Psalm 73:26
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
A Common Fact and a Special PrivilegeHomilistPsalm 73:26
ImmortalityCanon Liddon.Psalm 73:26
The Believer's Consolation in DeathT. Hannam.Psalm 73:26
The Failing Flesh and the Strengthening GodS. Conway Psalm 73:26
A Perplexing Problem, and Satisfactory SolutionG. Woodcock.Psalm 73:1-28
Asaph's Trial and DeliveranceS. Conway Psalm 73:1-28
Bad Men in Good Circumstances, and a Good Man in a Bad TemperHomilistPsalm 73:1-28
The Asaph PsalmsA. Alexander.Psalm 73:1-28
The Goodness of God to IsraelEvangelical PreacherPsalm 73:1-28
The Grievous Conflict of the Flesh and the SpiritS. Conway Psalm 73:1-28
The Solution of a Great ProblemC. Short Psalm 73:1-28
The Trouble of AsaphE. Bersier.Psalm 73:1-28
DoubtHenry Varley.Psalm 73:15-28
Searching and Finding Relief in the Right DirectionHomilistPsalm 73:15-28
The Problem of SufferingBp. F. E. Ridgeway.Psalm 73:15-28
God the Only Adequate PortionN. Hill.Psalm 73:25-26
God the Only Adequate Portion of the SoulH A. Boardman, D. D.Psalm 73:25-26
God the Only Happiness of ManJ. Tillotson, D. D.Psalm 73:25-26
God the Only PortionA. Raleigh, D. D.Psalm 73:25-26
Moral Character Tested by the Estimate of God, the Chief GoodHenry Melvill, B. D.Psalm 73:25-26
Reasonable RaptureA. Maclaren, D. D.Psalm 73:25-26
Tenderness of DesireE. Garbett, M. A.Psalm 73:25-26
The Believer's Portion in His GodW. E. Light, M. A.Psalm 73:25-26
The Desolate Soul Finding Rest in GodS. Charters.Psalm 73:25-26
The Discipline of DesireW. R. Britton.Psalm 73:25-26
The Good Man's RewardPsalm 73:25-26
The Home of the HeartA. Maclaren, D. D.Psalm 73:25-26
The Necessity of an Infinite Being to Make Men HappyN. Marshall, D. D.Psalm 73:25-26
Why Should a Man Love Jesus ChristG. B. Austin.Psalm 73:25-26

Here is a vivid and blessed contrast. Consider -


1. Some understand this as the result of his foolish conflict with God; and here, as all who contend with God are, he was worsted and brought low.

2. Others, as telling of his passionate desire after God, how he was "sick of love," broken down with his longing for God.

3. Others, as telling of his heavy load of trouble. "He had a God's rod instead of a good piece of bread for his breakfast every morning; and the table was covered with sackcloth, and furnished with the same bitter herbs both at dinner and supper."

4. Anyway, it is a fact that heart and flesh do fail, both of the evil and of the good. The best herbs wither as well as the worst weeds. There is no discharge in this war.

