3/6/24 Lent Psalm 73 

3/6/24 Lent Psalm 73 

I like old Asaph. He just tells it like it is. He asks the questions that we all want to ask but are afraid to. “God, I know you have done good stuff for us but, why have you let the bad guys prosper?” I admit, I ask that all the time. 

God, how come the guy that everybody knows is a crooked businessman drives such a nice car? 

God, why does that woman who treats everybody mean have such smart kids? 

God, why does my neighbor, who never goes to church have such a beautiful yard? 

Asaph is David’s music leader, and this is the first of 11 psalms in a row that he writes. (He did write Psalm 50 a while ago.) My guess is that he is watching his king David getting pushed around by Saul and the other enemies of Israel and he writes a little song saying, “It just ain’t fair.” 

He says in verse 3, “I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” He goes on to say, “They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.” At the very least, you may have asked, “Why am I dealing with this sickness that has me bloated and losing my hair while my wicked cousin Sally looks like a fashion model?”  (Too much? 🙂 🙂 )

No trap is easier to fall into and harder to get out of than the comparison trap. I know I should keep my eyes on Jesus, but I sure peek at the guy next to me often and wonder why he seems to be doing so much better than me. 

But to Asaph’s credit, he figures it out before the psalm ends. First, he says, I just needed to get back into the presence of God. Verse 16, “When I tried to understand all of this it troubled me deeply until I entered the Sanctuary of God.” I find myself fussing at the nightly news, fuming at Facebook, fretting about the folks that are in Hollywood. And God says, “Just come here and sit with me for a while.” Remember, “in His presence is fullness of joy.” (Psalm 16:11) When I am snuggled up next to Jesus I don’t really worry about those other guys.  

In verse 19, Asaph says, “How suddenly they are destroyed.” This is not over yet. The promise we have is that we, who follow God, will win in the end. And if we’re not winning, it’s not the end. Either we trust that God is good and in charge, or we don’t. That envy and comparison happen when I fail to completely surrender my situation to Him.  

Finally, Asaph says, “Whom have I in heaven but You? Earth has nothing I desire besides You.” (verse 25) “This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through. The Lord’s prepared a place somewhere beyond the blue.” Whatever good stuff the bad guys have here, I have a mansion over there with a far better yard. 

So, when you start comparing, when the envy monster starts to get the best of you, remember Asaph and the 73rd psalm. Get close to God. Trust His timing. And look for the reward that will be yours. And if the cold snap makes all your neighbor’s flowers die, well, that’s okay too. 😊

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