Songs of Summer (Psalm 73)
The Book of Psalms is a diverse collection of worship songs and some songs tell stories. Psalm 73 tells Asaph’s story of overcoming a distorted perspective and choosing an attitude of worship is instructive for the Christian. Christians are called combat wrong thinking.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
Defining Worship: Attitude not Activity
True Worship: Spirit & Truth; Cf. John 4:23-24
Vain Worship; Cf. Matthew 15:8-9
Spiritual Worship; Cf. Romans 12:1-2
“True worship is valuing or treasuring of God above all things.” John Piper
Psalm 73:1 Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. Asaph begins with his conclusion; the believer can have confidence in God’s goodness. This is a truth that the Christian must be anchored in. Cf. Psalm 34:8; James 1:17; Jeremiah 29:11
Psalm 73:2-15 2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. 3 For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek. 5 They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment. 7 Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies. 8 They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression. 9 They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth. 10 Therefore his people turn back to them, and find no fault in them. 11 And they say, How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?” 12 Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. 13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. 14 For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning. 15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed the generation of your children.
There are many examples in the Bible of people who have interpreted or manipulated the truth and found destruction:
Eve/ Serpent; Cf. Genesis 3:1-6
Cain /Abel; Cf. Genesis 4:2-8
Joseph/ brothers; Cf. Genesis 37:10-11
Saul/ David; Cf. 1 Samuel 18:6-9
16 But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, 17 until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.
Sanctuary = God’s Presence; Cf. Exodus 25:8; Hebrews 9:1; 9:23-24
Sanctuary = Worship of God; Cf. Leviticus 9:6; 9:22-24
Psalm 73:18-22 18 Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. 19 How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! 20 Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms. 21 When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, 22 I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you. ○ Patiently wait for Justice; Cf. James 5:8-11, 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7
Psalm 73: 23-28 23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. 28 But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord G OD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.
Those that Controlled the Narrative
Joseph's Attitude of Worship; Cf. Genesis 50:20
Aided by a proper understanding of God’s goodness
David’s attitude of Worship; Cf. Psalm 142
Aided by a proper understanding of Prayer and God’s faithfulness
Paul’s attitude of Worship; Cf. 2 Corinthians 4:16
Aided by a proper understanding of suffering and God’s glory
Jesus’ attitude of Worship; Cf. Matthew 4:1-11
Aided by a deep understanding of Scripture