Psalm 73

1650 psalter

Messiah’s people almost offended in Him

Asaph, with honesty and openness, describes how he succumbed to the temptation of envying the wicked. As he viewed their prosperity, and how they seemed to advance in life without the troubles that plagued the righteous, he is torn with incomprehension and jealousy. He asked himself, what was the point of living a righteous life? Why walk in holiness and suffer deprivation and economic inferiority?

He thought like this – until! It was when he went into the house of God that perspective on things returned. The sanctuary makes us wise unto salvation. It is there that we look at things from God’s angle, and not our own. Through the means of grace and the explanation of His word, we see the outcome of an ungodly life. 

Asaph’s conscience was pricked, and he once again realised that he had someone in Heaven that was incomparable. Christ was his life on earth and there was none other, and would be so in glory. He would know Christ’s guidance and counsel, and that subdued all his discontent. 

Pastor Jeff O’ Neil

Recommended Tune: Kilmarnock (v 1 -22), Tiverton (v 23 – 28), Wetherby (v 23 – 28)


Psalm 73

¹Yet God is good to Israel,
To each pure–hearted one.
²But as for me, my steps near slipp’d,
My feet were almost gone.

³For I envious was, and grudg’d
The foolish folk to see,
When I perceiv’d the wicked sort
Enjoy prosperity.

⁴For still their strength continueth firm;
Their death of bands is free.
⁵They are not toil’d like other men,
Nor plagued, as others be.

⁶Therefore their pride, like to a chain,
Them compasseth about;
And, as a garment, violence
Doth cover them throughout.

⁷Their eyes stand out with fat; they have
More than their hearts could wish.
⁸They are corrupt; their talk of wrong
Both lewd and lofty is.

⁹They set their mouth against the heav’ns
In their blasphemous talk;
And their reproaching tongue throughout
The earth at large doth walk.

¹⁰His people oftentimes for this
Look back, and turn about;
Sith waters of so full a cup
To these are poured out.

¹¹And thus they say, How can it be
That God these things doth know?
Or, Can there in the Highest be
Knowledge of things below?

¹²Behold, these are the wicked ones,
Yet prosper at their will
In worldly things; they do increase
In wealth and riches still.

¹³I verily have done in vain
My heart to purify;
To no effect in innocence
Washed my hands have I.

¹⁴For daily, and all day throughout,
Great plagues I suffer’d have;
Yea, ev’ry morning I of new
Did chastisement receive.

¹⁵If in this manner foolishly
To speak I would intend,
Thy children’s generation,
Behold, I should offend.

¹⁶When I this thought to know, it was
Too hard a thing for me;
¹⁷Till to God’s sanctuary I went,
Then I their end did see.

¹⁸Assuredly thou didst them set
A slipp’ry place upon;
Them suddenly thou castedst down
Into destruction.

¹⁹How in a moment suddenly
To ruin brought are they!
With fearful terrors utterly
They are consum’d away.

²⁰Ev’n like unto a dream, when one
From sleeping doth arise;
So thou, O Lord, when thou awak’st,
Their image shalt despise.

²¹Thus grieved was my heart in me,
And me my reins opprest:
²²So rude was I, and ignorant,
And in thy sight a beast.

²³Nevertheless continually,
O Lord, I am with thee:
Thou dost me hold by my right hand,
And still upholdest me.

²⁴Thou, with thy counsel, while I live,
Wilt me conduct and guide;
And to thy glory afterward
Receive me to abide.

²⁵Whom have I in the heavens high
But thee, O Lord, alone?
And in the earth whom I desire
Besides thee there is none.

²⁶My flesh and heart doth faint and fail,
But God doth fail me never:
For of my heart God is the strength
And portion for ever.

²⁷For, lo, they that are far from thee
For ever perish shall;
Them that a whoring from thee go
Thou hast destroyed all.

²⁸But surely it is good for me
That I draw near to God:
In GOD I trust, that all thy works
I may declare abroad.