Psa 73: Recovery from the temptation of Envy
psalm of Asaph.
Comments: There is here a remarkable honesty. Envy nearly
became Asaph's downfall [v.2,3]. He saw the wicked who seemed
to prosper [v.4,5] whose pride led them into wrong doing [v.6,7]
and their arrogant & boastful words [v.8,9] leading others
astray [v.10-12]. He looked at himself who, though seeking to
remain righteous found himself appearing to get punished by afflictions
[v.13-15] and this left him feeling confused until he turned to
God [v.16,17], and then he saw it, the wicked are on a path of
self-destruction [v.18-20]. He realised he had been foolish [v.21,22]
but despite this he was still sure the Lord held and kept and
counselled and guided him [v.23,24], and the reality was that
God alone was his strength and support [v.25,26]. His end conclusion
is clear – the wicked will perish but he will continue to make
the Lord his refuge. [v.27,28]. A psalm of ‘there and back' –
almost being led away into folly and misery by envy but holding
on and getting back to a good place by remembering the truth –
God was for him and was his refuge while the wicked will be left
to destroy themselves.]
A general statement of principle God is good
God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
Asaph nearly fell to envy
as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold.
I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
The prosperous wicked appear secure
have no struggles;
their bodies are healthy and strong.
are free from common human burdens;
they are not plagued by human ills.
Yet their pride leads them on to unlimited iniquity
pride is their necklace;
they clothe themselves with violence.
their callous hearts comes iniquity;
their evil imaginations have no limits.
Their arrogant & boastful words exalt them
scoff and speak with malice;
with arrogance they threaten oppression.
mouths lay claim to heaven,
and their tongues take possession of
They attract others by their godless words
their people turn to them
and drink up waters in abundance.
say, “How would God know?
Does the Most High know anything?”
is what the wicked are like—
always free of care, they go on amassing
Although innocent I seem to get punished and wonder why
in vain I have kept my heart pure
and have washed my hands in innocence.
day long I have been afflicted,
and every morning brings new punishments.
I had spoken out like that,
I would have betrayed your children.
All this confused me until to sought God and got answers
I tried to understand all this,
it troubled me deeply
I entered the sanctuary of God;
then I understood their final destiny.
I saw they were on a path to destruction, not worth remembering
you place them on slippery ground;
you cast them down to ruin.
suddenly are they destroyed,
completely swept away by terrors!
are like a dream when one awakes;
when you arise, Lord,
you will despise them as fantasies.
I let myself get upset over it, foolishly
my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
Yet the truth is that God holds me and counsels me & has eternity
I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
It is God alone who is for me and is my strength
have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides
flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
The godless will perish, but I make God my refuge
who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to
as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.
Comments: It is good to realize our vulnerabilities,
the fact that temptations come and need resisting by seeing the
truth, the reality, that the godless and the wicked may seem to
prosper while we suffer setbacks, but they will bring destruction
upon themselves while the Lord continues to be our refuge and
source of guidance.]
to Psa 74