“I say to the LORD, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.'” (Psalm 16:2)
Do you believe the radical statement that David is making in Psalm 16:2? He is telling God that he has no good thing outside of Him. He does not say that he loves God most, but that he also has a few cool things on the side. No, David says that he has nothing else that is good apart from God. Not a single thing. Do you believe this? Are you experiencing the same fulfillment in the Lord?
Is David saying that there are no good things on the planet? Absolutely not! God gives us amazing gifts in our time here on earth. Food is good. Hobbies are good. Coffee is good. Family is good. The list can go on and on. When David says that he has nothing good outside of God, he is not condemning the good things of this world. Instead, David is comparing those things against the goodness of his God. The truth behind this verse is that in comparison, nothing is good when held up next to God.
This is similar to when Jesus tells His followers that they must hate their families if they want to be His disciples in Luke 14. Is He literally telling them to hate their families? No, Jesus is saying that in comparison to their love for Him, their love for their families should look like hate. It is a scale of comparison. David is doing the same thing. He is rejoicing in the Treasure that he has in God, rather than groaning at the emptiness of his other things. He is praising God by saying, “God, you are better than anything else I have and it’s not even close! In comparison, nothing else is good!”
How freeing it would be to live this way! The good news is that we can. God really is that good. He really is that big and satisfying. He really is that much better than anything we have or experience on earth. When we look to God in all of His glory and splendor, suddenly the things that used to hold our attention start to fade. Good things we receive on earth start to lose their equity in our hearts. We still enjoy the good gifts of grace on earth, but they do not compare to the joy we find in God.
I can’t help but think of this truth in light of tonight’s celebrations. Independence Day is an amazing day that is worth celebrating in our country. Many have sacrificed for our right to celebrate this day. Millions of people will gather in different places in America and look up at the sky while bright colors fill their view. Fireworks will explode and the response will be, “Woah! Oooh! Ahh! Awesome! Amazing!” People will go crazy and cheer for the grande finale. Fireworks are amazing. There is no doubt about it. But God is better. Our response to Him, though, generally says otherwise.
When we look up to gaze upon God, we seem to have a lessened reaction. “Blah,” we say. David would love to shake us out of this fog! We celebrate explosions in the air but we are numb to the Creator of the universe! The greatest Treasure in all the universe is far more amazing than the firework show we will watch tonight. In fact, He is far more amazing than anything else in our lives. David knew this truth. He had nothing good in comparison to His God. Is God this good and satisfying to you?
My prayer is that God would capture hearts tonight. While we enjoy a good gift from God in fireworks, I pray that our joy and excitement would come from the Giver of that gift. Fireworks are shallow. Everything else on earth is shallow. If we would get even a glimpse of the Lord we would be changed forever. Let’s pray to that end. Let’s pray for God to take our attention and affections off of good things and put them onto Himself. Suddenly, those good things would begin to look like garbage in comparison. Our hearts would cry, “Lord, apart from you I have no good thing!” That would be a day truly worth celebrating.