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Living Life

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  • February 2018
2018. 2. 13 | The Agony of the Righteous (Psalm 73:1~14)         Speakers Daniel Park

1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.
3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.
5 They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.
7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits.
8 They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression.
9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.
10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.
11 They say, "How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?"
12 This is what the wicked are like -- always carefree, they increase in wealth.
13 Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence.
14 All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning.

 

 

Reflection

When the Righteous Suffer (73:1–5)

God does not always allow His people to live easy lives on this earth. On the contrary, it is often the wicked who prosper and glide through life without any struggles. When Asaph, the author of this psalm, sees the prosperity of the wicked, he becomes jealous and almost stumbles in his faith. Like Asaph, we sometimes forget that God will bless us for our faithfulness, but the blessings may come in different forms than what we expect. Jesus said that His followers would experience tribulation in this world (John 16:33), but we must not allow suffering in this life to stumble our faith. We can rest assured that God is continually working in our lives and sanctifying us according to His good will.

 

How do you respond to suffering in your life? How has suffering helped refine your character and sanctify your soul?

 

When the Wicked Prosper (73:6–14)

Asaph describes the wicked who are free of care and amassing wealth. They are arrogant, callous, and unwilling to acknowledge their sins. They show ignorance and disrespect as they underestimate God’s omniscience, saying, “How would God know?” The wicked do not believe that they are accountable to anyone for their actions, and they continue to enjoy their lives. Asaph initially responds with self-pity, believing that his efforts to be pure before God are in vain. Likewise, we tend to succumb to envy and self-pity when we see the prosperity of the wicked. But we must remind ourselves that God is indeed all-knowing, and the wicked will bear the consequences of their actions when God brings down His justice and judgment upon them.

 

If we do not trust in God’s all-knowing power and righteousness, we may fall into a downward spiral of self-pity and sin. How will you respond when you are tempted to envy the wicked?

 

A letter to God 

Father God, help me to persevere in this life full of suffering. Help me not to be deceived by the prosperity of the wicked but to always fix my eyes on Your cross. Your grace is enough for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

* All Copyrights of the text in Living Life belong to Duranno Books.