A Psalm of Asaph.
Verses 1-28: This psalm illustrates the results of allowing one’s faith in God to be buried under self-pity. The psalmist became depressed when he contrasted the seeming prosperity of the wicked with the difficulties of living a righteous life. (Beginning in verse 15), however, his attitude changes completely. He looks at life from the perspective of being under the control of a sovereign, holy God, and concludes that it is the wicked, not the righteous, who have blundered.
- Perplexity Over the Prosperity of the Wicked (73:1-14).
- Their Prosperity (73:1-5);
- Their Pride (73:6-9);
- Their Presumption (73:10-14).
- Proclamation of the Justice of God (73:15-28).
- His Perspective (73:15-17);
- His Judgments (73:18-20);
- His Guidance (73:21-28).
Title: “Asaph”. Asaph was a Levite who led one of the temple choirs (1 Chron. 15:19; 25:1-2). His name is identified (with Psalms 73-83; also Psalm 50; see note on 50: Title). He either wrote these psalms, or his choir sang them, or later choirs in the tradition of Asaph sang them.
Verses 1-14: The psalmist was strongly tempted to envy the prosperity of the wicked; a common temptation, which has tried the graces of many saints. But he lays down the great principle by which he resolved to abide. It is the goodness of God. This is a truth which cannot be shaken. Good thoughts of God will fortify against Satan’s temptations. The faith even of strong believers may be sorely shaken, and ready to fail. There are storms that will try the firmest anchors. Foolish and wicked people have sometimes a great share of outward prosperity. They seem to have the least share of the troubles of this life; and they seem to have the greatest share of its comforts. They live without the fear of God, yet they prosper, and get on in the world. Wicked men often spend their lives without much sickness, and end them without great pain; while many godly persons scarcely know what health is, and die with great sufferings. Often the wicked are not frightened, either by the remembrance of their sins, or the prospect of their misery, but they die without terror. We cannot judge men’s state beyond death, by what passes at their death. He looked abroad, and saw many of God’s people greatly at a loss. Because the wicked are so very daring, therefore his people return hither; they know not what to say to it, and the rather, because they drink deep of the bitter cup of affliction. He spoke feelingly when he spoke of his own troubles; there is no disputing against sense, except by faith. From all this arose a strong temptation to cast off religion. But let us learn that the true course of sanctification consists in cleansing a man from all pollution both of soul and body. The heart is cleansed by the blood of Christ laid hold upon by faith. And by the begun works of the Lord’s Spirit, manifested in the hearty resolution, purpose, and study of holiness. And a blameless course of life and actions, the hands are cleansed. It is not in vain to serve God and keep his ordinances.
Psalm 73:1 “Truly God [is] good to Israel, [even] to such as are of a clean heart.”
The beginning is abrupt and sufficiently intimates that he had a great conflict within himself about this matter. And that many doubts and objections were raised in his mind concerning it. But at last he breaks forth like the sun out of a cloud, and having by God’s grace silenced and conquered his scruples, he lays down this following conclusion.
“God is good to Israel”: Though he may sometimes seem negligent of, and harsh and severe to his people, yet, if all things be considered, it is most certain. And another day will be made manifest, that God is really and superlatively good. I.e. most kind and bountiful, and a true friend to them. And that they are most happy in him, and have no reason to envy sinners their present and seeming felicity.
“To such as are of a clean heart”: To all true Israelites, who love God with their whole heart, and serve him in spirit, and truth, and uprightness (see John 4:23; Rom. 2:28-29). So, this clause limits the former, and takes off a great part of the force of the objection. Even all that concerns the calamities which befell the profane or false-hearted Israelites, which were vastly the greatest number of those people.
When we get into this Psalm, the first thing we must note is that it is attributed to Asaph. Many noted scholars believe it to be written by David to Asaph, for him to sing. As we have concluded in many of the other studies; it is not that important to know who the penman is, just receive the message in it. You would get no argument from anyone on the fact that God has been overly good to the physical house of Israel. We have studied in our study on Exodus, how God forgave them over and over for their sins against Him. As we have said before, God is more interested in the condition of your heart, than He is in your actions. We are what our heart is.
Psalm 73:2 “But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.”
The psalmist had doubted God’s goodness and righteousness, on account of the prosperity of the wicked. He feels now that his doubt had been a sin, and had almost caused him to give up his confidence and trust in the Almighty. He had almost slipped from the rock of faith into the abyss of skepticism.
