“ You call me friend. I have indeed promised that all those who obey me and follow me will be called my friend. I have said that a master does not reveal his way to his servant, but I have revealed everything My Father has show Me to you. Now what does that friendship mean to you today? Friendship comes from both sides – and it involves seeking the best for the other one. So while I am your friend I am doing that, but in return I expect you to be doing the same for Me. And as we care for each other we will grow closer and closer to one another. So come closer here to me now and let us celebrate this friendship today and forever more.”
I have chosen to look at Psalm 73 in greater depth as God spoke to me through it recently.
I like the Passion translation of the opening vv: 1. “No-one can deny it-God is really good to Israel and to those with pure hearts. But I nearly missed seeing it for myself. 2. Here is my story: I came so close to missing the way”.
He the launches into the net 10 vv of looking at the way of the wicked, who seem to prosper no matter how they regard and treat God. He finds himself frustrated by the fact that he has tried to live a pure life, yet seems to have been punished every morning (v13,14).
Now as I pondered this section, I could say that I have no envy for the wealthy and prosperous as such. However I do look at the enormous corruption and evil in our country and see that those who perpetrate it seem to be able to thumb their noses at the law and therefore God Himself who stands behind the law. So I could relate to the Psalmist’s (Asaph) frustration that they get away with all this evil without God seeming to take any notice, in fact even helping them to prosper.
So the rest of the psalm swings into action so that I and any reader can get the perspective that Asaph was able to get when he did certain things. So what did he do?
“He entered the sanctuary of the Lord”. In other words he went into the presence of the Lord where he could relate to Him. This is the key vs of this psalm. It is easy to see and understand, however do I put this into action?
So the first and may I say the continuous step to getting the right perspective on life around us is to draw close to God and ask Him to show you what is really happening behind the scenes in the bigger picture.
Asaph recognizes 3 three things in the next vv.
1. These people who reject God are already under judgement and their day will come when God completes that vv 18-20.
2. He sees that he has been like a brute beast when he envied these people. Senseless and ignorant. Severe words of condemnation on himself for underestimating God and His ways.
3. Then from vs 23 he comes to a realization of the value of staying “near to God”.(v28) fully understanding that God is the most precious gift he can imagine v 25. God holds him and guides him, strengthens him and is his refuge. It is these last vv that should be the focus of our meditation and prayer as all these things are true for each one of us as well.
This psalm is so real for us in SA today. It is so easy to take our eyes off all that God means to us and His wonderful gifts and focus on all the evil around us, being perpetrated without any apparent consequences and almost feel that God does not really care. This psalm should wake up the realization of how deeply God does really care.
Next week I will look at psalm 116 and in the mean time may God bless each one of you.