What troubled the psalmist is that their lifestyle works.23. Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies. Asaph realized that "the world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." Anybody here know what I'm talking about? See, what we have to remember is that this life is not all there is. Youll only regret it if you do. Psalm 73 tells the story of a godly man who felt his faith slipping away. Battling the Unbelief of Despondency. God, I'm getting a raw deal! Why do good people suffering, and wicked people prosper? Hah." In light of the prosperity of the wicked, the poet concludes that his attempt to lead a moral life has been absolutely in vain: Surely, in vain I have kept my heart pure and washed my hands in innocence. Sometimes, however, questions and doubt are not directly the result of sin. But despite his efforts to serve and honor God, his life was marked by difficulty. He discovers that faith depends not on his fragile, often vulnerable grasp of God, but on Gods grasp of him.39 That hand has not and will not let him go.40 In addition, in sharp contrast to the wicked, who claim that the Most High knows nothing, the psalmist admits that, not the counsel of the wicked (Ps 1:1), but Gods counsel personally guides41 him in the way that he should go (vs. 24a).42 Indeed, in the end God will receive him into glory (vs. 24b; NIV). While the primary source of sermon . Her senior year she was having a great season, when in the first half of a game, she blew out her knee again, ending her career at OU. . But the man was a sexual predator. WORD AND PHRASE STUDY. They recommend specifics by the score; salts from the earth, herbs of the field, drugs from the east, minerals from the rock, extracts, compounds, simples, cordials, decoctions, quintessences, and I . However, the experience of the psalmist proved the opposite. But we have to put ourselves in the position where God can speak to us, by opening His word each day and reading it. Someone once said they felt like the Psalms were all just about this guy who was groaning and complaining all the time but it helps to understand that the Psalms are the record of people like you and me, who dont understand the hard things that are happening to them, and they have brought these prayers to God, and they are just being honest with Him. CSB Experiencing God Bible, Hardcover, Jacketed. Sep 11, 2018. They can take care of themselves. "I nearly lost my grip on what I believe. Psalm 73 is a favorite for many Jewish and Christian believers because the words of this precious psalm ring true to their experience. (John 3:16 sermon), "The Message of the Cross" (I Cor. Study Psalm 73 using Charles H. Spurgeon's Treasury of David to better understand Scripture with full outline and verse meaning. 15-16), After this passionate protest the speaker switches audience and addresses God for the first time. In every fiber I rebelled. But Peter answered and said to Him, Lord, to whom shall we go? It's not fair.". (LogOut/ Apparently he ignored the sound advice from Proverbs 23:17 (Do not let your heart envy sinners but always continue in the fear of the Lord). In the deepest part of your heart you just want it to end better for her. But on the other hand, HE, who was trying to obey God and do what is right, has been stricken all day long, and chastened every morning.. He just couldnt figure it out. Amen, and Amen ( Ps. A sermon on Psalm 73 should also underscore the role that doubts and questioning plays in this psalm.59Questions and doubts are part and parcel of human experience, especially during painful suffering. But as for me, it is good to be near God. 8-Week Series for Lent. Wiesel was a devout Jew before his experience in the Nazi death camps, but his time there destroyed his faith. He didnt understand what was happening to him: To not be senseless and ignorant; like a beast before (God) as Asaph says in :22; To believe that it WILL end better for those who trust in the Lord and do good., You often hear people today say: Dont be on the wrong side of history. We hear that a lot from people today who believe that God and the Bible and fading away into history, and the future holds only the triumph of godless values. Psalm 73:28 Sermons Topics . In 21:17, Why do the wicked still live, continue on, also become very powerful? Psalm 25:2 E-Mail Challenge. Maybe it happened at home with a parent or grandparent, your husband or wife or best friend. What does he mean by this? With an eternal perspective, everything looks different. I want answers, God." Thank you so much for that blessing Peter! Stored up anger vents itself in headaches, ulcers, bitterness, resentment, private rehearsals of the injustice you've experienced, and outbursts of anger that are disconnected from the real problem. Several times in recent months I have had individuals say to me: Pastor, that message today was for me! Envy had poisoned him and had powerful effects on him. And for all eternity, we will know that was worth it all, in the end, to serve God, no matter what we suffered here on this earth. But it WILL change suddenly and even more dramatically, the moment they enter eternity. Your community. In the NT Jesus says dont cause one of these little ones to stumble that means dont do anything that might cause someone to be lost.) 1 The LORD, the Mighty One, is