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Psalm 73 ~ A Revelation Of Self

>> 7.25.2011

I have spent the majority of this year and last resting in the Psalms.  Not only have I felt like I’ve been all over the place with various emotions, I’ve felt a little dry and Psalms has provided the soothing salve needed “in this dry and weary land” in which I’ve been wandering.  So, after starting this blog based out of “Divine Inspiration” given through Psalm 62, I’d been reading and re-reading many of the Psalms, one of which was Psalm 73.  It had been striking me as a little odd…I thought I could MAYBE relate, but then I’d read it again and I thought maybe my personal interpretation wasn’t exactly the RIGHT interpretation so…I kept finishing it really quickly and then I’d move on.  (Of course, YOU’VE never read parts of Scripture like that, have you?! Uhem…) Well, God apparently really wanted to open my eyes to myself through this passage, so he sent a recent quest missionary speaker to our church to preach on THIS VERY PASSAGE!  It was one of those “God’s very hands are reaching down to me and reading this to me Himself” moments.  (Refreshing and convicting at the same time!)

 Before I go any further, let me quote the passage for you.  (And yes, this will be another “2 –Parter” just to hold your attention span – no offense to be taken, please=)

73:1 A psalm by Asaph.
Certainly God is good to Israel, 2  and to those whose motives are pure! 3 (2) But as for me, my feet almost slipped; my feet almost slid out from under me. 4  (3) For I envied those who are proud,as I observed 5 the prosperity 6 of the wicked. (4) For they suffer no pain; 7 their bodies 8 are strong and well-fed. 9  (5) They are immune to the trouble common to men; they do not suffer as other men do. 10  (6)Arrogance is their necklace, 11 and violence their clothing. 12  (7) Their prosperity causes them to do wrong; 13 their thoughts are sinful. 14 8 They mock 15 and say evil things; 16 they proudly threaten violence. 17 9 They speak as if they rule in heaven,and lay claim to the earth. 18 10 Therefore they have more than enough food to eat, and even suck up the water of the sea. 19 11 They say, “How does God know what we do? Is the sovereign one aware of what goes on?” 20 12 Take a good look! This is what the wicked are like, 21 those who always have it so easy and get richer and richer. 22 13 I concluded, 23 Surely in vain I have kept my motives 24 pure and maintained a pure lifestyle. 25 14 I suffer all day long,and am punished every morning.”15 If I had publicized these thoughts, 26 I would have betrayed your loyal followers. 27 16 When I tried to make sense of this,it was troubling to me. 28  (Italics all added, Scripture from NetBible.)

Read it again now (because we all need several looks at passages we’re really going to “consider”)

Okay, now that you’ve done that: What do you think? 

I have to first say, I LOVE Asaph!  I mean, talk about honesty!  Here it is; Scripture is FULL of honesty!  So, one thing I learn right away in this passage is that IT IS MORE THAN OKAY TO BE HONEST WITH GOD!!!!  { This was NOT one of the preacher's points, but I learned it anyway=) He’s big enough, and He modeled that type of relationship with Him all over in Scriptures.  (But let’s face it, we so easily forget this; one of Satan’s great lies to us, of that I’m sure.)

Second, after reading it again and again, I realized I AM ASAPH!  I do this every day!  Somewhere between rising from bed and falling into it again, I end up thinking thoughts that are so similar to this.   I hear about some successful person who has grown that success through, well, down right evil ways (entertainment industry?—and not ALL entertainment is “evil”, but so much of it is) and I’m truly jealous and envious (v.3) of that success and all that it brings. 

Third, when I dwell on that, I too begin to think that these earthly successful people have it so much better than I.  I, too, begin to list all the good things I do for God and then I begin to think that God really ought to treat me a little better in the wealth and health department than He is.  Like God owes me something.  I think things just like Asaph such as: they “ALWAYS have it so easy” (v12) and that “they are immune to trouble”(v.5).  These type of dwelling thoughts end up messing with reality and I end up just like Asaph, trying to make sense of it all.   

Are you with me, ladies?  Have you ever been there before or are you there now?  Trying to figure out why God has you in this particular “waiting” period or why He doesn’t just give you a few more dollars so you can do “good” things with it (like buy new shoes for this kids?!  I mean, we don’t even necessarily want more to spend on us, right?!) 

No?  Well, I guess it’s just me then… I need perspective. 

And we’ll get it when we tune in next time=)  Until then, enjoy this wonderful clip from Francis Chan that talks about this very problem.  (Thanks, Homeschoolingmomtographer for bringing this one to my attention.)


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