We see in this, a confession of guilt. He had gotten so weak in the faith, that he had almost fallen. This usually comes just before victory. When you fight the good fight and get to the end of your ability to do any more, God takes over and you win.
Psalm 73:3 “For I was envious at the foolish, [when] I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”
The atheists (as in Psalm 14:1), who deny the creation, as Arama. The wicked, as after explained, as all wicked men are, how wise whatsoever they may be in things natural and civil, yet in religious things, in things of a spiritual nature, they have no understanding. They are proud boasters, glory in themselves, and in their outward attainments, as the word here used signifies. The external happiness of these, their riches, health, and ease, were envied by the psalmist (see Psalm 37:1).
“When I saw the prosperity of the wicked”: Or “the peace of the wicked”; with an evil eye. This was the occasion of his slip and fall, this was the temptation he was left unto for a while.
This is a problem that I greatly fear will come upon the prosperity teachers of our day. If we teach that all is peaches and cream after you receive the Lord, and that you will not be sick or have problems; then you look at the evil people around you and they are not having problems, it gets you confused. We might say, wait a minute, did you not teach that these were blessings for those who know and love God? Sometimes the wicked prosper greatly and are in great health in this world. You can easily see how that would confuse the new believer. Another problem a believer has is when they get sick, they begin to believe their soul is lost. My Bible says, in this life, you will have tribulation. It also says, tribulation comes to make you strong. We read in Timothy:
2 Timothy 2:12 “If we suffer, we shall also reign with [him]: if we deny [him], he also will deny us:”
Let me give one more Scripture along this line.
Romans 8:17 “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.”
We must not covet, or be desirous of things the wicked have.
Psalm 73:4 “For [there are] no bands in their death: but their strength [is] firm.”
“No bands in their death”: The wicked seem to go through life in good health, and then die a painless death.
Truly there is no rejoicing in their death, because they do not inherit eternal life.
Psalm 73:5 “They [are] not in trouble [as other] men; neither are they plagued like [other] men.”
Either of body or of mind, as the saints are, who through many tribulations enter the kingdom. Or are not in “labor”, do not labor for food and raiment, or get their bread by the sweat of their brow, as poor men do. Nor are they weary, so Arama: “neither are they plagued like other men”; smitten of God, corrected, and chastised by him, as his children are. The rod of God is not upon them (Job 21:9).
Psalm 73:6 “Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them [as] a garment.”
Which was the sin of the devils, and of our first parents, and of Sodom, and is the sin of antichrist. And which, of all sins, is most hateful to God. This arises from, at least is increased by, outward prosperity. Jeshurun waxed fat and kicked; pride and fullness of bread went together in Sodom. And, where it is predominant, it binds as a chain. Such who are under the power of it are slaves unto it, they are chained and fettered by it, and it possesses them wholly. It shows itself in the several members of their bodies, in their eyes and feet, their walk and gait. And in their conduct and behavior, and in the several actions of their lives, and is rightly called “the pride of life”. Or rather they bind it about themselves as a chain. Fancying it to be an ornament to them, what sets them off, and makes them look great in the eyes of others. Whereas the reverse is what is of great price, and in high esteem with God and good men; namely, the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.
“Violence covereth them as a garment. Wicked men that are prosperous and proud are generally oppressive to others; and are very often open in their acts of violence, which are as openly done and to be seen of all men, as the clothes upon their backs. And frequently the clothes they wear are got by plunder and oppression, so that they may properly be called garments of violence (see Isa. 59:6).
They have a false sense of security, because they are not having troubles. Statistics show that people come to the Lord when they are in trouble. They may be dressed in fine clothes, and live in a big house and drive a big shiny new car, but that does not mean that they are in right standing with God. In fact, it might mean the opposite. Christians, we are supposed to be a separated people. We are not to be like the world.
Psalm 73:7 “Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.”
Their eyes, which gloat upon the luxuries around them, seem to stand out from their fat and bloated faces (compare Job 15:27; Psalm 17:10).
“They have more than heart could wish”: That they themselves could have wished for heretofore, though not now. For what is it that a worldly covetous heart cannot and does not wish for? If it had all the world, it would not satisfy it.
Verses 8-9: Asaph is bothered by the profanity of the wicked as much as their pride and prosperity: they mock God (“speak wickedly”), and they mock Asaph for trusting God (2 Peter 2:18; Jude 16; Rev. 13:6).
Psalm 73:8 “They are corrupt, and speak wickedly [concerning] oppression: they speak loftily.”
