Monday 9 May 2022

Psalm 73 (NIV)

A psalm of Asaph. 1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. 3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. 5 They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. 7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity; their evil imaginations have no limits. 8 They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression. 9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. 10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance. 11 They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?” 12 This is what the wicked are like— always free of care, they go on amassing wealth. 13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. 14 All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments. 15 If I had spoken out like that, I would have betrayed your children. 16 When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply 17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. 18 Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. 19 How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! 20 They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies. 21 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, 22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. 23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. 28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.

Living for God isn’t easy. First you have to get everything right all the time. Then you have to figure out how to love your neighbour. Then love your enemies (even the ones who don’t live next door).

Don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t steal. Then make sure you don’t get caught being envious of the people who are doing well in life in spite of their cheating and lying and stealing and everything else they seem to enjoy (and get away with).

Today’s passage is brutally honest in its presentation of the challenges of living a Godly life, but the beauty of the passage is in its contrast:

When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. (v16-17)

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. (v23-25)

For the psalmist, the eternal perspective, and the presence of God are the joys that balance out the apparent injustice of life.

But as for me, it is good to be near God.

The psalmist has discovered that a good, full life is not about morality and earthly pleasure, but about what God gives and what he has done!

Lord, may I always desire your presence and may I always experience your love, mercy and forgiveness.

Written by Ps Justin Ware

3 replies
  1. Kim Fleming says:

    I love the rawness of this psalm. I can relate to his anguish & seemingly envy of those that seem to get away with injustice, but what a beautiful perspective of the nature of God & His presence, being drawn back to remember the eternal perspective.

    Reply
  2. Kim Fleming says:

    I love the rawness of this psalm. I can relate to his anguish & seemingly envy of those that seem to get away with injustice, but what a beautiful perspective of the nature of God & His presence, being drawn back to remember the eternal perspective.

    Reply


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