaven, all our family, riches, our hobbies, all our hearts desires, but God was not there would we be satisfied? May we think deeply on this and come to say with the apostle Paul:
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Phil 3:8)
Lord grant us to know a life of rejecting the world and pursuing you is not a life lived in vain, and that you Lord are our portion now and into eternity.