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Summary: An expositorty approach to Psalm 73, showing Christians often get their life out of focus and envy others.

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PSALM 73

A PSALM OF ENVY

REVISED MAY 09, 2006

This morning I want to speak about one of my favorite psalms.

It is a psalm written by a man who, for a time, was envious of the wicked,

whose life was temporarily out of focus; who wrestled with his envy, and got his life back in focus. It demonstrates what can happen to a godly person when he loses his perspective, when he focuses on the things others have, rather than focusing on his Lord and his wonderful life in Christ.

In this psalm the psalmist explains how he moved from complaining through communication to conviction and commitment. The psalmist explains how his life was totally out of focus; how he was focusing on the prosperity of the wicked; and when he focused on the prosperity of the wicked, he lost perspective on the real values of life.

The greatest values of life are the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Christians totally lose perspective when they focus on the visible things wicked people have. Unfortunately some Christians even envy other Christians. How foolish. The quickest way to become unhappy is to envy other people, to become covetous. Some people can be happy with their job and their pay, until they focus on the job and salary other people have, and become envious.

Some spouses can be happy with their spouses, until they begin to envy some other person who seems to enjoy marriage more than they.

Some folk can be happy doing the work of the Lord, until someone else gets some praise they think they deserve, and they get envious.

I would prefer to read the whole psalm and then come back and discuss it

verse by verse. However, because the time is short, I shall not do that.

Rather, I shall discuss the psalm a few verses at a time.

(Psa 73:1 NIV) A psalm of Asaph. Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.

(Psa 73:2 NIV) But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.

(Psa 73:3 NIV) For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

(Psa 73:4 NIV) They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.

(Psa 73:5 NIV) They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills.

(Psa 73:1 NIV) A psalm of Asaph. Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.

The psalmist begins with his conviction, with how he felt and what he believed once he got things in focus. But the psalmist didn’t always feel that way and think that way. And in the next few verses he will tell us why. He will tell us how he got his life out of focus and then got it back into focus.

Does your life sometimes get out of focus? If it does, I suggest that you read Psalm 73 and Psalm 37 over and over again on a regular basis.

(Psa 73:2 NIV) But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.

(Psa 73:3 NIV) For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

(Psa 73:4 NIV) They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.


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