happens all the time: a person in the Lord just can’t seem to get ahead in
life. They climb or two steps and then
they take three steps back. Perhaps it’s
been you on this frustrating ladder. We
all struggle from time to time how those who do not follow Christ seem to have
it all together and live “the good life” while the faithful and righteous seem
to have so little. This is the subject
of the Psalm we begin studying today: Psalm 73.
title of this psalm reads “a psalm of Asaph.”
Who was Asaph? He was a Levite
(a priest in Israel) who served as a musician and worship leader during the
reign of King David (cf. 1 Chronicles 15:16-19). This psalm by the worship leader Asaph deals
with this all too common issue of why the righteous suffer while the
unrighteous seem to prosper.
As we begin the study Psalm 73, we start with verse one.
God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
of whatever else was happening all around him, this was the core of Asaph’s
belief. God Almighty was good to His
people. Before we get to this, however,
let’s notice Asaph’s more basic declaration: there is a God and He can be
known. He didn’t say, “If good happens to Israel, surely God is
there.” No indeed! He began by declaring what He knew for sure: “God is.”
the New Yorker (October 20-27, 1997)
they shared a headline from the Sarasota
Herald-Tribune: “Nonbelievers Gather to Share Their Beliefs.” This was not what Asaph was doing! He was a believer. He knew His God and, more importantly, His
God knew Him.
does specify the Lord is “good…to
those who are pure in heart.” In saying
this, Asaph is not saying the Lord is only good to those who are perfect and
without sin. Instead, he is speaking of
a life completely devoted to the Lord.
This is the prayer of David in Psalm
51:10, “Create in me a pure heart, O
God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
is the heart beating in time with the Lord.
Perfection is not obtainable in this life, but we can move in time with
our Lord and can have a pure heart. It
is to this life of synchronization Asaph states the Lord’s goodness shines on.
Lord Jesus said, “If you keep
my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s
commands and remain in his love” (John 15:10). When we demonstrate our love for the Lord by
living in obedience to Him, we remain in His love. We remain in His favor. We remain in the pathway of blessing. Thinking back to Psalm 1:1-3 we remember:
1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in
the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who
meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.
you face these questions of why those who are not “pure
are living a life of ease, do you begin with this assurance? Do you begin with the knowledge, in your
heart and your head, that the Lord is good to those keeping His commands? When we see those without Christ prosper, we
must turn to this basic understanding: He is and He is good to those who are “pure in heart.”
Blessed are those who
dwell in Your house
They are ever praising
Blessed are those whose
strength is in You
Whose hearts are set on
We will go from strength
‘Til we see You face to
Hear our prayer
O Lord God Almighty
Come bless our land
As we seek You
For You are holy
For You are holy
For You are holy Lord
Zschech | Reuben Morgan
2002 Hillsong Music Publishing (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)
Worship (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.)
All rights reserved. www.ccli.com
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