God, and he has spoken; he has summoned all humanity from where the sun rises to where it sets. Asaph's Envy of the Wicked (vv. . The Argument of Psalm 1. The Bible says Jesus turned to His disciples and asked if they were going to go away too. :4 There are no pains in their death, and their body is fat. 52-week preaching calendar to help you plan your sermons, Customizable sermon manuscripts for verse-by-verse preaching, Preach with creativity and impact throughout the year, [NEW YEAR] 4-Week Series to kick off 2023, [PRODUCTIVITY] Fulfill your full potential, [FOUNDATIONS] Getting back to what matters most, In a recent survey in Discipleship Journal Magazine, readers reported that their greatest spiritual challenges came from How did he get away with this, year after year? Why do violence-endorsing rap singers, arrogant executives, and God-mocking people get their own TV shows? Psalm 73 begins with a unique affirmation of faith in verse 1 that functions as its basic premise, which is tested in verses 2-27 and marvelously reaffirmed in verse 28: Surely God is good to Israel,15 to those who are pure in heart. Who put the screws to you? 13-14), the poet first embarks on an extensive and vivid description of the actions and words of the wicked in verses 4-12.18. Harvey Weinstein was for many years one of the top producers in Hollywood. (Exodus 20:17). So when Asaph got this revelation from God, he said Oh, Ive been so foolish. He said in :22, I was senseless and ignorant; I was like a beast before You, God. Thats like Asaph here. But because there is an eternity, what happens in this life is not even a speck on the timeline of eternity, and we know that things will be different there. Those who are far from You will perish; You destroy all who are unfaithful to You. I thought you reap what you sow! This is especially true of Psalm 73. But in the act of prayer I enter as it were into His presence. In the end, it is these nailed hands that will receive us into glory, according to his promise: Oh the happiness of the pure in heart; they will see God (Mt 5:8). You live by lust, power, greed, and deceit, and you become a celebrity. He said its just about enough to make you lose your faith. They help us put words to our doubts and frustrations, but at the same time they give us reminders of the help and hope we have in God. Do you ever think to yourself, "Does it pay to serve God? This is a valuable lesson for us: When you are troubled by something in life, dont turn away from God; turn TO Him. In Psalm 73 a man named Asaph expresses a frustration that many have shared. Two weeks later, on January 29, authorities decided to truck the dead whale to a laboratory where they could do an autopsy. But the NRSV translation of this clause shows that the clause could also mean that the psalmist is restored to his honor. It should just end better. Furthermore, to highlight the uniqueness of worship, the beatitude in Psalm 65:4 should also be used because it claims that true happiness consists of God bringing us to his courts where we may be satisfied with his goodness. 5 stars; 4 stars or more; 3 stars or more; Any Rating . How can that be? This little song is worth several sermons so don't feel bad if we emphasize some parts tonight and not others. They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors.. This slippery slope leads to utter ruin. How to Live with God as Your Portion By Kristine Brown . So make the visit that Asaph made; put yourself in the place where God can speak to you about the issues of your life: be faithful in your church attendance; be faithful in your daily Bible reading. In fact, he was a worship leader. There may be times when it seems to be going that way and it looks like that a lot in America today but the Bible says it will not end there. Truly God is good to Israel, To such as are pure in heart. Psalm 24 Back On The Farm. In the next stretch of Psalms we only have one attributed to King David and this isn't it. Asaph had been checking out the people playing for the other team. Under these circumstances, Psalm 73 helps believers to be honest with God. Denomination: Methodist. He found God again. (Psalm 41:9), Listen, the real Bible not just the feel good parts of the Bible that get quoted in a lot of our devotionals the real Bible is FULL of these REAL, honest, hard questions that Gods people have brought before Him. 1. If you'll allow me to paraphrase it, it goes like this: "So this is how life really works! Ps 26:7-8) in dramatic transformation of the psalmists despairing doubt (vv. An Assuredly Good Thing. Put yourself in the position so that God can speak to you. Arrogant refers to people who make sure people notice them and what they have. He was really troubled by what he had seen in the world around him, and it raised questions which bothered him. As Brueggemann rightly notes, this summary is not a condemnation of the wicked. It is just like Psalm 73 says: You have set them in slippery places How they are destroyed in a moment.. He was used more by Satan than perhaps anyone else in his lifetime. According to verse 7, their hearts overflow with conceit. Psalm 73-Smith, Terry L. "A Crisis in Faith: An Exegesis of Psalm 73," Restoration Quarterly 17.3 (1974) 162 . He's on the edge of throwing in the towel. Whitney Hand was one of the best womens basketball players