The Lavish Language of Love
Love drives our fellowship with God and offense halts it. In Psalm 73, Asaph describes both of these powerful emotions at work in his heart.
He begins by sharing candidly with the reader his offense with God. Everywhere he looks he sees the triumphing of evil men and the trials of good men: “I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” The more he considers these “things seen,” the more he envies sinners and regrets his repentance, faith and obedience to God’s Word and correction. “Verily, I have cleansed my heart in vain,” he cries out as the deception of offense takes hold.
Then he visits God’s sanctuary and God’s truth awakens him from his nightmare of doubt, disappointment and deception. The Word reveals that he, not the wicked, is in the blessed, preferred position. He has a rich, satisfying, eternal relationship with God. Proud, disbelieving, self-serving sinners, though comparatively trouble-free, are in the worst conceivable position. At any moment, they may die and fall into a swirling vortex of unending chaos, desolation and torment (vv. 17-20), never again to have a chance to know the wonderful God he knows, follows and enjoys every day!
Reawakened to reality, thankful and freshly in- spired with adoration for his Redeemer, the psalmist then uses some of the most eloquent language in the Bible to describe his sorely tested but surviving love for Him who is Love. Listen to his lavish love talk.
“Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart” – O Lord you are good, so good, to all who submit to your salvation, instruction and correction. My faith was right! I fling away all my doubts and reaffirm my confidence that nothing but good awaits those who trust and obey you!
“I am continually with you” – Lord, I have something much better than worldly riches, success and influence. It is You, your sweet personality, kind acts and precious, nourishing Words of truth. And I enjoy your presence and my communication with you “continually.”
“Thou hast held me by thy right hand” – Lord, what a tender lover you are. When I’m baffled or worried, you reassure me by “taking my hands” or quickening portions of your Word that remind me that there is nothing and no one to fear, because your strength, wisdom, skill and favor will help me.
“Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel” – Your unerring Word and unfailing voice will show me the right way every time I face confusing crossroads in life. I will never lack the insight I need. “And afterward receive me to glory” – And after this life, you’ll receive me warmly in heaven, where I’ll behold your beautiful face and revel in your glorious kingdom.
“There is none upon earth that I desire beside thee” – There is no other person, king, object, entity or end in this fallen world that captivates my adoration. I am permanently, passionately love-struck, blind to all other suitors and deaf to their appeals.
“God is my portion forever” – Lord you are my richest reward, my prized inheritance. Streets of crystal-clear gold, gates of pearl, walls of jewels, many mansions, legions of saints and angels – all these blessings are wonderful and mine, yet pale when compared to living close to you “forever!”
“It is good for me to draw near to God” – With these insights before me, Lord, I have a new highest good in my life: drawing near to you every day, pleasing you in every issue, and so preparing to walk and work with you endlessly. Help me hold fast this new supreme purpose. Amen, so be it.
That's not the language of a soul who sees himself only as “redeemed,” “justified” or “sanctified.” No, these are the words of a soul who is madly in love with God. Ponder the lavish language of love until it possesses you.