Or dissolved in pleasure. Or, they corrupt themselves.
“Speak wickedly concerning oppression”: Wickedly boasting of their oppressions; either of what they have done, or of what they intend to do.
“They speak loftily”: Arrogantly presuming upon their own strength, and despising both God and men.
Drug dealers in our day fit this description perfectly. The eyes described above, are speaking of eyes like a hog. The terrible thing many times is that having too much causes boredom and sometimes even grows into depression. They think they can buy their way out of anything, they have no respect for authority and even less for the oppressed people around them.
Psalm 73:9 “They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.”
“Tongue walketh through the earth”: The insolent speech of the wicked can be heard anywhere one goes.
This is even worse than the verses above. They were attacking men, now they are speaking out against God. They are full of blasphemies, and they spread this all over the places they go. These are people who are sold out to the devil. There is life and death in the power of the tongue. These evil people are speaking their own death into existence. This is a correct observation of the Psalmist.
Psalm 73:10 “Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full [cup] are wrung out to them.”
“Are wrung out to them”: Those who associate with the wicked person “drink in” everything he declares (Compare Psalm 1).
We see that the believer comes to God with his needs. They look around them and see the worldly people prospering, and they are having to take the leavings. Christian, do not despair. All of the wonders in heaven are yours. There are blessings on this earth for us, but wonderful surroundings and blessings too numerous to imagine wait the faithful.
Mark 13:13 “And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
Notice the water was rung out. Even though the cup was full, it came to them through great tribulation. Don’t get me wrong, there are blessings God gives to His children, here and now, but we should not expect them and base our relationship with Him on how blessed we are.
Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”
Psalm 73:11 “And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?”
“Is there knowledge in the Most High?” The wicked insist on living as if God is not omniscient and does not know what happens on earth.
The answer to this is yes. Have you ever heard people say, that only the simple-minded worship God? They do not know who God is or what He knows. They do not even believe in God. This is speaking of atheists who do not believe in God’s existence. They believe in evolution and the ultimate becoming theory of human existence.
Psalm 73:12 “Behold, these [are] the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase [in] riches.”
Who say and do as before declared. Such as these must be without the knowledge of God, the fear, love, and worship of him. Who prosper in the world; in worldly and temporal things, in their bodies and outward estates, but not in their souls and spiritual things. “In this world”, as the Targum is; all their prosperity is here. Their good things are in this life, their evil things will be in that to come. Though ungodly, they prosper in the world, and as long as they are in it. Or they are at peace and in case, and are quiet. They have nothing to disturb them, they are not in outward trouble, and their sins do not distress them, and they have no concern about another world.
“They increase in riches”: This is the impression which the psalmist has received from the general course of human affairs in his day. It is closely allied to the view taken by Job (Job 21:7-15).
As far as God is concerned, there are two kinds of people in the world. There are those who believe in God, and those who do not believe in God. There is no in between. These evil people prosper in the world, because they will do anything to anyone to make a dollar.
They do not care whether it is damaging to someone else or not. They have no conscience. A Christian should never make a deal with this type person. The one who does not believe in God would not hesitate to lie, so that he could get the best end of a deal. You cannot trust them. Their riches are dirty. Ill-gotten gain will burn up, when Jesus judges them.
Psalm 73:13 “Verily I have cleansed my heart [in] vain, and washed my hands in innocency.”
Because every good man cooperates with God’s grace in cleansing it (compare 2 Cor. 6:1; 7:1).
“Washed my hands in innocency”: I.e. kept my hands (the great instruments of action, and consequently the rest of the members of my body), innocent and pure from evil practices. I have washed my hands, not only ceremonially with water, wherewith hypocrites satisfy themselves, but also morally, or with the waters of God’s grace and Spirit, innocency or purity.
This has jumped back to the believer speaking here. This is saying, if all the blessings go to the sinner, why have I come to God? Asaph is putting blessings on trial, as if the blessings are why he came to God. All I can say is, this is a dangerous attitude. God does not want us to become a believer because of the blessings we might receive in this earth. That is conditional salvation. God wants our heart to be stayed on Him, even if we face persecution for it. If you look at the disciples of Jesus, you will find that they were persecuted for their belief. Some of them like Stephen were martyred for the sake of the gospel. When we come to God, we better not have any “ifs” attached to it at all.
Psalm 73:14 “For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.”
“Smitten or scourged”, as in (Psalm 73:5). That is, afflicted of God; which is no ways inconsistent with his love, nor with his covenant, nor with an interest in him, as a covenant God and Father (see Psalm 89:29).
