DRAWING NEAR TO GOD
by Wayne S. Walker
"But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all Your works" (Psalm 73:28). The 73rd Psalm is attributed to Asaph. We do not know very much about this individual. It is assumed that the Psalmist is the same person mentioned in 1 Chronicles 6:39 and 15:17 as a Levite, the son of Berechiah, of the family of Gershom, whose sons became musicians in the time of David (1 Chronicles 25:1-2) and who was later identified as a seer (2 Chronicles 29:30). Many scholars believe that some of the Psalms identified as being of Asaph were really written by the sons of Asaph. There are two other people named Asaph mentioned in the Bible, one in the time of Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:18) and the other in the time of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2:8).
The Psalm begins by saying that God had been truly good to Israel, at least to those with pure hearts, but as for Asaph himself, his feet had nearly stumbled when he saw how prosperous the wicked and boastful were. Even otherwise good and godly men have been troubled and even led to doubt because of this seeming injustice (vs. 1-3). Almost all Christians at one time or another have found themselves struggling, suffering, maybe even being mistreated while striving to be faithful, yet those who have no respect nor regard for God seem to have life easy. Even the songwriter noted, "Tempted and tried, we’re oft made to wonder Why it should be thus all the day long, While there are others living about us, Never molested though in the wrong." How did Asaph handle his problem? He decided that he was being foolish and ignorant (v. 22), that he had no one either in heaven or earth besides the Lord (v. 25), and that therefore the best thing to do was draw near to God (v. 28).
Whenever we find that our steps are beginning to slip because of trials and tribulations in life, especially when compared to the seemingly happy-go-lucky lifestyles of the wicked and famous, we can do nothing better than draw near to God. How do we accomplish this? We need to spend time searching the scriptures daily (Acts 17:11). Also, we should, by regular prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let our requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6-7). Then, we must assemble faithfully with the saints that we might exhort one another (Hebrews 10:24-25). Indeed, God has given us these wonderful blessings so that when we face difficult situations in life we can still find strength not to give up but to keep on serving Him. "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you…" (James 4:8).