who ever played for the University of Oklahoma, and she is also a Christian. Presented here is a verse by verse exposition of the New . In view of the cross-references to Psalm 24 in Psalm 73, it is suggested that the entry psalm be used in the liturgy. I just know that suddenly, Asaph started paying attention, and his confusion deepened. I tripping over something that just doesn't make sense! So he says in :13, Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and washed my hands in innocence. Who did something unfair to you at work? In short, the wicked are totally self-reliant and autonomous people. Here is where Asaph's perspective is expanded. Because God has showed me that things are going to end differently than they are right now. If Asaph had lived our century instead of his own, he might have been looking at the life of Hugh Hefner. It begins with an emphatic causal statement (ki-hinneh) (vs. 26a): because, look, those who are far away from you will perish.49 The fact that this emphatic statement begins with the conjunction because (k) suggests that verse 27 stands in sharp contrast to verses 23-26. But it wasnt just that he came to God; God actually SHOWED him something specific that helped him: he says in :17, Then I perceived their end. He says God showed me not just what the present state of these wicked people is, but what their END is going to be. Dt 32:4). God can handle our hardest questions and still love us. Change), You are commenting using your Facebook account. He says God is good; I know that . Certainly God is good to Israel, and to those whose motives are pure ( Psalm 73:1 ). What do you do when with your theology clashes with reality? He says, there are wicked people in the world, whom you would THINK God would be punishing, but instead they are not only not being punished, they are succeeding; they are prospering. Envy is so common that God made it the subject of one of His 10 commandments: "Do not covet your neighbor's house. The Hebrew word for prosperity is shalom. soul satisfying. But in worship we see from God's infinite perspective. Surely You place them on slippery ground; You cast them down to ruin. But her sophomore year, she suffered a knee injury that took her out for some time. The repetition of the verb to tell (sfr) from verse 15 in verse 28c shows that the psalmists speech has now changed dramatically from self-pity (vv. Ever been gossiped about? Laziness They do not deny Gods existence. He didn't pretend everything was okay. But then he begins to tell his own personal testimony in :2, "But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling.". Based on this certainty the psalmist then proclaims that even though his health should fail, God is his Rock46 and portion.47 With respect to this confession of trust, Artur Weiser writes: Nowhere else in the Old Testament is the power of faith in God to master life so profoundly grasped in such purity and strength, nowhere so forcefully formulated, as in the nevertheless, uttered by faith, by which the poet of Psalm 73 commits himself to God.48. (LogOut/ Thank you for the inspiration you provide. read more, Scripture: As he frankly admits in verse 3, his doubt was caused by his envy of the prosperity (shalom) of the boasting wicked. How do you hold to the conviction that God is good when life stinks? These subdivisions will be used in our exposition. Keep up the good work. Sermon. Psalm 145:18 adds that "the Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth." And it shows us that we can do that with God too; these Psalms give us permission to bring our honest hurts and feelings to God, and say like these Psalmists: or why have I looked for sympathy but there was none. (Psalm 69:20) The answer is that these verses serve as a rhetorical foil for the passionate protest that follows in verses 13-14. God showed Asaph that it can all change so suddenly. That rich man lived in luxury, and wouldnt even give the crumbs from his table to poor Lazarus; and there was that poor man, covered with sores, starving. He probably didn't do this purposefully at the beginning. Lying You can also fit this outline into . For this reason they do not fear divine retribution. 6. 89:52, ending Book 3). If we are to defeat envy, we need to change our focus. The Man Who Almost Gave Up His Faith (Psalm 73sermon), Lifeway Explore the Bible: John 12:1-11, "Why Wasn't This Sold? According to verse 18, God will place the wicked on the slippery slope that the psalmist almost experienced (vs. 2). A good illustration can paint a picture in the imagination to help clarify the truth of a passage. You examples are superb. Psalm 25:1-12 God Of New Beginnings. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. They do not need God. How many rash words and unsifted actions have we wished to take back because of the negative consequences they brought about? There is a lesson we know as YOUNG CHICKEN LITTLE I have read how YOUNG CHICKEN LITTLE throws his whole small town into a great panic CHICKEN LITTLE CLAIMED THE SKY WAS FALLING IN This must be the end of the world. They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threate It wasnt right. So here Asaph says, basically, I almost gave up the faith! ( Psalm 73:1-3) The contradiction between the goodness of God and the prosperity of the wicked. In the midst of suffering believers often feel cheated and begin to question and doubt God's goodness. III. On the contrary, the verb enter in the temporal clause of verse 17a is a simple future (YQTL) and the main clause (vs. 17b) is a cohortative.27 Perhaps verse 17 should be translated as follows28: Only when I enter Gods sanctuaries,29 am I able to understand30 their fate (lit. Maybe you're still struggling with the injustice you've been dealt and you've felt your commitment to God wane because of it. be blessed man of god. Thats a good word for some of us. 4. So dont cave in to your doubts. From a canonical perspective Walter Brueggemann4 and J. Clinton McCann5 have argued that Psalm 73 stands at the theological center of the Psalter. And were all in it for the same reasonto fuel the churchs mission of making disciples. Your family. Sermon Central Share a Sermon; Try PRO Free; Help . John Piper Dec 4, 1988. 7-11). That poor man was carried away to eternal comfort, but the rich man found himself in agony in this flame. It is just as Psalm 73 says: You cast them down to destruction, How they are destroyed in a moment. Moreover, the opening behold (hinneh) at the beginning of verse 27a matches the behold in the summary description of the wicked in verse 12.50 This obvious cross-reference to verse 12 shows that through his transforming temple experience the psalmist made the startling discovery that his earlier perception about the wicked was false.51 The prosperity (shalom) of the wicked is not forever! He starts out saying, "God is indeed good to Israel, to the pure at heart. He was evil. "You try to honor God and stay humble and do good, you'll have a tough, mediocre life. Ps 30:7) recalls the word shalom in verse 3. Last October it all came crashing down, with a New York Times investigation, and complaints by dozens of his victims. 13-14) to praise of Gods handiwork (Gen 2:2).57 Now he speaks no longer as an ignorant beast; instead, through Gods guiding counsel he has now become a spiritually enlightened witness.58. God will judge the wicked, and He will reward the righteous; those who have turned away from their sins, and followed Jesus as their Savior. Because in His great might He had created Auschwitz, Birkenau, Buna, and so many factories of death? He says in :16 that all of this WAS troublesome in my sight UNTIL I came into the sanctuary of God. An important step in this process is the recognition of the psalmists strident critique of the economic underpinnings of society in verses 4-11. He opens it with a truth: "Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.". Psalms 73:20. The speaker of Psalm 73 admits that he was envious. There he was reminded of God's attributes, character and power. Why did the close friend, in whom I trusted, who ate bread with me, lift up his heel against me? I would urge you to follow his example, tracing the results your words and actions have on your family, friends, lost acquaintances, and church. Rating . The smell was almost unbearable. It doesnt seem to pay? : "When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you." v3 Some people had made themselves important. God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him Learn more about Desiring God . (Psalms 73:15-16 RSV) Here he is, filled with doubts and despair and almost ready to give up, but something stops him. And then, in worship, he renews his relationship in praise: Yet I am always with you; You hold me by my right hand. Dont give up your faith. The NIV and the NRSV translate this verse in the past tense and read it with the preceding verse. Verse 17 marks a pivotal transition to a new understanding. God wants to do that for you. Those who draw near -who come in the true spirit of sacrifice, and with the only available offering, the Lord Jesus, shall be finally saved; therefore, it is good for them. Introduction to Psalm 73: "Seeing Clearly in the Sanctuary". Their prosperity is only temporary. They are not in trouble as other men, nor are they plagued like mankind. o ^Like Psalms 37 and 49, this psalm is a wisdom psalm, designed to instruct the . Video for Psalm 73: The title of this psalm ( A Psalm of Asaph) tells us that it was written by the great singer and musician of David and Solomon's era ( 1 Chronicles 15:17-19, 16:5-7, 25:6 ). You have yours; I have mine; Asaph said he had his and he said he almost gave up because of them. Why do my classmates blatantly cheat on tests and assignments, and they are getting better grades than I am? Take a look at v. 1: "God is indeed good to Israel, to the pure in heart." Change), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Before you bail out on God, Asaph wants you to sit with him and learn from his experiences. As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image. Psalm 73 belongs to the didactic psalms, conveying personal wisdom and faith. And then it happened. The admission that his feet almost slipped suggests that perhaps the law of God was not in his heart (Ps 37:30). God has SO much to say to us and so many of us are getting so much out of His word every day. 9. We can also affirm the future because God's Presence companions us. Because He had had thousands of children burned in His pits? The opening statement God is good echoes Psalm 25:8 and 34:8 and the phrase pure in heart recalls Psalm 24:4. Sometimes questioning and doubt is due to sin. 1, 28) form an inclusio and frame within which the painful experience of the poet is unfolded. 