Tag Archive for 'Psalm 73'

We’re not better than Old Testament Christians

Whom have I in heaven but thee?
and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.
Psalm 73:25 KJV

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones describes how we aren’t any better than Old Testament Christians in his book Faith On Trial, a great exposition of Psalm 73.

One often finds a tendency amongst Christian people to depreciate the Old Testament. It is not that they do not believe in it as the Word of God. They do. But they tend to contrast themselves with the saints of the Old Testament ‘We are in Christ,’ they say, ‘we have received the Holy Spirit. The Old Testament saints did not know of this and they are therefore inferior to us.’ If you are tempted to think like that I have one simple question to put to you: Can you honestly use the language that this man uses in these two verses? Have you arrived at a knowledge of God and an experience of God such as this man had? Can you say quite honestly, ‘Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee’? How prejudiced we are. These Old Testament saints were children of God as you and l are; indeed, if we read these Psalms quite honestly we shall at times feel rather ashamed of ourselves, and occasionally begin to wonder whether they have not gone farther than we have ever gone. Let us be careful lest we press the difference between the two dispensations too far and make distinctions which end by being thoroughly unscriptural.

Applications for Psalm 73 by Allan Ross

Here is a quote as promised in the review of Ross’ commentary on the Psalms. These are applications on Psalm 73, which is one of my favorites. I like what he has to say.

The applications stand out clearly. First, it is absolutely necessary for believers to seek God and not focus on the allurements of the world. And in a brief statement that also captures the main lesson of this psalm, Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8)—both in the events of this life and in glory.

Second, the sanctuary should be the place where this is facilitated most effectively: there, in the place of worship, people should be reminded of how the Lord has redeemed them, guides them, and will receive them in glory. A similar emphasis is found in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, in which he charts how he has been afflicted and perplexed in his service for the Lord. But what enabled him to persevere was the eternal weight of glory—he did not focus on temporal things, but eternal (chapter 4).

And third, the world with its promise of prosperity and power falls far short of the provision of God for those who trust in him faithfully. And so for all such psalms we may cite John’s words: “Love not the world, neither the things of the world” for it is passing away (1 John 2:15-17).