5. What a rebuke it is to those whose treasures are all of the world!

II. THE STRENGTHENING GOD. How does he accomplish his gracious work?

1. By his Spirit in our hearts.

2. By his Word of promise for the future. The Spirit and the Word are his "rod and staff," which comfort us. - S.C.

My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
The especial point of this whole psalm lies in the contrast between the present and the future, between the transitory and the eternal. His bodily frame, or "flesh," the psalmist feels, is breaking up. For the moment it might seem that his "heart" was partaking in the depressing sense of coming dissolution. The "heart" with the Hebrews means, speaking generally, the centre or inner seat of life, whether physical or spiritual. It is indeed used in one well-known passage of the Psalter in the physical sense of animal life-power which is quickened by food and made glad by wine. More commonly it is the centre from which the life-stream of thought and feeling pours through the soul. Thus the "heart" is said to "speak," to "think," to "conceive within self," to "meditate," to "desire," to "cry out in song and jubilee," to be heated with intense thought, to be grieved, to be desolate, to be smitten and withered like grass, to be wounded, to be broken. Especially is the heart the seat of the moral life, of its movement and repose, of its conquests and failures, of its final victory or death. Thus the heart is said to be "ready," or "clean," or "fixed," or "whole" and "perfect," or "converted," or "hardened," as the case may be. As the seat of the moral life the heart is described as "deep." God knows its mysterious secrets. Thus, then, in the passage before us, "the flesh" is in contrast to the "heart," as the animal frame of man might be contrasted with the life of consciousness, feeling, and moral effort. The former is yielding to the slow, certain action of time, and has already upon it the presentiment of death. The latter seems for one instant to lose the sense of its real indestructibility in its profound sympathy with the weakly body which yet encases it. But the darkness lasts for a moment only; for "God is the strength of my heart," etc. The contrast is too perfect to be evaded. On the one side the perishing body; on the other, the undying soul. And it is this vision which removes the difficulty he had felt in regard to the ways of God. It melts away altogether beneath the rays of light which stream from one cardinal truth, it is solved by the doctrine of the immortality of the soul of man.

(Canon Liddon.)

I. A FACT IN THE HISTORY OF ALL MEN. The fact is the decay of man as a citizen of this earth. The seed of death is planted in us all, and as the seed grows, man decays. "All flesh is grass." This inevitable decay of our nature shows two things: —

1. The absurdity of worldliness.

2. The necessity of spirituality. Without this, man has no interest in a life beyond this mortal state. With this, brighter worlds loom before him. This spirituality, however, can only be obtained through Christ. This is life eternal, to know Thee the only true God.

II. A PRIVILEGE IN THE HISTORY OF SOME MEN. "God is the strength (rock) of my heart."

1. God is the soul's power. Without Him it has no moral strength to resist the wrong, to pursue the right, to endure trials, to welcome death, to serve humanity, and to honour God. God is the strength. As sap in all the branches of the tree, He is strength to all the faculties of the soul. "Our sufficiency is of God."

2. God is the soul's portion. "My portion for ever." A loving heart can be satisfied with nothing less than the object of its affection. The object may give to the lover all he has, but unless he gives himself the hunger of love is not allayed. Even so man's soul cries out for the living God, and nothing less will do. He is the portion

(1)most satisfying;

(2)most exhaustless;

(3)most enduring.



1. By the flesh failing, we are to understand death.

(1)We die daily; are gradually decaying and wearing away (Job 14:10).

(2)Universally (Ecclesiastes 6:6).

(3)With great variety; in some early; in others in their bloom; with others, not till the shadows of the evening come upon them (1 Samuel 20:3).

(4)Most certainly, without a possibility of prevention; neither food nor physic will always avail (Ecclesiastes 8:8).

(5)Swiftly (James 4:14; Job 14:1, 2).

(6)In death, the flesh fails irrecoverably, as to its being restored to its former state upon earth (Hebrews 9:27; Psalm 39:13).

2. When the flesh is thus failing in a dying hour, the heart may be ready to sink into a state of despondency; and this may be owing —

(1)To severity of affliction (Job 16:12).

(2)To the recollection of past sins, although forgiven, without eyeing the sacrifice of Christ (Job 21:6).

(3)To the temptations of Satan (1 Peter 1:6).

(4)To the loss of our evidence, as to our acceptance with God (Psalm 42:5-7).

(5)To a suspension of the sensible presence of Christ.

II. THE SOURCE OF OUR DEPENDENCE IN SUCH AWFUL CIRCUMSTANCES, GOD. "God is the strength of my heart." This may be inferred —

1. From His love to them (Psalm 11:7).

2. From His ability (Isaiah 59:1).

3. From His infinite presence with them (2 Chronicles 16:9).

4. From His faithfulness to His kind promises made to them, and on which He has caused them to hope (Isaiah 43:1-3).

5. From their interest in Him, their portion for ever, "The Lord is my portion," etc. (Lamentations 3:24).

6. What kind of a portion God is, no creature can fully describe (Job 11:7).

(1)God is a suitable portion, suited to man's spiritual nature (ver. 25).

