What a transformation! What made the difference? The wicked of Asaph’s day were still living in rebellion. Other believers continued to enjoy blessings that Asaph did not. But here is what did change: Asaph’s focus. He no longer looked at everybody and everything around him but looked instead to God through worship, fixing his gaze upon the Lord.
I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD!’ – Psalm 122:1
Psalm 73 describes the incredible spiritual journey of a man named Asaph. The psalmist declares what is undeniably true: “God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart” (Psalm 73:1). Amen! Indeed He is. With that strong statement of faith, the sermon could come to an end. But there’s more.
The Frustration of Spiritual Inequity
The preacher continues, “But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped” (Psalm 73:2). Now he makes it personal. The psalmist is essentially saying, God is good to His people, but I feel like the exception.
From verses 3 to fifteen, Asaph details the things that are consuming his soul. He laments the wicked who seem to enjoy all the prosperity they can stand. It seems to him as though those who live contrary to God’s law experience lives of luxury and ease. He notes that those who treat people with violence and hatred remain unpunished as they rage in their sinfulness. He is indignant that those who neither believe in God nor worship Him taunt those who do. Parading their immoral lifestyles, they mockingly boast in Psalm 73:11, “How can God know?”
As Asaph processes this spiritual inequity, the psalmist presumes that his attempts to follow the Lord are in vain. What is the point of striving to be godly and holy if it gets him nowhere? Asaph feels stricken and rebuked day after day while the wicked enjoy all of the wealth, popularity, and entertainment they could ever desire.
After all of this, Asaph adds one more discouraging layer.