Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
Psalm 73:25 (ESV)
The month of May has a very special place in our family history. Besides Mother’s Day, the last of our five children was born in May. However, the most important day in our family’s history in the month of May is May 9, 1980. On that day Stevey Wayde Pruitt and Renae Marie McClendon said, “I do” before God and a gathering of relatives and friends at the First United Methodist Church in Crossville, Alabama.
“Til death do you part” and “As long as you both shall live” are some of the vows that are typically exchanged between bride and groom during a traditional wedding ceremony. But it’s the response that follows those vows that may be the most important words in the ceremony; “I do.”
When the bride and groom pledge their devotion in marriage they not only say, “I do” to each other they also say, “I don’t” to everyone else. Their vow is to each other and no other as long as they both live. Maybe the psalmist captured the depth of this pledge when he wrote to God, Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. (Psalm 73:25 ESV)
The Hebrew word for desire in this verse (chaphets) interprets the psalmist words as “And there is nothing on earth I am inclined to, that I bend toward, that I am pleased with, that I take delight in, have favor toward, or take pleasure in besides you.” It seems the psalmist said, “I do” to God and “I don’t” to everything and everyone else.
God described his relationship with Israel as one of husband and wife. He said, For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called. (Isaiah 54:5 ESV) However, Israel forsook her husband and whored after other lovers that did not satisfy her longings (Jeremiah 2:13; Hosea 9:1).
Paul told the Corinthians that he had betrothed them to one husband that he might present them as a virgin the Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2). Upon believing in Christ and submitting to his Lordship in our lives we too are betrothed to him. As the bride of Christ we should say, “I do” to him and “I don’t” to all others. We should be so in love with him that there is no love left for worldly desires or self-indulgences. Paul wrote to Timothy, But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” (2 Timothy 2:19 ESV)
Our betrothed, the Lord Jesus, is the one in whom all our pleasure lies; we should desire nothing more. We have taken his name and our identity has been absorbed in him. We have pledged to be married to him forever. Let us be very careful not to leave our first love. (Revelation 2:4; 19:7).
Have you said, “I do” to Jesus and “I don’t” to all others? Does Jesus fulfill every desire of your heart?
Scriptures for meditation:
Psalm 145:16, 19
Revelation 21:2, 9-11