The 73rd Psalm has always intrigued me. The writer (Asaph – a worship leader for King David) is very honest as he expresses his feelings. On many occasions I have shared the same thoughts and emotions as this man. I invite you to look at this psalm with me as it is so real and ‘earthy’ and so - relevant.
The psalm begins with a declaration of truth – ‘Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart’ (verse 1). Yes, we can easily give mental assent to the truths about God. We have been taught this. However, Asaph then speaks of the reality of his own wavering faith as he looks at those around him who pay no heed to God at all, or perhaps don’t even believe in God. He observes that they are rich; they are living life in the fast lane; they seem to have good health and everything is going well for them. The evidence around him makes him ask questions like “what’s the point of obeying God?” and “Is it worth the sacrifice of living a holy and righteous life?” To be honest, there are times when I have entertained similar thoughts as those expressed in verse 13 “Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence”.
But in verses 16-17 we see a shift in perspective which defines the rest of the psalm.
“When I tried to understand all this it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny”. Ah, here is a view from further back. Here is the reality of what comes with knowing God personally. God and man in a loving relationship that continues for eternity. The truth is that we can experience the presence of God and in this we can have assurance that He will never leave us. “Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory” (verses 23-24). Nothing is better than this!
Those who are apparently living life to the full apart from God will lose it all and be separated from God for ever, unless they turn and believe. We who believe in Christ Jesus have a new perspective on life and eternity. We belong to the Kingdom of our Heavenly Father, and it is better for us to see the world around us from this perspective – a Kingdom perspective.
So Asaph sings in the last verse “…it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds”. Now that’s living!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank You that You are always with me and that You are taking me to glory. Please help me to keep a Kingdom perspective in all things, and not to be led astray by the false allurements of this temporal world, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
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