(2)All-sufficient portion (Genesis 17:1; Ephesians 3:20).

(3)Infinite portion: and this is the ground of His being all-sufficient. Infinite mercy to pardon, infinite wisdom to counsel, infinite power to support, infinite grace to enrich, infinite glory to bestow (Psalm 84:11).

(4)He is an eternal portion (Genesis 15:1). And on this ground it is, the children of God make their boast (Psalm 48:14). Improvement:

1. Let the consideration of our flesh failing daily excite us to a daily preparation for eternity.

2. As God is the strength of our hearts, let us trust in Him, in life and death, that He may be our portion for over.

(T. Hannam.)

Asaph, Psalmist
Age, Consumed, Eternal, Fail, Faileth, Fails, Flesh, Forever, Heart, Heritage, Portion, Rock, Strength, Wasting
1. The prophet, prevailing in a temptation
2. Shows the occasion thereof, the prosperity of the wicked
13. The wound given thereby, diffidence
15. The victory over it, knowledge of God's purpose.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Psalm 73:26

     1205   God, titles of
     5017   heart, renewal
     5500   reward, God's people
     5701   heir
     5705   inheritance, spiritual
     6166   flesh, sinful nature
     6647   eternal life, experience
     8107   assurance, and life of faith
     8413   edification

Psalm 73:23-26

     8604   prayer, response to God

Psalm 73:23-28

     5945   self-pity
     8131   guidance, results

Psalm 73:25-26

     8632   adoration

Nearness to God the Key to Life's Puzzle
'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.'--PSALM lxxiii. 28. The old perplexity as to how it comes, if God is good and wise and strong, that bad men should prosper and good men should suffer, has been making the Psalmist's faith reel. He does not answer the question exactly as the New Testament would have done, but he does find a solution sufficient for himself in two thoughts, the transiency of that outward prosperity, and the
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Reasonable Rapture
'Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides Thee. 26. My flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.' --PSALM lxxiii. 25, 26. We have in this psalm the record of the Psalmist's struggle with the great standing difficulty of how to reconcile the unequal distribution of worldly prosperity with the wisdom and providence of God. That difficulty pressed more acutely upon men of the Old Dispensation than even upon us,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

"Let us Pray"
Nevertheless, prayer is the best used means of drawing near to God. You will excuse me, then, if in considering my text this morning, I confine myself entirely to the subject of prayer. It is in prayer mainly, that we draw near to God, and certainly it can be said emphatically of prayer, it is good for every man who knoweth how to practice that heavenly art, in it to draw near unto God. To assist your memories, that the sermon may abide with you in after days, I shall divide my discourse this morning
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 6: 1860

What is Meant by "Altogether Lovely"
Let us consider this excellent expression, and particularly reflect on what is contained in it, and you shall find this expression "altogether lovely." First, It excludes all unloveliness and disagreeableness from Jesus Christ. As a theologian long ago said, "There is nothing in him which is not loveable." The excellencies of Jesus Christ are perfectly exclusive of all their opposites; there is nothing of a contrary property or quality found in him to contaminate or devaluate his excellency. And
John Flavel—Christ Altogether Lovely

How to Make Use of Christ, as Truth, for Comfort, when Truth is Oppressed and Born Down.
There is another difficulty, wherein believing souls will stand in need of Christ, as the truth, to help them; and that is, when his work is overturned, his cause borne down, truth condemned, and enemies, in their opposition to his work, prospering in all their wicked attempts. This is a very trying dispensation, as we see it was to the holy penman of Psalm lxxiii. for it made him to stagger, so that his feet were almost gone, and his steps had well nigh slipt; yea he was almost repenting of his
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

Of a Low Estimation of Self in the Sight of God
I will speak unto my Lord who am but dust and ashes. If I count myself more, behold Thou standest against me, and my iniquities bear true testimony, and I cannot gainsay it. But if I abase myself, and bring myself to nought, and shrink from all self-esteem, and grind myself to dust, which I am, Thy grace will be favourable unto me, and Thy light will be near unto my heart; and all self-esteem, how little soever it be, shall be swallowed up in the depths of my nothingness, and shall perish for ever.
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

