But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Thy works. (Psa.73:28)
What is the purpose of your life? This is an question worth finding answer because it is the purpose that puts meaning into our lives and channelizes the course of our lives. The purpose of our life is beautifully laid out by apostle Paul in 1 Cor.1:9: God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. God has called us for a purpose. It is to have fellowship with Jesus Christ. Apostle John tells that our fellowship is with the Father and His Son. Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3)
When two people desire for fellowship to develop, they need to meet often, talk to each other, and share with each other. This brings about an understanding. So also getting into a deep fellowship with God, will result in understanding Him.
To experience this, we need to ‘draw closer to the Lord’.
What is the result of drawing closer to God?
Drawing closer to the Lord helps you to understand Him. The awesome knowledge that you will experience by drawing closer to the Lord is given in Psa.73:1: Truly God is good to Israel, to such as are pure in heart. This is the revelation of the true nature of God. He is a good God. There is no shadow of evil in Him. Those who are chosen by Him, and those who have pure hearts will certainly taste His goodness in their lives.
The Bible is full of true instances of people who loved the Lord and who followed Him faithfully. No matter whatever hardship they went through, He was with them, He touched their lives and brought about a great blessing in their lives towards the end. He made their lives a blessing to so many people who were around them.
Take the life of Joseph, the 11th son of patriarch Jacob. From the beginning, he lost his mother at a tender age, hated by his brothers, sold as a slave and thrown into the prison wrongly. Though he went through a hard time, he had a pure heart. Mat.5:8 tells: Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. He never complained. He never took the wrong way. He held on to the Lord. The Lord brought about a turning point in his life. He was lifted out of the prison to be the leader of Egypt. The Lord also later honored him among the same brothers who sold him as a slave. Finally, God made him a blessing to everyone in his time. What does this tell you? No matter what, those who live holding on to the Lord, will always experience the goodness of God in their lives.
When we meditate on Psalm 73, it will help us to go through the different phases, in this journey of understanding the goodness of God.
The prosperity of the wicked:
For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. (Psa.73:3)
In Psalm 73:4-12, the psalmist Asaph talks about the prosperity of the wicked people. He tells many things which seem like the people who live wrong lives and the people who do not have the fear of God have a healthy and wealthy life. (Vv.4-5) They are very proud and violent because everything seems to work out on their behalf. (Vv.6-7) Not only that, they speak a lot of words full of pride and even words of dishonor against God. (Vv.8-12)
The difficult time for a child of God:
When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me. (Psa.73:16)
The wicked flourish on one side. On the other side, the righteous people go through a hard time. The hard time may be due to a sickness, financial distress, loss, spiritual struggle, and even many other challenges, which even come along with taking a stand for God and for truth. (v.14)
It is at this moment the devil comes to tempt. He puts thoughts in the mind saying: what is the use of being righteous? What is the use of being a God-seeker? The wicked are doing well, but you are suffering. It happened to Job when he lost everything after living a righteous life. His wife came and said: Do you still retain your integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, You speak as one of the foolish women. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil. (Job 2:9-10)
Job was attacked at close range by his wife. Maybe she was also a pious woman in the beginning. She cooperated with Job in every good thing in life. But now, when her faith was tested, she broke down. She gave up on God. She was too tired to believe. She was too exhausted to trust the Lord. She asked him to curse God and die. But look at Job. He would not do what she said. Even in the face of such adversity and sickness, Job stood like a mountain. He also gave here a piece of mind that she should not talk like a foolish woman. He believed in the goodness of God. He declared: God is good. God is good all the time. He did not believe what his situation tried to tell. He knew beyond the shadow of any doubt that God is good forever. He stood that ground till the end.
Later in Job’s life, we find God restoring everything to him and blessing him twofold. What does it mean? God is a good God. We come to understand through this incident, that Job’s wife would have repented of her foolishness, and put her faith in the goodness of God. That is the reason we don’t see her speaking again and hurting him. Later God blessed her womb to bear the prettiest daughters in the country. How much joy she would have had on that day! Hallelujah! God is good. Never give up on Him in your difficult times.
Go to God’s presence in your bad times:
Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. (Psa.73:17)
When you feel tired, don’t ever make the mistake of listening to the devil. Never deny God in the heat of the battle. There is more to life than what you at this present situation. Go to the presence of God. Even if you don’t feel like going, go to Him. Spend time in worship, spend time in prayer, spend time reading the word of God, spend time listening to the word of God, spend time praying with God’s people and let your pastor or spiritual leader counsel and pray with you.
When you do that, God will open your eyes. You will begin to see things in a new way. You will understand things in a new light. He will show you that what you see is not true. When the time comes, the wicked will be destroyed in a moment like a dream. (Psa.73:19)
Job sought God in the midst of his crisis. And God gave him hope. He said: For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. (Job 19:25,26)
The joys of drawing near to God:
Nevertheless I am continually with you: you have held me by my right hand. (Psa.73:23)
When a child of God decides to draw closer to the Lord in the midst of trials and challenges, he/she will begin to experience the Lord drawing towards the person. The psalmist experienced the Lord holding him by the right hand. What a strength! He goes on to say that the assurance of God’s guidance is with him and that God will take him into glory. No matter whatever happens, when you hold on to the Lord, He will be the strength of your life and your portion forever. (Vv.23-26) Blessed is the man who has truly abandoned himself on God. For God shall be his possession.
The psalmist ends with some important notes that those who stray from God shall perish. So it is important to take the relationship with the Lord seriously. Beware that you do not go astray.
But when you draw near to the Lord, He shall certainly deliver you. He will make you glorify Him in the midst of the people around. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. (Jam.4:8)