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Psalm 73

Started by Al Moak, June 15, 2003, 09:16:33 AM

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Al Moak

June 15, 2003, 09:16:33 AM Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 07:28:01 PM by Al Moak
Psalm 73

This psalm should be mandatory instruction for every young person, because the problem dealt with here is faced anew in every generation.  The problem is that the ungodly, those who don't believe there's a God Who cares about what happens here on earth, seem to be getting along just fine, whereas the godly, those who are committed to loving and serving God, seem to have many troubles and trials. That being true, the question always comes up - why should the godly continue in godliness?

The psalmist says that in facing this problem his own "feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped.  For I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked."  He means that he came close to giving up his godliness, that he almost decided to join company with the wicked.

But though he almost left God, yet God did not leave him.  Without realizing the importance of what he was doing, David went at some point into the "sanctuary of God" (the temple or the tabernacle), and there, during meditation, God moved in his heart and mind and gave him the answer.  While there he considered what would become of the ungodly at their end - and then realized that he had come upon the answer to his dilemma. 

Regarding their end, he says, "Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction.  Oh how they are brought to desolation - as in a moment!  As a dream when one awakes, so, Lord when You awake, You shall despise their image."

Simply put, God HIMSELF will deal with them when the time comes.  The ungodly are "dreaming," and when God "awakes" (when the time comes for Him to deal with their case), then - and only then - their destruction will be extremely swift and thorough.  So the psalmist doesn't have to concern himself with it - God Himself will take care of it – but in His perfect timing.

Thinking about that fact and about his former doubting, the psalmist is greatly disappointed with himself - "grieved" that he had had doubts.  He says he was "so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You."  But the important thing was that during his doubting, God didn't depart from him at all.  He says, "Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand.  You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory."

That's the important thing to be learned by all of us from this psalm: it is not we who hold onto God, but it is God Who holds onto us.  We do not keep ourselves in His kingdom, but He keeps us in it - all the way.  The psalmist's conclusion should be ours as well: "My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."  We fail often, and we almost fail even more often, but God never fails, and so we shall be kept.  The godly will experience, in all cases, the renewal of God.

That renewal is expressed in the last two verses of the psalm.  The writer says, "For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; 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 your works."  Plainly put, he returns from his doubting because God renews him, and when he returns, he "draws near to God" once again.  So shall we all, for God Himself keeps us.