Daily Devotions

My flesh fails, but God is my strength for ever!

Psalm 73:23-26

‘I was like a beast before You. Nevertheless, I am continually with You. You have held me by my right hand. You shall guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me into glory! Whom do I have in Heaven, but You? There is none on Earth that I desire, beside You! My flesh and my heart fail. But God is the Strength (or Rock) of my heart, and my Portion for ever!’ Psalm 73:23-26.

Calvin comments: “David had said — Lord, although I have seemed in this world to be endured with superior judgment and reason, yet in respect of Your celestial wisdom I have been like one of the lower animals!… ‘Nevertheless, I was continually with You!’…

“The Psalmist declares…that he was with God. He gives Him thanks for having kept him from utterly falling…. He was bereft of judgment, and as it were a brute beast….

“(But) God is always near His chosen ones…. The Psalmist speaks of God as ‘holding him by the right hand.’ He means that he was by the wonderful power of God drawn back from that deep gulf into which the reprobate cast themselves….

“God…stretched out His hand to hold him up, and prevent him from a fall which would have involved him in destruction…. He upholds us when we stumble, and even lifts us up when we have fallen.

“You shall guide me with Your counsel!’… The Psalmist assured himself that the Lord, since by His leading He had now brought him back into the right way, would continue henceforth to guide him — until at length He receive him into His glorious presence in Heaven….

“David…gives thanks to God, to look forward with confidence to the future…. He now cherishes the hope that the Divine assistance will continue to be extended to him hereafter….

“To ‘counsel’ — there is added ‘glory’…. It comprehends the whole course of our happiness from the commencement…upon Earth, even to the consummation which we expect to realize in Heaven. David then assures himself of eternal glory…. Yet he does not exclude the blessings which God bestows upon His people here below, with the view of affording them even in this life some
foretaste of that felicity.”

Calvin also says in his Institutes II:11:2: “David rises from temporal blessings to the last and highest of all. ‘My flesh and my heart fail. But God is the Strength of my heart — and my Portion, for ever!’ (Psalm 73:26)…. Those who can venture to speak thus, assuredly declare that their hope rises beyond the world and worldly blessings…. All these things obviously apply not to the land of our pilgrimage…but to…the heavenly city of believers.” My flesh fails, but God is my strength — for ever! Is He also yours?