Summary: When its tempting to wonder if walking with God is really worth it - think of Psalm 73
As we turn to Psalm 73 let me ask you a question.
· Have you ever wondered why it seems that the people that are prospering
in this world are those who have no respect for God or His ways?
· Has it every grated on you that those who are trying to be obedient to
God and live a life in right standing with him, seem to have the most
difficulties while those who could care less about their relationship with
God seem to get all the breaks?
· Have you ever been passed up for promotions at work because of your
convictions as a Christian only to know that the person getting the
promotion was just a scoundrel or character!
· Every wonder "Why do the wicked prosper Lord?"
t.s. Well a poet and songwriter named Asaph experienced this inner
conflict and struggle and we get to read his poetry and discover Gods
truth about why the wicked seem to have it all in this world.
Psalm 73 is a Psalm of Lament and Declaration. The psalmist Asaph laments
the prosperity of the ungodly.
· This psalm is known as a lyric as is all the poetry of the Bible.
· Poets speak using word picture and imagery. They contrast things and use
simile and metaphor to make their point.
· This is a descriptive psalm and we share in Aspahs inner struggle,
conflict and turmoil. We, in fact, enter into Asaphs dialogue of thought.
· When you read the psalms take time to really meditate on each line.
Don’t gloss over them. Biblical Poetry is meant to be pondered. When a
writer compares a feeling or describes something next to something in
nature or an object - think this over- for it will reflect a true
comparison from life!
· In this psalm Asaph looks out and reasons what he sees - and finds no
comfort. He looks within for answers - and still no comfort! Then he looks
up and discovers meaning!
· Let’s take a look now at Psalm 73.
1 _ Truly God is good to Israel,
to those whose hearts are pure.
· The Poets of the Bible often directly state the theme of their writing
within the first verse.
· The simplicity of Psalm 73’s theme should not be overlooked. Simply
stated it is this: God shows His goodness to the upright.
2 But as for me, I came so close to the edge of the cliff!
My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.
· Asaph compares himself with those who are clean in heart but he also
goes on to confess his inner struggle.
· What is his inner struggle? He uses a metaphor describing the heart of
the pure in contrast to his own attitudes. "My feet" - his own walk with
· He had almost lost his confidence in God. He felt close to the edge of a
cliff and we can almost visualize the pebbles and stones making their
ascent as he is near the precipice of his despair!
· [appl] Often when the perceptions of our heart are wrong our feet are
soon to follow our folly.
· Like walking on a sheet of ice our attitudes can run away from us.
3 For I envied the proud
when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.
· The psalmist gives the primary reason for his inner struggle - He began
to be envious of those around him.
· His eyes were fixed too much on one thing. He looked at the present and
forgot the future.
· Envy became the root source of his lament.
· And so
4 "They seem to live such a painless life; their bodies are so healthy and
5 "They aren’t troubled like other people or plagued with problems like
6 "They wear pride like a jeweled necklace, and their clothing is woven of
7. "These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for".
· Next to the common man the ungodly seem to live a painless life and even
· Common troubles such as: financial security, adequate health care,
shelter do not trouble the well to do.
· Asaph speak in a metaphor when he describes the arrogance of some of
these "types" of people.
· Their pride and arrogance is like a "jeweled necklace" - flashy and
showy before others.
· Asaphs second metaphor describes these people’s intentions: As cruel.
How are clothes woven? In the days of the Bible?
· Clothes were woven on looms and by hand - with great care. It could take
a long time to weave a garment by hand.
1. Just so - the intentions of some people are cruel and often plotting