Psalm 73

Hello, my friend.  You may have noticed in your Bible that our Psalm 73 for today was written by a man named Asaph.  He was a descendant of Levi, whom David appointed leader of choral worship (I Chr.16:4-5).   He is listed as the writer of Psalms 73-83 and I find it interesting that other musicians were encouraged to write Psalms, and not only the King himself.    Several other Psalms in this third book were written by people associated with David in the music used in the temple at that time.

In any case, today’s Psalm is significant because it describes a problem we all have faced.   Asaph tells of the doubts that nearly overwhelmed him when he compared the life of a worldly man with his own.  Have you never been confronted with the same doubts, when you see godless men prosper?  Their arrogance sometimes stuns you and their stunning achievements, compared to your own lack of success, make you question, perhaps, what benefit is there in being a Christian.  

Asaph begins the Psalm by acknowledging that God is good to those who are pure in heart, but he says, “As for me, my feet had almost slipped…for I envied the arrogant, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”  They seem to have no struggles; they are healthy and free from the burdens common to mankind.  Pride is their necklace, the ideas of their minds are evil, they speak with malice and seem to have no limits to their achievements.  And people turn to them, as they say, “How can God know?  Does the Most High have knowledge?”  Ever felt like that, especially when we read in vs. 12, “They are carefree, they increase in wealth.”

And Asaph admits that doubt swept through his mind as he says, “It’s in vain that I have kept my heart pure, have preserved my hands in innocence.”  But suddenly great wisdom grips him, and he acknowledges the foolishness of his complaints.  Like many saints before and after him, Asaph was puzzled that God seemed to prosper the wicked and punish at times the righteous.   But now he overcomes his doubts by considering the destiny of the wicked.  The conflict was painful to him, until, as he says, (vs.17), “I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.”  As he prayed he was reminded there in vs. 18 that it is the wicked who are on slippery ground, vulnerable to any catastrophe that can engulf them.  And he grieves over his unbelief, reminding himself in the last verses that “You, Lord, hold me by my right hand, you guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.  Whom have I in heaven but you?  And earth has nothing I desire besides you… my flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  It is good for me to be near God.  I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge.”  What a powerful anthem of praise.

“We are so thankful, Lord, for a Psalm like this which keeps our minds on you, when it seems that the wicked flourish.  Indeed, whom do we have on earth beside you.  We rest in you, our Refuge from doubts that swirl around us.  Bless my friend who has joined us, and those in special need!”  Thank you, partner.  Cheerio!

These meditations on the Psalms were written by Village Schools of the Bible Founder, Monty Sholund and first published in book form as Monty’s Musings on the Psalms in 2000. Copies are available for $10 and can be ordered here.

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Psalm 73

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