Nearer my God to Thee
For reading & meditation: James 4:1-10
"Come near to God and he will come near to you." (v.8)
The final two verses of Psalm 73 form a conclusion and a resolution. Listen to them once again: "Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds" (vv.27-28). The psalmist has finished his review of the past and is now hammering out a philosophy with which to face the future. He is resolved that no matter what anyone else may do, he is going to live in close companionship with God. He helps us to see the importance of this resolution by putting it in the form of a contrast: "Those who are far from you will perish ' but as for me, it is good to be near God." Really, when it comes down to it, there are only two positions in life - close to God or far away from Him. I wonder, as the psalmist penned these words was something like this going through his mind: "What caused me so much trouble in recent days and accounted for all my difficulties was the fact that I did not keep close to God. I erroneously believed that the cause of my problems was the prosperity of the ungodly, but having entered into the sanctuary of God I see that this was not the cause of my problems at all. My problems came because I had chosen not to remain close to Him. For me there is now only one thing that matters - staying close to God." How are things with you at this moment? Do you feel close to God? If you don't, then let me put what I want to say in the words of a wayside pulpit that arrested my attention some years ago: "If you feel that God is far away guess who moved?"
Father, I am grateful for the promise of Your Word to me today that when I draw near to You, You will draw near to me. Help me put those words to the test by moving closer to You than I have ever done before. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
For further study:
1. What does the psalmist affirm?
2. What does the psalmist exhort the people?