Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

“Truly God is good…”(Psalm 73:1)

Do we believe it?

In this psalm there is an inward battle against the Lord’s ways……the inward cry for knowledge…..and the answer given from the Lord, to His servant.

Some sins are quite prominent…..some, slide into our minds and hearts….and give us quite a battle.

The psalmist sees the wicked….those that should be judged for not keeping the Law…wealthy and successful.

While the righteous are poor and often being persecuted,….or worried because of their situation.

Psalm 73:2-3 “But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well-nigh slipped.

For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”

This is a psalm of Asaph (1 Chronicles 16:4-7). He was a leader in the Tabernacle for the songs and praises.

This was a high office,…..yet he was troubled…..he was having a heart-battle about the Lord’s way of dealing with His people…….that is, the way he saw things….

“I was envious at the “foolish” or wicked.”

(We think of envy as a green-eyed monster…..well, it is a monster…..disturbing our thoughts, and emotions:

It says: I wish I had what you had…I wish I was like you…..I wish I was you.

It is truly a monster.)

He sees that they are confident and prosperous…..even though they are wicked,…..and that troubles him….he can not hush the questions that come to his mind.

“My steps had well nigh slipped.” He was in trouble….spiritually…he was beginning to doubt God’s righteousness.

Psalm 73:5-9 “They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.

Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.

Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.

They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression:….

They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.”

Pride is the chief hardener….

For pride separates….making the proud better than others…..even if it is just a little better.

It puts everyone else beneath them.

Others rights or feelings, do not matter to them….they intend to have their way.

They slander God,….does He let them get by with it?….

Psalm 73:11 “And they say, How doth God know? And is there knowledge in the most High?”

It seems as if God is letting the wicked slide…….they think God does not see.

……while the righteous are coming to the Lord,….troubled and sorrowful.

Here is a stumbling block to faith….so…

Isaiah 57:14-15 “And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling block out of the way of My people.

For thus saith the High and Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, Whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

Considering this, Asaph is so troubled….he wants to speak about these things…but….(Psalm 73:15) “If I say, I will speak thus;….I should offend against the generation of Thy children.”

Asaph wanted to talk about his thoughts…..after all he was accusing God of being unjust!

But he was concerned of speaking injury to the younger generation…..of letting his battle with envy spread to others.

(He was the leader of the singers….appointed under David the king.)

Psalm 73:13-14 “Verily (truth) I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.

For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.”

It would seem that all his right living, watching that he might not sin,…..had not given him any advantage….at least, the reward of this life.

(When faith is covered up by envy…..we can not see correctly.)

Everything seemed to be upside down……”Until”….

“Until” is a word expressing time,…..and experience….

Psalm 73:17 “Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.”

Looking toward the mercy-seat:

The heart which had dragged with sadness, and doubts…..he lifts to God.

Chaos began to depart, and God’s light…..and order…..began to be seen.

Until….

He “saw their end”…..that changed everything.

There he saw their final destruction…..and their guilt now, clinging to them like a bad smell…

….it was if they were puffed up, weight added to them…..so if they continue to the end this way….they will sink lower in hell.

He does not envy them now….for God has showed him, by His mercy:

Instead of being placed upon the Rock…..they were sinking in the sand of time already….they just did not recognize the ruin that was coming (Matthew 7:2

Everyman owes their existence and prosperity to the goodness of God…..in a moment all can change (Psalm 73:19)….so we should use it wisely.

Psalm 73:22-22 “Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins.

So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before Thee.”

And here is the lesson learned….his confession to God…

…..”I was as a beast before Thee”.

My thoughts were only of myself….and satisfying my desires…..I am ashamed….

And then…..his praise is back in his heart….

Psalm 73:23-26 “….Thou hast holden me by my right hand.

Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.

Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee.

My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”

Faith, again, is not hidden behind the curtain of envy….but has been released from doubt.

Faith is true sight…..getting wisdom from God. Trust and you will know.

God had upheld him…..and he praises Him for it.

With the Lord is counsel….and when we come to Him we are sure to be given light…..and to be led aright.

…”and afterward”….what a blessed word. After this life, which is so short.

After the troubles, and sorrows.

Asaph see that God is the portion of the righteous,…..

…..we are blessed in Christ, here….and with Him there.

He had been foolish….envious and doubting….but God had kept him….taken out of his way, his stumbling block…..and led him back into His light….into faith again.

Asaph had learned that natural sight is not faith.

All other things pass away; let our hearts abide in Him…..Who abides forever.

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