A psalm of Asaph.
1Surely GOD Is Good To Israel,
To those who are pure in heart.
2But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold.
3For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4They have no struggles;
their bodies are healthy and strong.
5They are free from common human burdens;
they are not plagued by human ills.
6Therefore pride is their necklace;
they clothe themselves with violence.
7From their callous hearts comes iniquity ;
their evil imaginations have no limits.
8They scoff, and speak with malice;
with arrogance they threaten oppression.
9Their mouths lay claim to heaven,
and their tongues take possession of the earth.
10Therefore their people turn to them
and drink up waters in abundance.
“How Would GOD Know?
“How Would GOD Know?
Does The MOST HIGH Know anything?”
12This is what the wicked are like—
always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
13Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
and have washed my hands in innocence.
14All day long I have been afflicted,
and every morning brings new punishments.
15If I had spoken out like that,
I would have betrayed your children.
16When I tried to understand all this,
it troubled me deeply
17till I entered the Sanctuary of GOD;
then I understood their final destiny.
18Surely YOU Place them on slippery ground;
YOU Cast them Down to ruin.
19How suddenly are they destroyed,
completely swept away by terrors!
20They are like a dream when one awakes;
When YOU Arise, LORD,
YOU Will Despise them as fantasies.
21When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
22I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast Before YOU.
23Yet I am always with YOU;
YOU Hold me by my right hand.
24YOU Guide me with YOUR Counsel,
and afterward YOU Will Take me Into glory.
25Whom have I in Heaven But YOU?
And earth has nothing I desire Besides YOU.
26My flesh and my heart may fail,
but GOD Is the Strength of my heart
and my Portion Forever.
27Those who are far from YOU will perish;
YOU Destroy all who are unfaithful To YOU.
28But 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.
73:1-14 The psalmist was strongly tempted to envy the prosperity of the wicked; a common temptation, which has tried the faith of many believers. But he lays down the great principle by which he resolved to abide. It is the Goodness of GOD. This is a truth which cannot be shaken. The faith even of strong believers may be sorely shaken, and ready to fail. There are storms that will try the firmest anchors.
Foolish and wicked people have sometimes a great share of outward prosperity. They seem to have the least share of the troubles of this life; and they seem to have the greatest share of its comforts. They live without the fear of GOD, yet they prosper, and get on in the world. Wicked men often spend their lives without much sickness, and end them without great pain; while many godly persons scarcely know what health is, and die with great sufferings.
From all this arose a strong temptation to cast off religion. But let us learn that the true course of sanctification consists in cleansing a man from all pollution both of soul and body. The heart is cleansed by the Blood of CHRIST laid hold upon by faith; and by the begun works of The LORD'S SPIRIT, manifested in the hearty resolution, purpose, and study of holiness, and a blameless course of life and actions, the hands are cleansed. It is not in vain to serve GOD and keep HIS Ordinances.
73:15-20 The psalmist having shown the progress of his temptation, shows how faith and grace prevailed. He kept up respect for GOD'S people, and with that he restrained himself from speaking what he had thought amiss. Nothing gives more offense to GOD'S children, than to say it is vain to serve GOD; for there is nothing more contrary to their universal experience. He prayed To GOD to make this matter plain to him; and he understood the wretched end of wicked people; even in the height of their prosperity they were but ripening for ruin.
The sanctuary must be the resort of a tempted soul. The righteous man's afflictions end in peace, therefore he is happy; the wicked man's enjoyments end in destruction, therefore he is miserable. The prosperity of the wicked is short and uncertain, slippery places. See what their prosperity is; it is but a vain show, it is only a corrupt imagination, not substance, but a mere shadow; it is as a dream, which may please us a little while we are slumbering, yet even then it disturbs our peace.
From Matthew Henry’s Commentary – Modified by the blogger for modern readers