July 15 - Good to be near God
The psalmist has a big problem that he cannot solve: Why do bad things happen to good people and good things can happen to bad people. The more he tries to muse on the issue, the more he becomes envious and jealous of the bad people. Eventually, it is all about how God deals with the righteous and the wicked. If the wicked cannot live a good life, then why should anyone be good after all? He feels that it is in vain that he has kept his heart clean and washed his hands in innocence.
It is not worth it, trying so hard to do the right things but cannot reap the rewards. He cannot say it to the young generation for fear of becoming their stumbling block. Inside of him, he was deeply wounded by this. His soul was embittered and he was pricked in his heart. He describes his horrible condition as like that of a beast coming against God. Trying to make sense out of the confusion becomes a wearisome task. There is no answer apart from God Himself.
The turning point for the psalmist was when he went into the sanctuary of the Lord. There in God’s presence, he was able to discern the end of the wicked. He was able to see that this life is not everything. The wicked are living a dream that would end anytime when they awake. What we see in this world is temporary and we should not put too much weight on it. The key is to get into God’s presence and go through life with Him on our side.
The secret of life is to be continually with God, with Him holding your right hand, guiding you with His wise counsel and receive you into His glory one day. God transcends time and He is in eternity. Although we may feel the tension of time, with our flesh and heart failing, God is still our strength and portion. The conclusion of the psalmist lies in this line: “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth I desire besides You.” Both in heaven and on earth, the Lord is everything to us.
“But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge.” It is all right for us to suffer in this world, it is our glory that we can share in the suffering of Christ, we welcome the baptism of fire for in the midst of these, the presence of God is most evident. There is no need to compare your life with that of another for our life is about God anyway.
Are you walking with God, holding on to His hand? Is He guiding you every step of the way? Is He the refuge that you run to in times of trouble? Do you still have many questions that you cannot answer? It is good to be near God. Go near to Him now and listen to His voice of love and affirmation.
Ps 73:15-28 1 Chron 19:1-21:31 Rom 2:25-3:8 Prov 19:10-12