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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Psalm Chapter 73

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: David, Asaph, Solomon, Heman, Ethan, Moses, and the Sons of Korah
Date Penned: (1440-586 BC)
Overview: Poetry for the Expression of Praise and Worship to God (c 1-150)
Theme: The Third Book of Psalms (c 73 - 89)
Message: The Temporary Prosperity of the Wicked  (v 1-28)

Psalms 73 Commentary

(73:1) Why do the Wicked Prosper? -  Asaph was the leader of one of David's levitical choirs. He collected Psalms 73 through 83 but may not have written all of them. In this psalm, Asaph explains that until he entered God's sanctuary, he could not understand the justice in allowing the wicked to thrive while the righteous endured hardship. But when he saw that one day justice would be done, he acknowledged God's wisdom and timing. This is something that can reassure all of us as well. 

(73:20) The Wicked's Short Gain - Two strong themes wind their way through these verses: (1) The wicked prosper, leaving only people wondering why they bother to be good; and (2) the wealth of the wicked looks so inviting that faithful people may wish they could trade places with them. But these two themes come to unexpected ends, for the wealth of the wicked suddenly loses its power at death, and the rewards for the godly suddenly take on eternal value. What seemed like wealth is now a waste, and what seemed worthless now lasts forever. Don't wish you could trade places with unscrupulous and greedy people to get their earthly wealth. One day, they will wish they could trade places with you and have your eternal wealth. 

(73:20) Being Close to God - Asaph realized that the rich who put their hope, joy, and confidence in their wealth live in a dreamworld. A dream exists only in the mind of the dreamer. Don't let your life's goals be so unreal that you awaken too late and miss the reality of God's truth. Having happiness and hope can be a reality, but only when they are based on God, not on riches. Because reality is in God, we should get as close to him as we can in order to be realistic about life. 

(73:23-25) Our Confidence is in the Lord - Asaph declares his confidence in God's presence and guidance. From birth to death, God has us continually in his grip. But far more, we have hope in the Resurrection. Though our courage and strength may fail, we know that one day we will be raised to life to serve him forever. God provides our security and our eternal life, so we must cling to him.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Where is God when Others do Wrong?

Each day, we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text.  Today, we continue in the Book of Psalms with Chapter 73. In our text today, we see a theme of the temporary prosperity of the wicked and the lasting rewards of the righteous. In making an application, we see a question many ask? Why do the wicked seem to get away with doing wrong? Where is God when others do wrong? The truth is that God is here, and He knows - taking account of those who do evil. We are on God's timetable, and His Will is that none should perish but come to repentance. God gives grace to the wicked to repent, but He lets us know that everyone will face God and give an account for their sin. In contrast, the Godly who do right will meet the same God to receive a reward. The bottom line is that God is our judge and delivers justice. Those who are saved go to Heaven. Those who reject Christ will spend eternity separated from Him in Hell. How about you? Are you Saved? Do you get frustrated when the ungodly seem to get away with evil? Let us learn from our Psalm and text today to remember that our God delivers His justice to everyone, encouraging us to live Godly and remembering that everyone will give an account for their lives. 


Psalm 73

Psalm 73

 1Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.

 2But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.

 3For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

 4For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm.

 5They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.

 6Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.

 7Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.

 8They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.

 9They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.

 10Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them.

 11And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?

 12Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.

 13Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.

 14For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.

 15If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.

 16When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;

 17Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.

 18Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.

 19How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.

 20As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.

 21Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins.

 22So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.

 23Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.

 24Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.

 25Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

 26My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

 27For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.

 28But 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.