“It is good for me to draw near to God” Psa 73: 28a
Intellectual knowledge of the presence of God and a personal experience of it are entirely two different things. Often this experimental knowledge of God’s goodness is preceded by intense struggle in a believer’s life. If such difficult phases of life lead us closer to the Lord then we ought to be grateful even for the painful event of life.
That’s what we see in Asaph’s life narrated in Psalm 73. He began to look at the wicked instead of God and His people. As the psalmist began to view life through the eyes of a worldly man his spiritual understanding is lost, everything became confusion to him. The result is doubt, stumbling, envy, depression, guilt; ignorance, pain etc. cf. Psa 73: 2, 3, 13, and 16.
This is what happens when we take our eyes away from the Lord. It is the spiritual perspective that helps us to see everything in a different manner. The moment one loses this spiritual vision we begin to evaluate life in a wrong manner. Even begin to behave like a beast. V. 21
That’s why the author of Hebrews exhorts the readers focus their eyes on the Lord Jesus. Heb 3:1; 12:2. Heroes of faith had such a telescoping vision. Heb 11: 13, 16. They looked beyond the immediate circumstances even the earthly sojourn of their life. That’s how they kept their faith even in the midst of untold sufferings and lived faithfully till the end. 11: 13a.
Nevertheless Asaph, with all his perplexity and pain comes to the sanctuary of God. Psa 73: 17. What a wonderful change! There he understood the truth. The one who was about to fall; with full of doubt, jealousy and confusion has been enlightened, strengthened and comforted. Psalmist understood the secret behind the apparent prosperity of the wicked and God’s wonderful care for him. Moreover, he saw his own foolishness. Cf. Psa 73: 21, 22. He did acknowledge his ignorance and brute nature.
This experience taught Asaph that God is good and it’s good for His people to draw near to Him. Yes, it’s true for us too. In the midst so much disturbances and perplexing thoughts let us draw near to Him. There all our questions will be answered, doubts will be cleared and fears will be taken care of. We will be shown the reality even of ourselves. Not only that, His presence will break us and make us humble too.
It is then God begins to mould us. God’s way of dealing with His people is always this. Think of any great servant of God they all had similar experiences that finally broken them with the vision of God’s presence and His purity. Cf. Isa 6: 1—8.
In our weaknesses and limitations the throne of grace is our refuge. The Lord Jesus our great High priest is interceding for us sympathetically with out any break. We are called upon to approach there any time for grace and mercy. Heb 4: 14 – 16. The hymn writer says it poignantly, “Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh, what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry, everything to God in prayers”.
Yes, all our struggles, the hurt and the perplexity reveal our need to stay closer to the Lord. How is it possible today? No other way, except spending time in meditation and study of His word as well as pouring our heart before the Lord in unrestricted prayers.
There, He will whisper to our hearts, teach us His ways and broaden our vision. We will know how he holds our hands, guides us with His counsel and finally going to take us to glory. What a privilege, what a blessing! Who else do we need? Let us desire Him alone and stay close to Him.
”Close to Thee, close to Thee,
Close to Thee, close to Thee;
All along my pilgrim journey,
Saviour, let me walk with Thee.”