105. My portion forever

Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.

With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me to glory.

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.

My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:23-26 NASB

I have been enjoying the words of Keil and Delitzsch’s commentary in regard to this precious section of God’s word (adapted for readability):

“Confidently does he yield up himself to the divine guidance, though he may not see through the mystery of the plan of this guidance. He knows that afterwards, i.e., after this dark way of faith, God will take him to Himself and take him from all suffering.

“The future is dark to him, but lighted up by the one hope that the end of his earthly existence will be a glorious solution of the riddle. Here, as elsewhere, it is faith which breaks through not only the darkness of this present life, but also the night of Hades. At that time there was as yet no divine utterance concerning any heavenly triumph of the church, embattled in the present world, but to faith the Jehovah-Name had already a transparent depth which penetrated beyond Hades into an eternal life. The heaven of blessedness and glory also is nothing without God; but he who can in love call God his, possesses heaven upon earth, and he who cannot in love call God his, would possess not heaven, but hell, in the midst of heaven. In this sense the poet says in Psalm 73:25 : whom have I in heaven? i.e., who there without Thee would be the object of my desire, the stilling of my longing? without Thee heaven with all its glory is a vast waste and void, which makes me indifferent to everything, and with Thee, i.e., possessing Thee, I have no delight in the earth, because to call Thee mine infinitely surpasses every possession and every desire of earth.

“Heaven and earth, together with angels and men, afford him no satisfaction – his only friend, his sole desire and love, is God. The love for God which David expresses in Psalm 16:2 in the brief utterance, “Thou art my Lord, Thou art my highest good,” is here expanded with incomparable mystical profoundness and beauty.

“Luther’s version shows his master-hand. The church follows it in its ‘Herzlich lieb hab’ ich dich’ when it sings-

‘The whole wide world delights me not,
For heaven and earth, Lord, care I not,
If I may but have Thee;’

“and following it, goes on in perfect harmony with the text of our Psalm-

‘Yea, though my heart be like to break,

Thou art my trust that naught can shake;’

“In the midst of the natural life of perishableness and of sin, a new, individual life which is resigned to God has begun within him, and in this he has the pledge that he cannot perish, so truly as God, with whom it is closely united, cannot perish.”

When faith we have, what hope, what joy, what love there is in His presence, and with an expectation of so much more to come! I am challenged today:  have I been in the sanctuary with God (Psalm 73:17) and come out saying these words?

“The whole wide world delights me not,
For heaven and earth, Lord, care I not,
If I may but have Thee.”

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