Summary: As I read this, I see it talking about all the things that the worldly people are doing every day and thinking they are getting by with it, and then one day, God says, “SURPRISE!”
Read the passage. What does this passage say to you? As I read this, I see it talking about all the things that the worldly people are doing every day and thinking they are getting by with it, and then one day, God says, “SURPRISE!”
Life is filled with surprises. How we cope with the surprises in our lives is the key to a happy life or one lived in fear. God’s Word teaches us that if we face all the surprises with faith, we will live a joy-filled life.
It seems to me as I look back over the events of life, that just about every momentous human event took place as a surprise.
? For instance, marriage is a surprise. For the most part, I don’t know of too many that set out to get married. That is not their intention. But as a relationship develops, marriage evolves. SURPRISE!!!
? Birth is a surprise. Even if a couple is trying to get pregnant, it’s a surprise when it finally happens. And then there is the surprise of finding out if it is a boy, or a girl, or twins. SURPRISE!!!
? Death is a surprise. Death often catches us unexpectedly. Even when we get the news that our cancer is terminal, death is still a surprise.
? Illness is a surprise. No one intentionally sets out to catch the flu, but after it’s over, it’s something that you don’t soon forget.
? Humor catches us by surprise; that’s what makes it funny.
Here’s a surprise that won’t be soon forgotten. A legal firm sent flowers to an associate upon the opening of its new offices. There was some mix up at the florist and the ribbon draped across the bouquet of flowers read “Deepest Sympathy.” When the florist was told of the mistake, he let out a cry. “Good heavens, then the flowers that went to the funeral said, “Congratulations on your new location.”
In the church setting, the conversion event is a surprise. Not many walk out of the house in the morning with the notion of going out and getting saved. Getting saved takes on many shapes, and it happens unexpectedly and is always a surprise.
So, surprises come in life and make life a momentous occasion. I think that I can even go so far as saying that most of our religion is a surprise. In this 73rd Psalm, we see someone who, by the end of the chapter, is surprised. We see at its opening statements that this is a discouraged person. He feels beaten and angry with God. It almost seems like the psalmist is ready to denounce God because of the world’s injustice. Let me read the first 9 verse from the NLT.
Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts are pure. 2 But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. 3 For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. 4 They seem to live such painless lives; their bodies are so healthy and strong. 5 They don’t have troubles like other people; they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else. 6 They wear pride like a jeweled necklace and clothe themselves with cruelty. 7 These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for! 8 They scoff and speak only evil; in their pride, they seek to crush others. 9 They boast against the very heavens, and their words strut throughout the earth.
And there has probably been a time in your life when you have felt the same way. I know I have. Back in the early 80s I was in retail equipment sales. Forklifts sales to be exact. I remember a time when my boss asked me, “Can’t you just lie a little?” And I looked at the other salesmen and saw how they had no problem with lying to make a deal. It usually caught up with them. But these were the guys making the most sales and the most commission.
And I must admit there were times when I questioned God’s justice in it all. These guys weren’t of pure hearts but they were the ones prospering. I was doing what was the right and honest thing to do but I had the lowest sales volume. What’s wrong with that picture? Have you been there before?
Well this psalmist was just like us and was getting tired of it all. For whatever reason, he decided to go to the temple to gather his thoughts. Maybe that’s why some of you are hear this evening, to gather your thoughts, to see if you can make sense of what seems to be injustice in the world.
Maybe he went to the temple to really get on God’s case. Sometimes we get mad at God. Things happen to us or our loved ones. People get sick of worse die. It’s enough to get mad at God. Well this is where the psalmist was. Maybe he was going to the temple to tell God off. But then something happened. Somehow, he developed a different attitude. SURPRISE! One of his big surprises was that through the darkest hours, God had been there, offering strength, and perseverance for life. Look at verses 16-20: