Thursday, March 13, 2008

Studying Psalm 73 (13 Mar)

An Asaph Psalm

1-5 No doubt about it! God is good— good to good people, good to the good-hearted.
But I nearly missed it,
missed seeing his goodness.
I was looking the other way,
looking up to the people
At the top,
envying the wicked who have it made,
Who have nothing to worry about,
not a care in the whole wide world.

6-10 Pretentious with arrogance,
they wear the latest fashions in violence,
Pampered and overfed,
decked out in silk bows of silliness.
They jeer, using words to kill;
they bully their way with words.
They're full of hot air,
loudmouths disturbing the peace.
People actually listen to them—can you believe it?
Like thirsty puppies, they lap up their words.

11-14 What's going on here? Is God out to lunch?
Nobody's tending the store.
The wicked get by with everything;
they have it made, piling up riches.
I've been stupid to play by the rules;
what has it gotten me?
A long run of bad luck, that's what—
a slap in the face every time I walk out the door.

15-20 If I'd have given in and talked like this,
I would have betrayed your dear children.
Still, when I tried to figure it out,
all I got was a splitting headache . . .
Until I entered the sanctuary of God.
Then I saw the whole picture:
The slippery road you've put them on,
with a final crash in a ditch of delusions.
In the blink of an eye, disaster!
A blind curve in the dark, and—nightmare!
We wake up and rub our eyes....Nothing.
There's nothing to them. And there never was.

21-24 When I was beleaguered and bitter,
totally consumed by envy,
I was totally ignorant, a dumb ox
in your very presence.
I'm still in your presence,
but you've taken my hand.
You wisely and tenderly lead me,
and then you bless me.

25-28 You're all I want in heaven!
You're all I want on earth!
When my skin sags and my bones get brittle,
God is rock-firm and faithful.
Look! Those who left you are falling apart!
Deserters, they'll never be heard from again.
But I'm in the very presence of God—
oh, how refreshing it is!
I've made Lord God my home.
God, I'm telling the world what you do!

Study of the verses

V1- Psalmist acknowledgement of the goodness of God to Israel
V2-12- Psalmist’s doubts overwhelmed him to the point of almost losing faith as he saw the prosperity of the wicked
V13-16- psalmist’s perplexity over the value of his salvation
V17- the turn of events when he ENTERS into the sanctuary of GOD
V18-20- Psalmist saw the destiny of the wicked; beyond the present prosperity
V21-26- Psalmist’s confession of his perspective dulled by his ignorance; his -conviction of the Lord’s presence with him; being his strength and portion forever
V27-28- Psalmist conclusion of those who are far and unfaithful will be destroyed; but those who are near God will find joy and safety.

Leading Questions to study Psalms 73:

1)What was the spiritual condition of the psalmist?

He almost lost faith in God. (vs 2)

2)What was offensive to the mind of the psalmist?

- he was perplexed by the prosperity of the wicked that he saw against his understanding of the value of his salvation in God. (v3-12; 13-14)

3) When was the turning point for him?
(vs 17) – it was when he enters into the sanctuary of God

4)What did he learn about God?
The Lord’s goodness over His people is sure. The temporal prosperity does not outlast the eternal blessing of God. Those without God will surely perished; despite the seemingly blessings.

Who is God?
He is one who assured my destiny even in times that I cannot see the prosperity

Application: How than shall I live?
How do I find rest for my soul in times when the wicked are prosperous?
1)Envy Not; trust in His goodness
2)Doubt Not; lean on His wisdom
3)Run Not; enter into His presence

(Source: Sook San's notes)

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