The Psalmist continues in chapter 73:15-20 to be shown by God what will happen to those who indulge in their temporal pleasures apart from Him. He uses words like “slippery ground,” “terror,” “ruin,” and “destruction.” Whoa! Surely not for us! Many unmarrieds today think that God either cannot understand the strength of desires which appear irresistible in content, or He is the epitome of meanness in dangling the proverbial carrot before our noses – a carrot which we may never have access to.
Then we come to (NIV) Psalm 73:23-15: 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.
Commentaries give insight to the word, “portion:” source of happiness, ground of my hope; that which I regard as most valuable; the lot with which every man can be contented; abundant sufficiency; soul satisfying; safe and secure; never ending.” (Barnes Commentary, John Calvin, Gill’s Exposition – all in public domain)
What seems interminable to us is actually temporary. Even if something lasts all our lives, physical death brings an end. What we have in our spiritual life in Jesus Christ simply “keeps on giving” at physical death. Faithfulness, purity, and righteousness are all given to us by God as ways to conduct our lives, unmarried and married. The impression that the single life is simpler because there is not the concern of spouse or children is sometimes misguided. Clearly, singles have the same material and financial concerns as marrieds. Handling them alone can be very daunting. We all have the same admonitions to holiness and purity – being chaste, pure in thought and deed. Some do it together, some alone. We all have access to fruit of the Spirit, which includes self-control. (Galatians 5:22-26) Obviously, every earthly marriage, even Christian marriage, is not happy, as is made abundantly clear in real life as well as in movies. But, the desire and hope for it to be all God intends, continues.
Paul ends Galatians 5 by saying in verse 25: Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (James 1:2-5; Romans 5:1-5) The refining tools are different, but they are intended to bring us to the same end: to be transformed into Christ’s image with unveiled faces. (II Corinthians 3:18)