Coffee, Brussel sprouts, dark chocolate. Bitter foods have a way of lingering on the taste buds. Many people add sugar to coffee, cheese and bacon to Brussel sprouts, and sugar and milk to chocolate to make these foods more palatable, a little less bitter. And yet when it comes to life itself – its disappointments and hardships – we tend to cling to that which makes life bitter. We dwell on it. We roll it around as if we were savoring it. In this Psalm, Asaph was grieved and had every right to be. Your life and mine can sometimes be bitter, too; we can’t avoid it entirely. “Yet I am always with you.” Asaph’s circumstances didn’t change, but he recognized the truth, and it made all the difference. God is with you. God loves you. David, in Psalm 19, shows the other side: more fellowship with God is sweet. I like a lot of sugar in my coffee. How about you?
Psalms 73:21-26 NIV
When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalms 19:8-10 NIV
The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.
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