“When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was stupid and ignorant; I was like a brute beast toward you. Nevertheless I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me with honor. Who have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Indeed, those who are far from you will perish; you put an end to those who are false to you. But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, to tell of all your words.” Psalm 73:21-28
Why was the Psalmist’s soul embittered? The earlier verses in Psalm 73 express dismay and complaint that those who do wickedly, those who are evil seem to prosper, to have easy lives full of abundance; while the pure in heart, those who walk upright with God at times seem not to be blessed materially. How often do I look around at the false appearance of wealth and suppose that person (those persons) have it made? How often do I follow that false conclusion with a desire to have earthly treasures, earthly success? I realize that these thoughts separate me from God. Separated from God it is easy to become embittered in the soul and feel stabbed in the heart. There is no reception of God’s love, there is no sharing of God’s love with God or others. No wonder the flesh and heart fail, there is no life. Separated from God I will perish, I will become a brute beast, mean spirited, stupid and ignorant. At the end of the day, when the pity party is over I realize it is good to be near God, God is refuge, God is redemption, God is love. O praise God from whom all blessings flow! Both the upright and the evil will be judged, by God, in due time. How I, you, how all respond to Gods’ grace is going to determine the outcome of the judgment. Seeing, recognizing, accepting God’s grace results in admission of sins, confession of sins, turning from sins and asking forgiveness. Grace forgives, Grace forgets. Cleansed by grace I am able to enter closely into God’s presence. My soul is no longer embittered, my heart is full to overflowing not broken. For me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge!” I will tell all I can about God’s goodness, God’s mercy.