“And chastened every morning”: Not in wrath, but in love, and for good. Not with the chastisement of a cruel one, but of a loving and tender father. And therefore, not to be improved in such a manner, as if on this account there was nothing in religion. Whereas the daily notices the Lord takes of his people this way show his regard unto them, and care of them.
It seems his troubles began early in the morning and lasted all day. He should have read about Job in the Bible and taken advice from what Job did.
Verses 15-20: The psalmist having shown the progress of his temptation, shows how faith and grace prevailed. He kept up respect for God’s people, and with that he restrained himself from speaking what he had thought amiss. It is a sign that we repent of the evil thoughts of the heart, if we suppress them. Nothing gives more offence to God’s children, than to say it is vain to serve God; for there is nothing more contrary to their universal experience. He prayed to God to make this matter plain to him; and he understood the wretched end of wicked people; even in the height of their prosperity they were but ripening for ruin. The sanctuary must be the resort of a tempted soul. The righteous man’s afflictions end in peace; therefore, he is happy. The wicked man’s enjoyments end in destruction; therefore, he is miserable. The prosperity of the wicked is short and uncertain, slippery places. See what their prosperity is; it is but a vain show, it is only a corrupt imagination, not substance, but a mere shadow. It is as a dream, which may please us a little while we are slumbering, yet even then it disturbs our repose.
Verses 15-17: Asaph experienced a radical shift in his doubt when he returned to the presence of God. By “sanctuary”, the psalmist probably has in mind the tabernacle, where God’s presence rested in the midst of Israel (Exodus 25:8). And where His people approached Him in worship (Lev. Chapters 1-5). God’s presence reminded Asaph that he did not, in fact, purify his heart in vain, for nearness to God surpasses anything else (73:25-28).
Psalm 73:15 “If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend [against] the generation of thy children.”
Or, if I had said when these feelings assailed me, and the lot of the ungodly man seemed to me much better than my own. If I had resolved to speak out all my thoughts, and let them be generally known, then should I have dealt treacherously with the generation of thy children. I should have deserted their cause. I should have hurt their feelings. I should have put a stumbling block in their way. Therefore, the psalmist implies, he said nothing, a reticence well worthy of imitation.
We could see from this that he should have kept this to himself. It was bad enough to think it, but to speak it aloud was a sin. If he kept it to himself, no one but God and he would have known about it. This would be a dangerous thing to talk to other believers about. This would anger God.
Psalm 73:16 “When I thought to know this, it [was] too painful for me;”
Literally, and I meditated, that I might understand this. A process of careful thought and consideration is implied, during which the psalmist tried hard to understand the method of God’s government, and to explain to himself its seeming anomalies. But he says:
“It was too painful for me”: He did not succeed; he was baffled and perplexed, and the whole effort was a pain and a grief to him.
It had actually gotten to be painful for him to see this.
Psalm 73:17 “Until I went into the sanctuary of God; [then] understood I their end.”
“Sanctuary of God”: As the psalmist worshiped God at the worship center, he began to understand God’s perspective on the fate of the wicked. This is the turning point of the psalm.
When he turned his back to the world and studied the teachings of God, he realized the temporary situation with these worldly people. They better get all the blessings of this world they could in this life, because they would not be in heaven or have any blessings in the hereafter. The presence of God in the temple was so wonderful that all the things of this world faded in the background.
Psalm 73:18 “Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.”
In which a man cannot stand long, and without danger. And the higher they are the more dangerous, being slippery, and such are places of honor and riches. The phrase denotes the uncertainty and instability of these things, and the danger men are in who are possessed of them of falling into destruction and misery. The Targum is, “thou didst set them in darkness.” To be in slippery places, and in the dark, is very uncomfortable, unsafe, and dangerous indeed (see Psalm 35:6). And it may be observed, that all this honor, promotion, and riches, are of God. It is he that sets them in these places of honor and profit. And he that sets them up can pull them down, as he does. So it follows:
“Thou castedst them down into destruction”: Into temporal destruction, by removing them from their high stations into a very low, mean, and contemptible state, as were Shebna and Nebuchadnezzar (Isa. 22:15). And into everlasting destruction, from whence there is no recovery (see Psalm 55:23).
Psalm 73:19 “How are they [brought] into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.”