37:9-10).35 In other words, the poets initial perception of the carefree lifestyle of the wicked is wrong. Asaph looked at the lifestyles, the cars, the clothing, the houses they lived in, the company they kept, and thought to himself: "They're getting everything God promised to His covenant people! Maybe he was sitting at the doctor's office one day and started thumbing through a magazine that featured celebrity homes. Close Filters Scripture . The inner conditions of the dead mammal, combined with the bumps in the road caused an eruption that the townspeople will not soon forget. In light of verse 25 and Psalm 49:15 we are of the opinion that it does.43. You certainly don't welcome it. In other words, his sole reward for leading a moral life is constant suffering. Your Bible study. Its the same thing with our daily Bible reading. We know where history is going. Our culture in America is uniquely designed to create inevitable comparison and inevitable dissatisfaction. Sometimes it changes suddenly during our lives here on earth like it did for Harvey Weinstein. And earth has nothing I desire besides You. That spoke to a need in my life, or a question on my heart. And I am grateful that God speaks to us through His word! Like Asaph, come into the sanctuary of God.. On January 17, 2004, a 66-ton whale died and was beached on the southwestern coast of Taiwan, near the city of Tainan. Reorientation with Respect to Gods Presence (vv. Commentaries, Sermons, Illustrations, Devotionals. ", Asaph had fallen into the trap of loving the world and the things that are in the world. The concluding verse, verse 28, summarizes the new vision the speaker obtained in verses 23-25 and, what is more important, it serves as a clearer definition of what it means that God is good to the pure in heart (vs. 1). Therefore, although the speaker does not deny wisdoms conduct and consequence principle, ultimately he invokes divine agency in the process of just retribution. Just like Asaph, bring your doubts to the Lord, and let Him show you in His word that although it may not look like it now, it is going to end better if youll hang in there, and learn the lesson of the man who almost gave up his faith. The affirmation of verse 24a as it has been translated by the NIV has been of great comfort to believers in their suffering. Unless otherwise specified, content on this website is licensed as Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0. Behind every support specialist, Bible study editor, graphic designer, and accountant is a Sunday School teacher, kids volunteer, or small group leader. In the opening verse (vs. 1), the meaning of the predicate adjective good is ambiguous. Notice how personal, direct, and intimate the psalmist is in addressing God. Yet over the years they bring steadfastness . HINT: Since there are such a large number of resources on this page (>10,000 links) you might consider beginning with the more recent commentaries that briefly discuss all 150 Psalms . The psalmists realization of Gods presence in verses 22-24 leads to a reflective spin-off in verses 25-26,44 in which he articulates a supreme confession of trust.45 In verse 25 he confesses that the antidote to his previous envy (vs. 3) is his hold-guide-receive experience of Gods persistent presence (vv. 2. Envy blinded his vision. He did what Job did. Clear Scripture Filters. He wrote, Why, but why should I bless Him? In addition, as he looked around he saw those who had no regard for God living in prosperity and apparent happiness. They simply assert that God Most High, the creator of heaven and earth (Gen 14:19), is totally oblivious to what happens on earth. He said, I was so foolish for almost giving in to these questions, and almost giving up my faith. Psalm 26 A Life Of Integrity. He preached in the same church as C. H. Spurgeon over one hundred years earlier. Looking back, Im glad I didnt send it! What is worse, according to verse 11, the wicked are very cavalier about God. In the Psalm Asaph recounts a time of wavering faith and growing doubts. Maybe people who walked by and saw the Rich Man & Lazarus were tempted to give up THEIR faith. Psalm 25:6-9 All The Wrong Notes. 2-3; vv. Do not covet your neighbor's wife, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." For I have been stricken all day long, and chastened every morning., Asaph says, look at these wicked people, who mock God, who do wicked things to other people. SO WHY SERVE GOD? The first correction concerns the fate of the wicked in verses 18-20, which is introduced with the emphatic particle surely. In somber language he describes at length what was already introduced in summary fashion in Psalm 1:6b.34 Unlike Psalm 1:6b, however, God is directly involved in their destruction. For I was envious of the boastful, When I saw the prosperity of the wicked. The author of Psalm 73, Asaph, was almost like Elie Wiesel. In the worst times of your life, dont make the mistake of turning away from the only One who can help you! Gluttony Psalm 73:23-24 23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. 1 Chronicles 25:1 and 2 Chronicles 29:30 add that Asaph was a prophet in his musical compositions. 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