God and God alone
Category : General
Psalm 73: 25 (KJV)
25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.
The Christian, by nature, differs not at all from those who are still in darkness. He once chose the world as the portion in which his soul delighted, but now he renounces it as sincerely as he ever loved it. [He does not indeed treat it with stoical indifference. He knows that wealth and honor are capable of important uses, and that, if God bestow them, they may be richly enjoyed [1 Timothy 6:17.]. But he is well assured that they are not a satisfying portion: he is persuaded that our cares increase with our possessions Ecclesiastes 5:11.], and that Solomon’s testimony respecting the world is true [Ecclesiastes 2:11.].
This evil and deceitful world promises happiness to its votaries; and men, naturally carnal, are too willing to be deceived by it. Even the godly themselves are sometimes drawn aside by its delusions; but when the snare is broken, they see, and lament their folly [ver. 22.]. David contrasted the mirth of the wicked with the troubles he had to conflict with, and was ready to conclude that they had a better portion than himself [ver. 3, 4, 5, 10, 12, 13, 14.]; but on deeper investigation he found, that their happiness was soon to end [ver. 17–20.]. Whereas, however difficult his path at present was, God would guide him safely to the regions of eternal felicity.
Here the psalmist is saying literally, “Who is to me in the heavens?” That is, there is no one there that in my love for him can be compared with thee; no one who can do for me what thou canst do; no one who can meet and satisfy the needs of my soul as thou canst; no one who can be to me what God “is” – what a God “must” be. After all my complaining and my doubts there is no one, not even in the heavens, who can supply the place of “God,” or be to me what God is; and the warm affections of my soul, therefore, are “really” toward him. I feel my need of him; and I must and do find my supreme happiness in him. What would even heaven be to me without God? who there, even of the angels of light, could supply the place of God?
There are many things on earth desirable, as riches, health, friends, food, raiment, &c. but not to be compared with God and Christ, and the blessed Spirit; with the love of God, the grace of Christ, and the communion of the Holy Ghost; there are none to be loved and delighted in as they, nor anything so desirable as fellowship with them: or “with thee I desire not the earth”; the whole world, and all things in it, are nothing in comparison of God; if a man was possessed of the whole of it, and had no interest in the Lord, he would be miserable; and if he has an interest in him, he has enough without it; for all things are his, God is all in all; wherefore he is willing to leave all, and be with him forever.
The Psalmist shows more distinctly how much he had profited in the sanctuary of God; for being satisfied with him alone, he rejects every other object, except God, which presented itself to him. The form of expression which he employs, when he joins together an interrogation and an affirmation, is quite common in the Hebrew tongue, although harsh in other languages. As to the meaning, there is no ambiguity. David declares that he desires nothing, either in heaven or in earth, except God alone, and that without God, all other objects which usually draw the hearts of men towards them were unattractive to him. And, undoubtedly, God then obtains from us the glory to which he is entitled, when, instead of being carried first to one object, and then to another, we hold exclusively by him, being satisfied with him alone. If we give the smallest portion of our affections to the creatures, we in so far defraud God of the honor which belongs to him. And yet nothing has been more common in all ages than this sacrilege, and it prevails too much at the present day. How small is the number of those who keep their affections fixed on God alone! We see how superstition joins to him many others as rivals for our affections. While the Papists admit in word that all things depend upon God, they are, nevertheless, constantly seeking to obtain help from this and the other quarter independent of him. Others, puffed up with pride, have the effrontery to associate either themselves or other men with God. On this account we ought the more carefully to attend to this doctrine, that it is unlawful for us to desire any other object besides God.
Have a great and God filled day!