The Bride, the Lamb's Wife
"Whom have I in Heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee."--Ps. lxxiii. 25. Mechthild of Hellfde, 1277. tr., Emma Frances Bevan, 1899 Thus speaks the Bride whose feet have trod The chamber of eternal rest, The secret treasure-house of God, Where God is manifest: "Created things, arise and flee, Ye are but sorrow and care to me." This wide, wide world, so rich and fair, Thou sure canst find thy solace there? "Nay, 'neath the flowers the serpent glides, Amidst the bravery
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series)

My God
J. Tauler Ps. lxxiii. 25 As the bridegroom to his chosen, As the king unto his realm, As the keep unto the castle, As the pilot to the helm, So, Lord, art Thou to me. As the fountain in the garden, As the candle in the dark, As the treasure in the coffer, As the manna in the ark, So, Lord, art Thou to me. As the music at the banquet, As the stamp unto the seal, As the medicine to the fainting, As the wine-cup at the meal, So, Lord, art Thou to me. As the ruby in the setting, As the honey in the
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen, Suso, and Others

The Two Awakings
'I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness.' --PSALM xvii. 15. 'As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when Thou awakest, Thou shalt despise their image.'--PSALM lxxiii. 20. Both of these Psalms are occupied with that standing puzzle to Old Testament worthies--the good fortune of bad men, and the bad fortune of good ones. The former recounts the personal calamities of David, its author. The latter gives us the picture of the perplexity of Asaph its writer, when he 'saw the prosperity
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Joy of the Lord.
IT is written "the joy of the Lord is your strength." Every child of God knows in some measure what it is to rejoice in the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ must ever be the sole object of the believer's joy, and as eyes and heart look upon Him, we, too, like "the strangers scattered abroad" to whom Peter wrote shall "rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1 Pet. i:8). But it is upon our heart to meditate with our beloved readers on the joy of our adorable Lord, as his own personal joy. The
Arno Gaebelein—The Lord of Glory

Of the Trinity and a Christian, and of the Law and a Christian.
EDITOR'S ADVERTISEMENT. These two short treatises were found among Mr. Bunyan's papers after his decease. They probably were intended for publication, like his 'Prison Meditations' and his 'Map of Salvation,' on a single page each, in the form of a broadside, or handbill. This was the popular mode in which tracts were distributed; and when posted against a wall, or framed and hung up in a room, they excited notice, and were extensively read. They might also have afforded some trifling profit to aid
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The Great Gain of Godliness
'And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, all the days of Solomon. 26. And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. 27. And those officers provided victual for king Solomon, and for all that came unto king Solomon's table, every man in his month: they lacked nothing. 28. Barley also and straw for the horses and dromedaries brought they unto the place where the officers were,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Of Meditating on the Future Life.
1. The design of God in afflicting his people. 1. To accustom us to despise the present life. Our infatuated love of it. Afflictions employed as the cure. 2. To lead us to aspire to heaven. 2. Excessive love of the present life prevents us from duly aspiring to the other. Hence the disadvantages of prosperity. Blindness of the human judgment. Our philosophizing on the vanity of life only of momentary influence. The necessity of the cross. 3. The present life an evidence of the divine favour to his
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

The Present Life as Related to the Future.
LUKE xvi. 25.--"And Abraham said, Son remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented." The parable of Dives and Lazarus is one of the most solemn passages in the whole Revelation of God. In it, our Lord gives very definite statements concerning the condition of those who have departed this life. It makes no practical difference, whether we assume that this was a real occurrence, or only an imaginary
William G.T. Shedd—Sermons to the Natural Man

Covenanting a Privilege of Believers.
Whatever attainment is made by any as distinguished from the wicked, or whatever gracious benefit is enjoyed, is a spiritual privilege. Adoption into the family of God is of this character. "He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power (margin, or, the right; or, privilege) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name."[617] And every co-ordinate benefit is essentially so likewise. The evidence besides, that Covenanting
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

