Summary: From this Psalm we read of the struggles of a Godly man, and we learn how God helped him overcome !
The Struggles of a Godly Man
This message this morning is for everyone who struggles with life.
It is for everyone that has questions....for everyone who has up’s and down’s in their relationship with the Lord. It teaches us this morning that we can know God and face trials, that we can have faith yet still struggles with issues.
This Psalm was written by a man named Asaph. It contains gut wrenching honesty about his struggles.
Asaph bears his soul for all to see. Perhaps by looking at this man and his trials......you and I can learn to be honest with God about what we’re experiencing this morning. Let’s look at the man Asaph.
I. Asaph was sucessful.
a. Sucessful as a psalmist.
In 2 Chron. 29:30 he is said to be a composer of sacred lyrics.
This Psalm as well as the next 10 in sucession as well as Psa. 50 are all attributed to him. Here was a man used to compose hymns to be sung in the temple worship. He was not only accomplished at penning them, but was also able to perform them musically, and to sing them as well.
b. Sucessful as a prophet. 2 Chron. 29:30 refers to him as being a seer. The word seer is one of two words which are used for prophets or beholders of visions.
c. Sucessful as a parent.
Asaph not only lived the Godly life in public, but did so more importantly privately as evidence by his children following his in serving the Lord. 1 Chron. 25:1 records that four of his sons participated in conducting the chorus that sung at the temple dedication.
II. Asaph was slipping.
Look at Vs. 1-2. Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart..........but(in contrast) my feet were almost gone, my steps had well nigh slipped.
Asaph is slipping.....he is struggling.....he is sliding ! He’s in trouble. He’s about ready to give up....he’s about give out ! He’s on the verge of giving in ! He’s falling fast !
What caused him to be in this position ?
a. Slipping because of envy. Vs 3-12
b. Slipping because of emptiness. V13
When Asaph looked at the wicked....he saw the wicked life that they lived, and yet they prospered. He was strugging in spite of the fact that he was living a clean life, yet they seemed to be unconcerned, and carefree. He felt that his service for the Lord was in vain....perhaps because he saw no physical evidence.
* A reminder here.....we are to serve God because he has saved us for that purpose, we are to serve the Lord because we are commanded to, and because it’s the right thing to do.
c. Slipping because of embitterment. V21
What caused his envy, his emptiness, and his embitterment which was causing him to slip in his relationship with the Lord.
He focused on the present and on the....
1. The Prosperity of the Wicked. V.3
2. The Peace of the Wicked. Vs. 4-5
3. The Pride of the Wicked. Vs. 6-12
III. Asaph was sustained. Vs. 17-24
a. Sustained because he entered. V. 17 His attendance in worship at the sanctuary was the beginning of the end of his slipping. Note the importance of continued worship even when we are struggling. Even when we are struggling and on the verge of slipping.....it is important to maintain church attendance, fellowship with the brethren, and worship of God. Our slipping will end up in a complete fall from the will of God if we distance ourselves from these things.
b. Sustained because he encountered Vs 23-24
a. The grip that holds him.
No matter the circumstance, the struggles that you face this morning. It is important to remember if you are a child of God that you gripped by the hand of God. He will you hold you safely, and securely if you trust him.
b. The guide that helps him.
God not only grips, but he guides.
c. The glory that’s home to him.
Though the wicked may seem to prosper here.....they may seem to have peace......they may be proud....but their end is ruin and destruction. What they receive here is the best that they will ever have. The struggles that the child of God experiences here are as bad as it gets....because one day God is going to take us to glory, and we’ll have all eternity to live in his presence, and peace !