It is good
I’ve been resisting the tendency to divulge the contents of my journal in every submission. But my devotional times are when God pieces together lingering and misplaced thoughts into a beautiful tapestry of revelation of Him and this journey we’re all on. So, here we go again, it is my sincere hope that you’re encouraged and simultaneously challenged.
A verse I’ve been repeating for a few months now is Psalm chapter 73 verse 28a, it says “But it is good for me to draw near to God.” That’s it, that has been a constant utterance, a consistent whisper under my breath that echoes my heart’s sentiment.
I cannot help but see the striking similarity to God’s declaration of “good” at the genesis of time. He saw all that was created and the account relays that “He saw that it was good.” How beautiful it is that the created responds that “it is good” to draw near to the Creator, an amazing acknowledgment of purpose. However I find myself deliberately reciting this verse when my heart starts to wander, it acts almost as a staff to rein this sheep in.
Psalm chapter 73
Verse 28 of Psalm chapter 73 begins with the conjunction But (here’s your unsolicited English class for today.) This word usually indicates that a contrast is being made. Here the Psalmist is introducing a contrasting thought from what he previously mentioned; a change in perspective. Asaph, who is believed to have authored this psalm struggled with faulty perspective in the previous verses. The psalmist earlier in the text laments to a familiar tune of our humanity; the conflict with the prosperity of the wicked and the struggle of the righteous. In a serendipitous turn of events in verse 17, the Psalmist goes to the sanctuary and it is there that he receives revelation of the end of the wicked. All of that to say, “it was good” for him to draw near to God, because in drawing near, God faithfully provided the proper perspective he needed. Likewise with our own frailty and myopic vision, it is good for us to draw near to God, so he can give us the clarity we need.
It is good, He is good
The weight of declaring something as “good” finds all the more significance when it is attributed to the ultimate source of goodness. In Exodus chapter 33 verse 19 God tells Moses that He will make His goodness pass before him, and in Exodus chapter 34 He declares Himself to Moses as the Lord God “abundant in goodness.” The psalmist’s revelation of how good it is to draw near to God might have come from his revelation of how good, just and righteous God is. I find that when my heart begins to wander, it is because it foolishly believes that there is something better. In drawing near and staying near to God, our hearts have less room to gaze on mirages, hallucinations that temporal things can fill a God sized hole.
There is a depth of intimacy that comes when our hearts recognize the benefit and beauty in drawing near to God. The Psalmist in the latter verses said these infamous words “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.” These sort of utterances I believe come from a place of seeing God’s goodness and quickly assessing how nothing is comparable in earth nor heaven. James instructs us in chapter 4 verse 8 to draw near to God and He will draw near to us, an exhortation relevant for every season of our lives, as “it is good for us to draw near to God.”
Jhonelle is a Jesus enthusiast and Christian youth leader. She’s a lover of all things related to discipleship and a freelance writer.