Psalm 73, Christ and You

Yet I am always with you;
       you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
       and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
       And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
       but God is the strength of my heart
       and my portion forever.
Those who are far from you will perish;
       you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
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.  Psalm 73:23-28

Psalm 73 talks about your relationship with Christ. It takes a penetrating look into your soul. Negatively, these words expose your weakness and self-centeredness. Positively, these words provide a model, a relational goal to long for and seek after. Parents, if you wish to give your children an attractive picture of following God, these words show you the way. Even more importantly, these words express a sense of the wonder of God. To be a faithful parent, you must be first a faithful lover of God. This is the love that sustains you through the daily challenges of life. Over the next few posts we will consider this psalm that meditates on the reality and the beauty of God.

As the psalmist begins to take a personal spiritual inventory, he considers a view of reality that is not confirmed by the world and its experiences. Many of the struggles we face as Christians occur because we view God the way the world does. That was the problem the psalmist faced in the beginning of  Psalm 73.  Everyone else, all those who don’t care about God, appears to be doing just fine. They don’t have the struggles we face each day. They don't even think about pleasing God.  These thoughts had embittered the psalmist until he began to consider reality from God’s perspective. Then his thinking went from cynical bitterness to a wondrous awe at living in the presence of God. What are these themes?

You hold me by my right hand 

When my children were little, if we were away from the house in an unfamiliar place, an almost automatic response on their part was to reach for my hand. They would cling tightly to my hand until they felt settled. Reaching up and finding my hand told them that things were okay, Dad was there. No worries. That is what the psalmist means when he says that his God holds him by the hand,  that he is always with God. We live in a world that is outraged by the thought of God and the need of a savior. It is not a friendly world. But the psalmist realizes that God is there—strong, powerful and without equal—even though the world rants and raves against him.

You guide me with your counsel

As Francis Schaeffer has said, not only is God there, but he is not silent. Through the power of the Holy Spirit the word of God offers counsel that is a safe guide.  As the psalmist journeys back from the fog of the world’s influence, reality begins to take clear form again in his mind. He is no longer like a brute beast, but now sees the wonderful word of God for what it is—a safe, sure guide that stands in relief to the thundering cacophony of a world lost in self-pleasure.

Parent, Christ holds you by the hand. He is your faithful advocate before the Father. He gives you wise, life-giving counsel in his Word. Turn to it continually. If you do not, you face the danger of being as dazed and confused as the psalmist was in Psalm 73. Nothing made sense to him and he began to question the goodness of God. But God is faithful, and he drew his servant back. That is why we are looking at these few verses at the end of the Psalm 73.

We will take a look at more of these words of life in future posts. Please feel free to weigh in. Your comments are welcomed and are an encouragement to others.

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