Summary: Asaph tells his story of how he almost walked away from God and how God helped him overcome the terrible trial he went through. He got a revelation in God's Temple of the final end of the wicked
I ALMOST SLIPPED
Ps. 73:1-5,9,11-18, 22-26.
A. HUMOR: When trouble is not what you thought
1. A man awoke one morning to find a puddle of water in the middle of his king-size water bed. In order to fix the puncture, he rolled the heavy mattress outdoors and filled it with more water so he could locate the leak more easily.
2. The enormous bag of water was impossible to control and began rolling on the hilly terrain. He tried to hold it back, but it headed downhill and landed in a clump of bushes which poked it full of holes.
3. Disgusted, the man threw out the water-bed frame and moved a standard bed into his room. The next morning, he awoke to find a puddle of water in the middle of the new bed. The upstairs bathroom had a leaky drain.
(Reader's Digest, March, 1993, p. 123)
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. 9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. 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. 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. Ps. 73:1-5,9,11-18, 22-26.
1. Asaph sees himself standing at the edge of a deep precipice, and having not been aware of its danger, almost having fallen in. This Psalm emphasizes the importance of keeping our eyes and faith upon the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. What makes people slip? How do people lose out with God? It’s really easy, because this world is filled with stumbling blocks.
3. The enemy has a million tools to use to bring us down. We, however, have one all-powerful defense – our Mighty God. He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble!
4. We’re looking at a believer named Asaph who tells his story of how he almost walked away from God and how God helped him overcome the terrible trial he went through.
5. The title of tonight’s message is: “I Almost Slipped.”
I. SLIPPERY SPOTS FOR ASAPH
1. In a recent survey in Discipleship Journal Magazine, readers reported that their greatest spiritual challenges came from:
a. Materialism b. Pride
c. Self-centeredness d. Laziness
e. Anger/Bitterness f. Sexual Lust
g. Envy h. Gluttony
(somehow they left off death, divorce & job loss! Many of life’s most traumatic events can put us in a tailspin.)
2. Temptations are more powerful when we neglect our time with God or are tired physically.
3. That’s what happened to Asaph. Life threw him a curve-ball. He expected things to work out but instead everything crashed.
4. Verse 3, tells us that when his life crashed, he began looking at how the ungodly have it. "I envied." The ungodly seemed to prosper more than the godly. “If God is real & blesses His children, how can this be?”
B. CULTURE RESISTANCE FATIGUE
1. "They have no struggles... free from burdens" (4-5). Not only do we have temptations from the enemy, we have the constant barrage of wrong thinking & values.
2. One translation of Rom. 12:2 says, "Do not let the world squeeze you into its mold."
3. That's why we are told to "fight the good fight of faith," and to be "strangers and pilgrims in this present world." We can become worn down in this fight.