The writer of this Psalm begins by announcing his topic: God’s goodness.
Psalms 73:1 NIV Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
He quickly confesses that he had lost his grip on this truth.
Psalms 73:2 NIV But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.
He had become envious. The arrogant looked like they were prospering, and God seemed to be doing nothing.
Psalms 73:3-12 NIV For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills. Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. From their callous hearts comes iniquity ; their evil imaginations have no limits. They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression. Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance. They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?” This is what the wicked are like— always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
He thought, why pursue righteousness if it only brings problems?
Psalms 73:13-14 NIV Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments.
Even though he felt this way he didn’t say anything because he didn’t want to lead others astray. He started to worship and then he realized his mistake. He was thinking that what he was seeing with the wicked was that that there is.
Psalms 73:15-17 NIV If I had spoken out like that, I would have betrayed your children. When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.
What the writer finally realized was that God will make sure that the wicked receive justice. God has promised it and His nature is perfectly just.
Psalms 73:18-20, 27 NIV Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
Much like this psalmist we fail, at times, to see the complete picture. We fail to acknowledge that God is always in control even when we’re not. We can become bitter when we misinterpret what we see. We are more concerned with temporary things than eternal things.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
When we change our view from temporary to eternal we find guidance, strength, and fulfillment through our relationship with the Lord.
Psalms 73:23-28 NIV Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.
Let God turn your disappointment into joy!