Who do I have in heaven but you? (Meaning of Psalm 73:25)      

During my days at theology school, one of the things that fascinated me was the psalmist and the creativity behind composing the extensive sacred material in the book of Psalms. One verse in particular, Psalm 73:25, intrigues me, and the context behind it when the psalmist asks, “Who do I have in heaven but you? To understand better what this verse means, I sought a one-on-one meeting with my church’s reverend, who explained its meaning. And just last week, my theology students were also curious about the verse and wanted to know its context and meaning. And they were in luck because, based on my extensive research and what the bible says, I answered the question adequately, quenching their thirst for knowledge about the topic. So, what did the psalmist mean by saying, who do I have in heaven but you?

By asking, “Who do I have in heaven but you” the psalmist in Psalm 73:25 showed his devotion to God and meant that God was his priority. Exodus 20:3 commands us not to have any other gods besides God, and the psalmist in this verse demonstrates this by declaring he has nobody else in heaven but God.

I invite you to join me in this article as we delve into what Psalm 73:25 means and uncover the context of the verse and how people interpret this scripture. Keep reading to learn more about these questions.

What does Psalm 73:25 mean?

In Psalm 73:25, the psalmist asks what he has in heaven beside God, and in the next part of the verse, he continues to say that the earth does not have anything he desires other than God. The verse is straightforward, and the psalmist explains that we should love God and that He should be our first priority. The verse reminds us that the first commandment is to love God, shun all other gods, and put God first. Mark 12:30 affirms the psalmist’s words by explaining that you should love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Psalm 73:25 demonstrates the psalmist’s devotion to God. He viewed God as the only object of his happiness and worship in heaven and earth. When we give God our undivided love, then we will not let other things crowd in. When reading the verse, we can see the author’s sincerity when he penned the words. He wanted God to be supreme in his affections as he declared that only God could occupy his heart.

What is the context of Psalm 73:25?

Who do I have in heaven but you? 
The context of Psalm 73:25. Image source: Pixabay

Psalm 73:25 is better understood by looking at its context or the circumstances that form its setting. The verse’s context is wrapped around the entire chapter, Psalm 73. In this chapter, the psalmist laments the unfairness and injustices he saw since the wicked people were prospering. He says that while he knows that God is good to the pure in heart, he almost lost his faith since he envied the wicked after seeing how prosperous they were.

The arrogant people in the society seemed to have no struggles, were healthy and strong, and they did not have human burdens. The psalmist continues to explain in Psalm 73 how the wicked people were full of violence, spoke with malice, had evil imaginations with no limit, how their callous hearts had iniquity, they threatened the poor with arrogance, and mocked God. The psalmist continues to explain that he had kept his heart pure and washed his hands with innocence, and despite these efforts to remain holy, he was afflicted and every morning brought punishments. His heart failed him since he could not understand God’s ways, as the wicked continued to thrive while the pure in heart suffered.

However, in Psalms 73:17, it all becomes clear to the psalmist how the wicked would end up after entering God’s sanctuary. While the wicked appeared to prosper without God, there are terrible consequences for being arrogant, and they are destined to be destroyed. With this realization, the psalmist acknowledges that God has been with him even when his heart failed him and reminds himself that God would eventually take him into glory. With that, he proclaims the words in Psalm 73:25, declaring that he has no one else in heaven but God. 

How do people interpret Psalms 73:25?

People interpret Psalm 73:25 based on the context it is in, based on the whole chapter. For instance, one theologian interprets the verse that there is no one we should love more than God, no one can do what God does, no one can meet and satisfy our souls’ needs more than God, and no one can be to us what God is. After being doubtful and complaining, no one, even in heaven, can fit in the place of God, and the warm affections of our souls should be towards God. Another teacher of the word explains that the psalmist almost slipped, but he realized that the wicked were the ones who were really in slippery places awaiting destruction. All in all, the verse comes as a realization to people that God is holding our hands and guiding us, and He is our priority.

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