Journey Through The Scriptures

Psalms of Wisdom and Instruction

Lesson 5: The Blessing of Being in God's House

(Scripture to Read: Psalm 73:1–28)

The issues dealt with in Psalm 73 should strike a resonant chord in our hearts and minds. At one time or another, all of us have looked at ourselves in relation to others who seem to be better off than we, and cried out something to the effect of, “Life isn’t fair!” Even if we do not express that sentiment out loud, it is a universal part of human existence. Sometimes things appear to be upside-down, especially for people of faith who are doing their best to live right and follow God.

We have to admire the honesty of Asaph, the writer. He was so distressed by what seemed to be the prosperous and carefree life of evil people that he almost gave up on his faith. Even when Asaph tried to understand the ways of God in light of what he observed around him, God’s ways appeared confusing and unfair to him. But the key to the psalm is in verse 17, where the mood shifts completely. Nothing changed outwardly; rather, Asaph was changed on the inside when he went to the Temple to worship God and saw life from God’s perspective. His conclusion, therefore, is sound: “I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge” (v. 28).

Study Questions

  1. Do you think God was angered or put off by the psalmist's blunt honesty?
  2. How did Asaph demonstrate the right way to deal with doubt and despair in relation to the value of serving God and trying to do right?
  3. Why is the so-called success of evil people not really a success by God's standards?

Something to Think About

In verse 28 Asaph wrote, “But as for me, it is good to be near God.” Does this express the desire of your heart when all the questions and doubts have been addressed? It is critical to notice that the psalmist did not say all his questions were answered, but he knew where to find the source of divine truth that gave him assurance of God’s care.