Verse 25. Whom have I in heaven but thee? Thus, then, he turns away from the glitter which fascinated him to the true gold which was his real treasure. He felt that his God was better to him than all the wealth, health, honour, and peace, which he had so much envied in the worldling; yea, He was not only better than all on earth, but more excellent than all in heaven. He bade all things else go, that he might be filled with his God.
And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. No longer should his wishes ramble, no other object should tempt them to stray; henceforth, the Ever living One should be his all in all.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 25. Whom have I in heaven but thee, etc. How small is the number of those who keep their affections fixed on God alone! We see how superstition joins to him many others as rivals for our affections. While the Papists admit in word that all things depend upon God, they are, nevertheless, constantly seeking to obtain help from this and the other quarter independent of him. John Calvin.
Verse 25. It pleased David, and it pleases all the saints, more that God is their salvation, whether temporal or eternal, than that he saves them. The saints look more at God than at all that is God's. They say, Non tua, sed te; we desire not thine, but thee, or nothing of thine like thee. Whom have I in heaven but thee? saith David. What are saints? what are angels, to a soul without God? It is true of things as well as of persons. What have we in heaven but God? What's joy without God? What's glory without God? What's all the furniture and riches, all the delicacies, yea, all the diadems of heaven, without the God of heaven? If God should say to the saints, Here is heaven, take it amongst you, but I will withdraw myself, how would they weep over heaven itself, and make it a Baca, a valley of tears indeed. Heaven is not heaven unless we enjoy God. It is the presence of God which makes heaven: glory is but our nearest being unto God. As Mephibosheth replied, when David told him, "I have said, thou and Ziba divide the land:" "Let him take all, if he will," saith Mephibosheth, I do not so much regard the land as I regard thy presence; "Let him take all, forasmuch as my lord the king is come again in peace to his own house," where I may enjoy him. So if God should say to the saints, Take heaven amongst you, and withdraw himself, they would even say, Nay, let the world take heaven, if they will, if we may not have thee in heaven, heaven will but be an earth, or rather but a hell to us. That which saints rejoice in, is that they may be in the presence of God, that they may sit at his table, and eat bread with him; that is, that they may be near him continually, which was Mephibosheth's privilege with David. That's the thing which they desire and which their souls thirst after; that's the wine they would drink. "My soul," saith David ( Psalms 42:2 ), "thirsteth for God, for the living God; when" (I think the time is very long, when) "shall I come and appear before God?" Joseph Caryl.
Verse 25-26. Gotthold was invited to an entertainment, and had the hope held out that he would meet with a friend whom he loved, and in whose society he took the greatest delight. On joining the party, however, he learned that, owing to some unforeseen occurrence, this friend was not to be present, and felt too much chagrined to take any share in the hilarity. The circumstances afterwards led him into the following train of thought: The pious soul, that sincerely loves and fervently longs for the Lord Jesus, experiences what I lately did. She seeks her Beloved in all places, objects, and events. If she finds him, who is happier? If she finds him not, who more disconsolate? Ah! Lord Jesus, thou best of friends, thou art the object of my love; my soul seeketh thee, my heart longeth after thee. What care I for the world, with all its pleasures and pomp, its power and glory, unless I find thee in it? What care I for the daintiest food, the sweetest drinks, and the merriest company, unless thou art present, and unless I can dip my morsel in thy wounds, sweeten my draught with thy grace, and hear thy pleasant words. Verily, my Saviour, were I even in heaven, and did not find thee there, it would seem to me no heaven at all. Wherefore, Lord Jesus, when with tears, sighs, yearnings of heart, and patient hope, I seek thee, hide not thyself from me, but suffer me to find thee; for, Lord! whom have I in heaven but thee; and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. Christian Scriver.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- The psalmist's confession concerning the flesh.
- The faithful expressions of the spirit.
- The conclusion of the whole matter. See "Spurgeon's
Sermons," No. 467.
Verse 25. God the best portion of the Christian. Jonathan Edwards' Works, Vol. 2, pp. 104-7.
Verse 25. Heaven and earth ransacked to find a joy equal to the Lord himself. Let the preacher take up various joys and show the inferiority.