Psalm 73 (KJV): Go on Glory in your wickedness, It will not last forever! God is…

Psalm 73 Chapter 73 (KJV)

Context.

The psalmist writes a lamentation about the age-old struggle that humanity faces. Why do the wicked become more affluent, and the innocent experience injustice and suffering? There is a strong correlation between this psalm and the books of Proverbs and Job.  It would be appropriate to name this a wisdom psalm/poem. It may seem as if the wicked has no end and that their wickedness will last forever. Just remember what happened to Job.

God is good.

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The psalmist struggled with the concept of God’s goodness when he started this verse. He speaks about his steps, almost slipped. David was at a point in his life where he might have doubted God’s goodness to him.

For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth. 10 Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them. 11 And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High? 12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.

The psalmist seethes at the prosperous living of the ungodly, the foolish, and the appearance of their never-ending strength. The wicked know about God’s existence, but because their evil deeds are not punished immediately, they think that they know more than God. They even question his veracity. “ They set their mouth against the heavens and their tongue walketh through the earth. –  And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?” (Verses 9 & 11). He states that they have no worries. Scriptures speak about what will happen to God’s Children.

Mark 13:13 “And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”

God’s children will receive blessings. We will not receive them all in the flesh. (Prov. 3:9– 10; 8:18– 19; 10:4– 5; 14:24)

My life is meaningless?

13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. 14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.

On the other hand, the children of God appear to be suffering. Their innocence is a plague to them, and they are the whipping posts of the wicked, is it worth it. 

The wicked’s final destiny

15 If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. 16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; 17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. 18 Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. 19 How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. 20 As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.

Wickedness will last for a season, but joy comes to the people of God. We do not experience this joy sitting on the outside of his sanctuary and whining about what the evil has and or what they are doing. We do experience it in his presence. In his temple and with his people. Eccl. 7:15– 18 explains the state of all people. Although the Old Testament does not clearly delineate what happens to people after they have died, Daniel 12:1-3  (KJV) gives us some insight as to what will happen.

1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.

It is a living hope.

Am I a dumb beast?

21 Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. 22 So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.

The psalmist remembers the sentiments encased in Prov. 11:4, 18; 13:11 and considers his words. Before he developed an intimate relationship with God, he was lost and was as the wicked. However, now that he has maintained a personal relationship with YHWH, he knows that his previous statements about the strength and greatness of the evil and the abasement of the righteousness were just foolish. He seems to be comparing himself to Job 42:3, “Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.”

You are always with me – My God! – My Destiny

23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. 24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. 

Now the psalmist remembers God’s promises to his people. He acknowledges the source of his strength. He remembers the sweet relationship that he has with his God and that when he thinks of him, his heart receives power.

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Comparing those who are far from you with those who are near!

27 For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee. 28 But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

I put my trust in the Lord, not just to feel safe, but to also tell the world what a great thing it is to be loved by GOD.

Prayer: Lord, you are always present in the lives of your children. We may see our circumstances as overwhelming, but they are just a tiny dot in the middle of a vast ocean.

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