People like to hear it; they like to have their consciences thus assuaged. He realizes that he is blessed now, even without the prosperity he envied. Many wish to return to the virtues of a former age and in the process turn the past into a myth, magnifying what may have been good while suppressing what was less than pleasant. 5They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind. Daily. By the beating of this pulse— we conclude there is life. Roman orators constantly appealed to their countrymen to return to the days of humble civic virtue embodied by Cincinnatus and others. 2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. ( Psalm 73:25–26) The deepest desires of the redeemed heart perhaps find no truer expression than in the words of Psalm 73:23–28. 26My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. ), it would prove to men and women of old just how far civilization and culture had fallen from those glorious days in the past. Psalm 73 – “My Feet Almost Slipped” The title of this psalm (A Psalm of Asaph) tells us that it was written by the great singer and musician of David and Solomon’s era (1 Chronicles 15:17-19, 16:5-7, 25:6). And he will testify of the good works of God for others to hear and know. The wicked will be judged. Nevertheless I am continually with thee: Thou hast holden my right hand. The Psalms begin with a wisdom psalm affirming the way things should be: the righteous prosper while the wicked fade away in transience (Psalm 1). 25Whom have I in heaven but you? They are easily scared. Psalm 73:25. Yet His sheep must endure the valley of the shadow of death and perhaps great trial; they must depend upon YHWH their Shepherd for all things and not presume to have gained anything through the unaided work of their own hands. Asaph sees their worst case scenario: they lose all their wealth and fall into ruin, and all that in but a moment (Psalm 73:18-19). May the mountains bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness. “Whom have I in heaven but you?” verse 25 goes, “And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.”. This wonderful psalm may be best understood by the dominant pronouns within. | Luke 10:29. David did not write Psalm 23:1-6 merely for himself; YHWH inspired him to write to give voice to the people of God throughout time. The book of Job is all about Job and his friends having to come to grips first with the possibility that a person might suffer illness or indignity but not as a result of sin and then by extension that wicked people prosper despite their evil. It’s the first of 11 such psalms in a row by him, that begin the third section of the book of Psalms. The Psalmist arrives at the goal of salvation: desiring and worshipping God alone. Yet he was prone to stumbled for he was envious of the arrogant on account of the prosperity of the wicked (Psalm 73:2-3). He has compassion on the family, stops, and gives aid and assistance. It takes a penetrating look into your soul. He now desires something different, even though his circumstances haven’t changed.). Have you ever longed for something you don’t have only to find out that someone you don’t like has gotten what you so desperately wanted? He seems to tell of a thing painful, and so to speak deplorable. What is the end of the wicked that Asaph discerned? Amos 6:6, Matthew 6:17). Actually, both the righteous and the wicked prosper and suffer in various ways to various degrees at different times. Apocalypses unveil and reveal. Yet the Genesis author is very consciously standing against the Mesopotamian traditions in many ways; and very much so in terms of the understanding of the “heroic past.”. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. We do well to consider deeply Asaph’s cry. This Israelite, a lawyer by trade, wanted to justify himself, to demonstrate how he was in the right in his present circumstance with his present attitudes. Her greatest fault is in speaking explicitly what is most often maintained implicitly, with coded language and an attempted bifurcation between certain political ideologies and spiritual realities. He was ignorant. To be honest, I can’t always say that. Like a parent guiding a small child by the hand. Dec 4, 1988. 4For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek. And Asaph also experiences a change in his heart, from wrong desire, envy toward the wicked to right desire toward God. What the Greeks did to the Mycenaean warriors of the late Bronze Age Americans tend to do with their “Founding Fathers” and other exemplary leaders of the past: their virtues are extolled and magnified beyond historical reality, their vices diminished, and a divine hand is reckoned to have guided them in ways they may not have even understood. He begins with a statement of faith about God’s goodness. Sarah Walton Jun 1, 2017 3.8K Shares Article. This psalm is a brutally honest confessional, from the heart of Asaph to the God he felt had given him a rip off. We also do well to notice how Jesus framed the indicting question: who proved to be neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers? But then, while worshiping, he “discerned their end.”. Whom have I in heaven but you? This reckoning may be delayed, but it will come. This is the turning point. It is not about what we profess. Much has been made of the parallels between Genesis and Mesopotamian narratives such as Enuma Elish and The Epic of Gilgamesh, generally attempting to diminish what is written in Genesis as a second-rate adaptation of these older stories. YHWH has provided abundantly for David. 15If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed the generation of your children. That fear motivates them to continue to accumulate wealth, to keep God and/or their fellow man at a distance lest they lose their wealth, and in general maintain great fear and apprehension about maintaining or increasing what they already have. Negatively, these words expose your weakness and self-centeredness. While the image of YHWH as shepherd might have come easily to David, having been a shepherd himself, the implications of the truth of such an image still requires a person to swallow a lot of pride and to exhibit humility. Psalm 23:1-6 is immensely comforting, but it can only be so for those who submit to YHWH as His sheep. The presence of the rod/staff indicates the presence of YHWH and discipline to follow the good, right, and healthy way. In times of trial wealth, perhaps even friends, and popularity fail. Before you bail out on God, Asaph wants you to sit with him and learn from his experiences. His flesh will fail; God will be his strength forever (Psalm 73:26). It is easy to be envious of the wealthy because we want what they have; nevertheless, their wealth can be their own prison. $3.99 a month puts a library of commentaries, study notes, and Greek & Hebrew language tools right in your pocket. Examining Psalm 73:25-26, he notes how the Psalmist turns to worship. We could endlessly speculate regarding the nature of the Nephilim and what made them the “mighty men of renown,” but to no avail, for we know nothing else about them from Scripture beyond what has been described above. The Nephilim were the offspring of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men,” interpreted either as certain angels who consorted with women or the descendants of Seth who comingled with the daughters of Cain. We all have doubts and questions at times. It should not have happened. Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness. Asaph is left to wonder if his righteousness has gotten him anywhere or anything (Psalm 73:13-14). “You guide me with your counsel.” In this life God is near and guides him. Exemplary members of his people, a priest and a Levite, perceive his condition, but not wanting to become unclean they passed him by. It is about how we act and what we demonstrate by our behaviors. His heart and his flesh are just about depleted, and he says — perhaps with his last breath — “but God is the rock (or strength) of my weak, failing life and my portion forever.” So my point is, wherever this despondency may come from, it’s unbelief that doesn’t say “but God.” Now, everyone suffers to some degree. Sons do not inherit the sins of the fathers. Today Christians live in societies profoundly shaped or influenced by the cultures mentioned above; we may not honor their heroes, but the impulse to find men of some renown and to esteem them as larger than life remains. Tag: Desiring God The Pressings of God ... Psalm 73:25. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Scripture: Psalm 73:12–28. Jesus also agreed with the answer, and told him to do so and he would live (Luke 10:26). In this situation we need not wonder; Jesus Himself encountered an Israelite who felt the same way about Israel. The real point is that God is near. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Whether he is quite popular among his people or derided and persecuted, God guides him by His counsel. And there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee (Psalm 73:23-25). As Christians, however, we will not be able to find the most compelling such story and find such virtues in any individual society; we find them embodied in Jesus of Nazareth, and ought to seek to be part of the eternal purpose God has purposed in Him. 16But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, 17until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. I see in this an example for us. This psalm is ascribed to Asaph. The reason for our lack of confidence is that we like God’s blessings more than God. YHWH has taken care of David and continues to provide for him; David thus fully expected YHWH to continue to manifest goodness and covenant loyalty toward him for the rest of his life (Psalm 23:6). ), Come to Jesus and find rest. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Why Do Others Get the Good I Deserve? Psalm 73. God loves undocumented people as much as American citizens. Just look at how you spend your time. In our modern update, it is the undocumented El Salvadoran immigrant. Change ). Homer and others told the stories of what the Greeks deemed the Golden Age, the age of the heroes, Hercules, Jason, Theseus, Achilles, Agamemnon, Hector, Ajax, and the rest. But this is just the background here. Psalm 73:26 reads “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Lute calls that one of the greatest “But God” statements in scripture, and I agree. Today we speak highly of “good Samaritans”; to Israel, there was no good Samaritan, and to see a half-breed prove more righteous than priests and Levites would stick in the Israelite craw. The Genesis author does not deny the existence of these men in the past who are hailed as “heroes” and “men of renown.” Instead, he contextualizes their situation: they did mighty things because of their origins. We do well to remember our place and hold opinions lightly in humility. Is that your motivation in life? 21When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, 22I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you. Weekly. The whole question presumes that material wealth is true wealth and material lack is true poverty, health is true wealth and illness is true poverty, or favor is true wealth and adversity is true poverty. Psalm 73 is packed with good teaching, and that on several topics, including the question – “How can God allows the wicked to prosper?”. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. He did not ask who his neighbor was; by common agreement, the priest and Levite were both neighbors by virtue of being fellow Israelites in close geographic proximity. Psalm 23 is justly famous, providing a comforting message often used in funerals. New Teaching in Your Inbox. Spiritual Manna is a weekly devotional published by Ethan Longhenry to encourage you in your spiritual life. His testimony of faith, having come through a great struggle of doubt, is that God is indeed good to the pure in heart, to those near him. He is good to those who have pure hearts. 12Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. That you want to know God more? —Psalm 73:25-26. Whoever they were, and whatever the nature of their power, the Genesis author’s ambivalence toward them is evident: the conjoining of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men” led God to limit human life to 120 years, and they flourished in the days when the heart of man was only evil continually (Genesis 6:3, 5). 4 For they have … 2But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. In teaching this Israelite lawyer Jesus made it plain to His people they must prove to be neighbors to anyone and everyone (Luke 10:30-37); Sheila Butler, and those who taught her, have no justification to limit “neighbor” to their fellow Americans. These are difficult commands, explicitly countercultural: turn the other cheek. Whether Asaph has material wealth or prosperity, God is with him. The Lord YHWH is the Creator; Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Genesis 1:1, Hebrews 12:2). , the royal son with your questions of faith is not always so ( Psalm 23:1 ) state! 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