Covenanting Adapted to the Moral Constitution of Man.
The law of God originates in his nature, but the attributes of his creatures are due to his sovereignty. The former is, accordingly, to be viewed as necessarily obligatory on the moral subjects of his government, and the latter--which are all consistent with the holiness of the Divine nature, are to be considered as called into exercise according to his appointment. Hence, also, the law of God is independent of his creatures, though made known on their account; but the operation of their attributes
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

Cæsarius of Arles.
He was born in the district of Chalons-sur-Saone, A. D. 470. He seems to have been early awakened, by a pious education, to vital Christianity. When he was between seven and eight years old, it would often happen that he would give a portion of his clothes to the poor whom he met, and would say, when he came home, that he had been, constrained to do so. When yet a youth, he entered the celebrated convent on the island of Lerins, (Lerina,) in Provence, from which a spirit of deep and practical piety
Augustus Neander—Light in the Dark Places

The Noble Results of this Species of Prayer
The Noble Results of this Species of Prayer Some persons, when they hear of the prayer of silence, falsely imagine, that the soul remains stupid, dead, and inactive. But, unquestionably, it acteth therein, more nobly and more extensively than it had ever done before; for God Himself is the mover, and the soul now acteth by the agency of His Spirit. When S. Paul speaks of our being led by the Spirit of God, it is not meant that we should cease from action; but that we should act through the internal
Madame Guyon—A Short and Easy Method of Prayer

The Nature of Spiritual Hunger
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness Matthew 5:6 We are now come to the fourth step of blessedness: Blessed are they that hunger'. The words fall into two parts: a duty implied; a promise annexed. A duty implied: Blessed are they that hunger'. Spiritual hunger is a blessed hunger. What is meant by hunger? Hunger is put for desire (Isaiah 26:9). Spiritual hunger is the rational appetite whereby the soul pants after that which it apprehends most suitable and proportional
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

The Poetical Books (Including Also Ecclesiastes and Canticles).
1. The Hebrews reckon but three books as poetical, namely: Job, Psalms, and Proverbs, which are distinguished from the rest by a stricter rhythm--the rhythm not of feet, but of clauses (see below, No. 3)--and a peculiar system of accentuation. It is obvious to every reader that the poetry of the Old Testament, in the usual sense of the word, is not restricted to these three books. But they are called poetical in a special and technical sense. In any natural classification of the books of the
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible

The Unchangeableness of God
The next attribute is God's unchangeableness. I am Jehovah, I change not.' Mal 3:3. I. God is unchangeable in his nature. II. In his decree. I. Unchangeable in his nature. 1. There is no eclipse of his brightness. 2. No period put to his being. [1] No eclipse of his brightness. His essence shines with a fixed lustre. With whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.' James 1:17. Thou art the same.' Psa 102:27. All created things are full of vicissitudes. Princes and emperors are subject to
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

This State of Prayer not one of Idleness, but of Noble Action, Wrought by the Spirit of God, and in Dependence Upon Him --The Communication Of
Some people, hearing of the prayer of silence, have wrongly imagined that the soul remains inactive, lifeless, and without movement. But the truth is, that its action is more noble and more extensive than it ever was before it entered this degree, since it is moved by God Himself, and acted upon by His Spirit. St Paul desires that we should be led by the Spirit of God (Rom. viii. 14). I do not say that there must be no action, but that we must act in dependence upon the divine movement. This
Jeanne Marie Bouvières—A Short Method Of Prayer And Spiritual Torrents

Of Meditating on the Future Life.
The three divisions of this chapter,--I. The principal use of the cross is, that it in various ways accustoms us to despise the present, and excites us to aspire to the future life, sec. 1, 2. II. In withdrawing from the present life we must neither shun it nor feel hatred for it; but desiring the future life, gladly quit the present at the command of our sovereign Master, see. 3, 4. III. Our infirmity in dreading death described. The correction and safe remedy, sec. 6. 1. WHATEVER be the kind of
Archpriest John Iliytch Sergieff—On the Christian Life

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