In Psalm 73, verses 3-14, Asaph contemplates the seemingly prosperous state of the wicked, admits that he was envious (v. 3), and laments that “They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men” (v. 5). However, in verses 15-16, Asaph admits being a bit embarrassed at his thoughts, acknowledging that his thoughts, if heard by some, might cause one to stumble. He further notes in verse 16 that the thought of causing one of God’s children to stumble was too painful for him to bear. In verse 17, Asaph states that when he went into God’s sanctuary (i.e., he studied God’s Word, worshiped, meditated on God’s ways), then he understood the end of the wicked. It is hard to conceive of any one of God’s children not having thought along the same lines as Asaph in verses 3-14 at some point or other in his/her life. It is the age old question of, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” and, “Why do the wicked prosper?” But, let us note carefully what the Holy Spirit inspired Asaph to write concerning the end of the wicked in verses 18 and 19 of Psalm 73. Continue reading
Vs. 1-2 show “thanksgiving” acknowledges one’s faith in God;
Vs. 3-5 show faith in the defeat of one’s enemies;
Vs. 6-10 show the victory is the LORD’s;
Vs 11-20 show praise to God for His righteous judgments.
All praise to God should be with the “whole heart” (vs. 1), not with lips only (Matthew 15:7-9), and God knows the difference as David taught his son Solomon (1 Chronicles 28:9) and the New Testament Apostles acknowledged (Acts 1:24).
Victory is always with the LORD (vs. 3-6) and is so complete that God blots out their name, and the memory of them vanishes forever as God promised (Deuteronomy 32:26). Dead people know nothing of continuing life “under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6), and the living will forget those who are dead. This humbling thought is wasted on all the egocentric who seek to make a name for themselves in history. Everyone should seek to have God blot out their sins instead (Acts 3:19)!
He shall judge the world in righteousness” (vs. 8) is the very description of Jesus Christ in the final Judgment (Acts 17:30-31). Hence Psalm 9 easily describes the ultimate Judgment of all mankind, which has been committed into the hands of Jesus that all should honor Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God (John 5:22-23). God is righteous in condemning the wicked, for “The nations have sunk down in the pit which they made” (vs. 15). Damnation is of one’s own choosing!
Vs. 1-2 show David’s appeal for relief from his detractors;
Vs. 3-5 show David’s presentation of his will toward God;
Vs. 6-17 show David’s acknowledgement of God’s possibilities against enemies.
David is fully prepared to accept the consequences of his own sins (vs. 3-5). Contrast this with many today who curse God when He will not deliver them from their own sinful consequences (Ephesians 2:11-13; 4:17-24; Romans 6:3-5). David appeals to God for righteous judgment (vs. 6-9), thus placing his own deeds before God for evaluation, as everyone must do one day (2 Corinthians 5:10). David completely trusts in God to deal with the wicked (vs. 10-17), that no wickedness will be unpunished.
When sinners devise ways of evil, they release actions that will come back on them (vs. 15-16), a sentiment echoed by Solomon (Proverbs 26:27), and applied by Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:52). The practices of violating God’s Laws become the “rules” by which others justify their own sinfulness. Hence, abortion defines human life as worthless (Hosea 13:16); the riotous lifestyle of those on alcohol or other drugs defines human activity as godless (Ephesians 5:18); the residual anger and hatred of many people defines humans as heartless (Titus 3:3); the merciless get no mercy (James 2:13); etc. People who sin think they are freed from the constraints of God’s Laws, but in reality, they have become slaves of unrighteousness (Romans 6:16-20; 2 Peter 2:18-19). Sometimes, the worse God can do to spark a soul to see the error of his/her way is to let them “stew in their own juice,” so to speak (Psalm 7:14-16), until they are ready to turn back to God!