Very suddenly, which is often the case of wicked men, who cry peace and safety, and sudden destruction comes upon them (see 1 Thess. 5:3). So as in a moment were the punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah, of Pharaoh and his host, and of Korah and his company (Lam. 4:6). The words are expressed with admiration, as wondering at the sudden and amazing turn of things.
“They are utterly consumed with terrors”: Their destruction is not only sudden, but entire. It is like the breaking in pieces of a potter’s vessel; a shard of which cannot be gathered up and used. Or like the casting of a millstone into the sea, which will never rise anymore. Such will be the destruction of antichrist (see Rev. 2:27). And this is done “with terrors”; either by terrible judgments inflicted on them from without; or with terrors inwardly seizing upon their minds and consciences. As, at the time of temporal calamities, or at death. However, at judgment when the awful sentence will be pronounced upon them (see Job 27:20).
Suddenly he has jumped over to the terrible fate that awaits the evil ones who have rejected Jesus. The truth is that death is terrifying to these people.
Revelation 20:15 “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Psalm 73:20 “As a dream when [one] awaketh; [so], O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.”
“Despise their image”: The wicked are like a bad dream which one forgets as soon as he awakens. Their well-being is fleeting.
This is saying that these evil people may seem to have it pretty good here on the earth, but there is coming a day of judgement.
2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
God knew all the time of their evil doings. He was just trying to give them time to repent.
Verses 21-28: God would not suffer his people to be tempted, if his grace were not sufficient, not only to save them from harm, but to make them gainers by it. This temptation, the working of envy and discontent, is very painful. In reflecting upon it, the psalmist owns it was his folly and ignorance thus to vex himself. If good men, at any time, through the surprise and strength of temptation, think, or speak, or act amiss, they will reflect upon it with sorrow and shame. We must ascribe our safety in temptation, and our victory, not to our own wisdom, but to the gracious presence of God with us, and Christ’s intercession for us. All who commit themselves to God, shall be guided with the counsel both of his word and of his Spirit, the best counsellors here, and shall be received to his glory in another world. The believing hopes and prospects of which will reconcile us to all dark providences. And the psalmist was hereby quickened to cleave the closer to God. Heaven itself could not make us happy without the presence and love of our God. The world and all its glory vanishes. The body will fail by sickness, age, and death; when the flesh fails, the conduct, courage, and comfort fail. But Christ Jesus, our Lord, offers to be all in all to every poor sinner, who renounces all other portions and confidences. By sin we are all far from God, and if we go on in sin, will increase our condemnation. May we draw near, and keep near, to our God, by faith and prayer, and find it good to do so. Those that with an upright heart put their trust in God, shall never want matter for thanksgiving to him. Blessed Lord, who hast so graciously promised to become our portion in the next world, prevent us from choosing any other in this.
Psalm 73:21 “Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins.”
Literally, and more expressively, “was soured.” The meaning is, that his heart was grieved, pained, dissatisfied. His mind was embittered, and he was rendered unhappy, by the views which he cherished about God. As doubting the wisdom and justice of his dealings with people, and about people, as being envious at their prosperity.
“And I was pricked in my reins”: The reins are often in the Scriptures represented as the seat of the thoughts or affections (see the notes at Psalm 7:9). The word rendered “pricked” means to sharpen, as a sword; and then, to pierce and penetrate as a sword does. The idea is, that these thoughts, so distressing and painful, seemed to be like a sharp sword penetrating to the seat of life.
It seems that when Asaph had time to really think over what God was doing, he was so sad in his heart, that he had questioned God. Asaph repented of the things he had said and even the thoughts he had in his heart.
Psalm 73:22 “So foolish [was] I, and ignorant: I was [as] a beast before thee.”
“Beast before thee”: The psalmist confesses his sin of evaluating life secularly and faithlessly.
This is the voice and words of a repentant soul. He was feeling little, and no more than an animal in understanding, when he took time to consider.
Verses 23-25: Asaph realizes that although he questioned God, God never questioned him. God took hold of his hand in the past, God is present with him now, and God will take him into a future glory (48:14; Isa. 58:11).
Psalm 73:23 “Nevertheless I [am] continually with thee: thou hast holden [me] by my right hand.”
I.e. “nevertheless, I have not fallen away, but have kept always my hold upon thee;” and, on thy part;
“Thou hast holden me by my right hand”: I.e. thou hast upheld me and prevented me from slipping (compare Psalm 18:35; 89:21; 119:117).
We see a man hanging on to his faith and apologizing for his actions. He is saying, thank you Lord that you did not give up on me, but led me through this shadow of despair that I was in.
