Whom have I in heaven but you? and there is none on earth that I desire beside you.…
1. We are here taught that God is the portion of His people. God not only gives us His grace and favour, pardon of our sins, a perfect righteousness, and a glorious inheritance, but He gives us Himself. He bids us find our happiness not merely in the streams which flow from His goodness, but in Himself, the fountain of all.
2. While the psalmist professes to take nothing short of God Himself as his portion, he expressly excludes all other claimants upon his supreme regard and affection. He can survey the whole firmament, and range through all the courts of heaven's glorious palace; and though his eye falls upon myriads of noble and blessed objects — angels and archangels, cherubim and seraphim — prophets, apostles, and martyrs — saints of all climes and all ages — all these he passes by, he will set his hopes upon none of them, he will fix his heart's trust upon nothing short of the eternal God Himself.
3. If the believer thus excludes all in heaven from competition with the one Lord of all for the supreme place in his heart's affections, much more will he not allow anything on earth to interfere with such a claim. The kind benefactor, the sympathizing fellow-sufferer, the beloved Jonathan who is as his own soul; none of these must be permitted to usurp a place reserved for only one. They have their own appointed places, but they must not presume to occupy that throne in his heart which of right is his Lord's.
4. But besides these various claimants upon the believer's affections, there is one who is often a more formidable rival to their rightful Lord than any other, and that is himself. It is very rarely that a man does not love himself better than any one else; and too often he occupies in his own heart the very throne of God. His dependence is upon his own wisdom and his own strength. He trusts in his physical or his mental capacity, or it may be his spiritual understanding and Christian experience. His trust is divided between his Lord and himself — his Lord's mercy and goodness, and his own faith and holiness; and so when these fail, as fail they always will, then of course he is disquieted and discouraged.
5. What then is the conclusion to which all this leads us? I do not know that we can express it more forcibly than in the closing words of the psalmist himself — "It is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Thy works."
(W. E. Light, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.