Summary: Things are always skewed when we do not look at them in perspective....
Sermon by Pr. Paddick Van Zyl
6 Oct , 2014
Title: The Mirage (Psalm 73)
A beggar standing on a street corner commented to his friends, “If only I had a hundred dollars, I would never complain again.” A businessman walking by overheard his statement and interrupted the conversation. “Excuse me,” the man said. “Did you say if you had a hundred dollars, you would never complain again?” The beggar replied, “You heard right, mister.” The man pulled out his wallet, handed him a hundred dollars, and said, “I’m glad I can have a small part in bringing happiness to the world.” After the man walked away, the beggar turned to his friends and remarked, “I wish I had asked for two hundred dollars!” Kent Crockett ###
Psalm 73:1-28 NKJV
We have all seen the comic strips in newspapers where the guy crawls through the desert- no food or water for days, then suddenly he sees this awesome green oasis with water and food in abundance - paradise, just to be disillusioned when he gets closer....that is what a mirage does...it plays tricks on the mind....it makes you believe in something that is not real.
Seven = Used 735 times (54 times in the book of Revelation alone), the number 7 is the foundation of God's word. Seven is the number of completeness and perfection (both physical and spiritual). It derives much of its meaning from being tied directly to God’s creation of all things. #
Three = The number 3 is used 467 times in the Bible. It pictures completeness, though to a lesser degree than 7. . Three is the number of resurrection.
Psalm 73 was written by Asaph, the choir master ,one of 3 musicians, of king David. His name means: gatherer or collector.
In short, Psalm 73 gives us a vivid picture of the way the wicked lives and what their future looks like compared to the righteous and what our future looks like.
Verse 2 states that Asaph's feet almost stumbled- he nearly slipped... was is very slippery where he stood writing this Psalm? Not at all...
Verse 3 states the reason- he was envious of the wicked, the proud, the boastful. Envy is the mirage, one of many in life, that causes us to stumble and loose our footing of faith. It is a major trap used by the enemy to get us to focus on unimportant things- it distracts us from God's Word,plan and purpose in our life...
Verses 4 through 12 explains how the wicked live. How easy they have it, verse 7 says 'their eyes bulge with abundance...'. Verse 9 says that they curse and speak evil, they say and think that God does not know what they do. Verse 12 says that they are always at ease, increasing in riches... And we all know people that we come across and live like this portion of Scripture explains.
As Ray Stedman says: 'They boast in their abilities and throw their weight around by threats and ostentatious displays of influence and connections in the "right" places.'##
They say and do what they want, no regard for anyone but themselves. The sad part is, many times Christians, envy what the ungodly and wicked have and do....
Asaph too was envious. He watched them day by day and began longing for what they have and started questioning his own relationship with God. So many times believers tend to do the same. The alluring luster and sparkle of sin attracks us, beckons to us to come closer and taste the good life.
Asasph had a real battle as can be seen in verses 13-16. He had a 'mind battle' about the life of the righteous. Ray Stedman comments as follows on the battle Asaph faced: 'What was bothering this man was the apparent contradiction between what he had been taught in the Scripture -- that God was good to the upright and to those who were pure in heart -- and his experience in life. He was envious, he said, of the arrogant, and disturbed by the prosperity of the wicked. That prosperity seemed to him to be a direct contradiction to what he had been taught about God. He had been told that if you are "upright and pure in heart," that is, you had learned to lay hold of the righteousness which God provides and were cleansed by his grace, then God would be good to you, take care of you, and watch over you. But instead this man was finding his own situation to be difficult and very discouraging, but the wicked around him, the ungodly (and that is always the meaning of "wicked" in the psalms), were seeming to prosper and everything was going well with them. This bothered him greatly. He could not reconcile this. It troubled him so terribly that it created a deep resentment and envy in his heart. This in turn became such a threat to his faith that ultimately he found himself threatened with a complete loss of faith.' ## Asaph has a New Testament counterpart or friend in Demas, Paul's companion who forsook him and traded Paul for the world....2 Timothy 4:12 NKJV.