Psalm 73: The wicked contrasted with the righteous

by | Jul 6, 2016 | 01 Podcasts, Psalms

Psalm 73 Lecture Notes

1-14 The Road to Ruin (Three Steps Back)

1-3 I nearly lost my faith in a good God seeing the wicked’s prosperity

1 “Certainly we should expect God to be good to those who are pure in heart!”
2 But he almost lost my faith
3 Because I envied the wicked

4-9 Because the wicked seem to prosper in every way,

4 They die painlessly, not in the prime of life. They are healthy and prosperous.
5 They have less difficulties in life. God does not chasen them as much as others.
6 They flaunt their pride. They flaunt their violence
7-9 The outcome is a blatant and unpunished flaunting of their wickedness.

7 They search for more even in their abundance. They entertain vain fancies in their minds.
8 They mock with malice and plan oppression. From their positions of authority they command oppression.
9 They speak against God Himself, in order to say whatever they want on earth.

10-14 And keeping my heart pure passes unrewarded by God.

10 The people return to this philosophy and swallow its precepts completely
11 “How can God witness this iniquity, and not instantly arise to avenge His saints?”
12 We see that they wicked, and yet their prosperity seems to be perpetual.
13 If this is the order of things, then Asaph’s purity of heart and cleanness of hands are useless.
14 Not only does Asaph not receive reward, put he is being chastened.

15-28 The Road to God (Four Steps Forward)

15-17 Asaph’s response is to see things from God’s perspective.

15 He recognizes the importance of his choice.
16 He is troubled with this philosophy.
17 He puts himself in a place where God can meet him. Seeing God, he sees more clearly.

18-20 Asaph’s change in perspective changes his evaluation of the wicked:
Asaph now sees that…

18 God upholds morality and causes their way to unstable despite looking stable.
19 Their doom is unexpected, sudden, and complete.
20 Prosperity lasts for a night; judgement comes in the morning;
God will despise their image.

21-26 Asaph’s change in perspective changes his perception of God.

21 When his mind and emotions were envious and bitter
22 He was blind to the reality of God, like an animal.
23 But God was always there, leading Asaph back to Himself.
24 Guiding him, and receiving him to glory
25 There is nothing anywhere more important or more reliable than God.
26 His life and mind will give out and fail, but his hope is in God to be his strength

27-28 Asaph can have this trust and assurance because Yahweh is God who upholds the righteous and makes the path of the wicked perish.

27 Being far from God leads to Death, since God is the source of all Life.
28 Asaph values the nearness of God and trusts in Yahweh as Lord.
Now, rather than keep his thoughts to himself (vs. 15)
Asaph can proclaim his new understanding and affirm,
“Surely God is good to Israel, To those who are pure in heart!”

For more detail and explanation, please listen to the podcast.

Teacher: David John Marotta

Part of the Series: Understanding Psalms

Resources: Understanding Hebrew Poetry

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