October 16 - Psalm 73

Thursday, October 16, 2008

October 16 - Psalm 73:1-28

I have "1/12/99. Psalm 73 describes my feelings." written in my Bible beside this Psalm. I really wish I would have put more information there. I have no idea why, but it definitely struck me during that time of my life. Oh well!

Asaph, the author of this Psalm, also wrote Psalm 50 and Psalms 74-83. We see in I Chronicles 25:1-2 that the sons of Asaph (along with the sons of Heman and Jeduthun) were set apart for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals. Whether this Psalmist was actually Asaph or part of his family is ambiguous. After the exile, we find that the sons of Asaph returned to Jerusalem with Ezra and Nehemiah. Ezra 2:41 and Nehemiah 7:44 identifies them as singers.

As I read through this Psalm, I am overcome with the images of the arrogant and wicked. By the time he gets to Psalm 73:13, he is questioning a lifetime of clean living. Has it all been in vain?

The turning point occurs in Psalm 73:16-17. I read this and my eyes filled with tears. Only in the presence of God can we understand the truth behind the actions that are occurring on earth. Those few short words: "When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me - till I entered the sanctuary of God..." Take time to reflect on those words.

Over and over we find ourselves working to understand why things happen and why we seem to be flooded with more than we can handle. This brings to mind Proverbs 3:5-6. "Lean not on your own understanding."

Why do I make things so much more difficult for myself? It's been proven over and over by others with a lot more sense than I have. The moment that I put all of my trust in God and stop trying to make decisions for myself, He is allowed to work His will in my life. It is much better for me than anything I can dream up on my own.

What great imagery in Psalm 73:20! I love to dream, but they are fleeting. When I try to recall them, they are but vague impressions. Asaph compares these wicked people to just that. God will recall them as nothing more but fantasies, vague impressions.

In Psalm 73:21-22, I find myself giggling as I read these words. If this Psalmist was senseless and ignorant and a brute beast, I must seem like a lumbering elephant with my crying and pleading.

Psalm 73:23-24. Just breathe and say 'thank you' as you read this. That kind of protection and guidance is such a comfort. When my niece and nephews were small, they reached for my hand as we negotiated unfamiliar territory. The protection of an adult hand and the guidance through the maze of the world supported them.

Another song sings through my mind as I read Psalm 73:25-26, but the words themselves echo my desires. Psalm 73:28 - it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge. I will tell of all your deeds.

Is He your refuge? Do you hold His hand? It's really the best place to be.