Psalm 73:24 “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me [to] glory.”
The psalmist expresses full confidence in God’s continual guidance through all life’s dangers and difficulties, notwithstanding his own shortcomings and” foolishness.” He then looks beyond this life, and exclaims,
“And afterward receive me to glory”: “Walking with God,” is followed by a reception with glory, or into glory; and compares with (Psalm 49:16).
He is now confident that God has forgiven him. He speaks the truth. Guiding with God’s counsel is studying God’s Word. He says, in your Word I am assured that you will receive me as one of yours in glory.
Verses 25-28: A resolve to stay “near … God” strengthens the “heart” in difficult times. The apostle James expressed it this way: “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” James 4:8).
Psalm 73:25 “Whom have I in heaven [but thee]? and [there is] none upon earth [that] I desire beside thee.”
Who is there in all the host of heaven on whom I can place any reliance, excepting thee? None of thy “holy ones,” neither angel nor archangel, can afford me any support or sustenance, preserve or guide or save me, but THOU only (compare Job 5:1).
“And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee”: Much less can earth supply me with a substitute for God. On him my heart’s affections are centered (compare Psalm 63:1).
Suddenly the world and all it has to offer is not important to him anymore. He now realizes that wealth and things are not the true treasure. God is the treasure. In heaven and on the earth, the only true worth is salvation through our Lord and Savior.
Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart faileth: [but] God [is] the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”
In myself, I confess I am a poor weak creature, and my body and spirit may fail and be ready to faint under such temptations and tribulations as these. And I know I shall shortly return to the dust, out of which I was taken. But though I have no strength in myself; I have it in God, my never-failing refuge, to whom I will trust whilst I live, and who will be my portion to eternity.
This flesh has no value, it is dust and to dust it shall return.
1 Corinthians 15:45 “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit.”
He is saying, I no longer want to be flesh man, I want to be born of the spirit of God.
John 3:6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
We see from this that, the birth that really counts is our new birth in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Psalm 73:27 “For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.”
“Perish … thou hast destroyed”: The psalmist concludes that those who abandon God and attempt to live an autonomous life based on self-chosen idols will eventually endure eternal death.
We said it before, those wicked who do not have their name written in the Lamb’s book of life, will be doomed to the lake of fire. The sad thing about the sentence above is that, some who had claimed to be married to God, go a whoring and they go the way of those who never accepted Jesus as their Savior. These were never saved in the first place.
Psalm 73:28 “But [it is] good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.”
But whatsoever they do, I am abundantly satisfied that it is, as my duty, so my interest and happiness, to cleave unto thee. By faith, and love, and obedience, and diligent attendance upon all thine ordinances.
“I have put my trust in the Lord God”: I depend upon him alone for all my comfort and felicity.
“That I may declare all thy works”: From which I know I shall have this benefit, that I shall have many and great occasions to declare God’s acts of mercy and kindness to me.
Notice, God did not draw near to him, he drew near to God. God had never moved away from him. He has decided to put his trust in God. He will now rest in God and stop worrying about what others have. Asaph has decided to work for God, and to let his work show to the world whose side he is on. In summary: Christians, stop comparing your walk with God with other’s walk with God. God is God of individuals. He personalizes our salvation walk to fit us.
Psalm 73 Questions
- Who is this Psalm attributed to?
- Who has God been overly good to?
- God is more interested in the condition of your _________ than in your actions.
- What is verse two really?
- When you get to the end of your ability, what happens?
- Who was Asaph envious of?
- What is dangerous about teaching prosperity?
- In this life, we will have ________________.
- Who are we joint heirs with, if we suffer with Him?
- Why is there no rejoicing when the evil die?
- What do the evil have a false sense of?
- Does having a new car and a new house mean that you are saved?
- What does the fatness of the eyes in verse 7 mean?
- What is meant by their tongue walketh through the earth?
- What does it mean about the water being wrung out of the full cup?
- In verse 11, what type of people would make this statement?
- In God’s opinion there are 2 types of people, who are they?
- What is Asaph doing in verse 13?
- Did the disciples live prosperously on this earth?
- What was so bad about Asaph’s complaining?
- When did Asaph change his mind about all of this?
- What caused the things of this world to fade away from Asaph?
- What is the fate of the evil people who do not repent?
- Why had God not already punished these evil people?
- What happened when Asaph realized what he had done and said?
- What is guiding with God’s counsel?
- What is the sad thing about the last part of verse 27?
- How could you summarize this lesson?