Psalms 73:1-28 ESV
1 A Psalm of Asaph. Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped.
3 For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek.
5 They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment.
7 Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies.
8 They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression.
9 They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth.
10 Therefore his people turn back to them, and find no fault in them.
11 And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
12 Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.
13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.
14 For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning.
15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed the generation of your children.
16 But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task,
17 until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.
18 Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin.
19 How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!
20 Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.
21 When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart,
22 I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.
23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
28 But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.
In it, asked, “Is God enough when my plans don’t work out?”… In essence, is God enough if circumstances don’t change? If I never get married?
He pointed out how Asaph didn’t start out the way that the Psalm ends. In the beginning, Asaph was mad envious. He looked at the wicked prospering. They had no fear of God. They were healthy, they had no worries or troubles, they were carefree, prideful, arrogant… He didn’t understand why they seemed so ‘free’ it seems. They mocked God, even! Yet here he was, keeping his heart clean, suffering for the Lord, and he wasn’t doing as well as they were. In the middle of the Psalm comes a change – verse 17… He envied them until he discerned their end. He realized the final destiny of the wicked.
Harris gives instructions as to how we get to the latter part of the Psalm, where Asaph realizes – He IS enough.
1) Stop thinking about them and start thinking about Him. Turn away from envy and comparison. All comparison is sinful. It’s either sinful pride or sinful comparison, craving what God hasn’t given YOU. God has us where we are right now on purpose, according to His plans. Fix your gaze on Him. Seek to live out James 4:8.
2) Consider the destiny that you have been rescued from. We deserve to fall to ruin, be destroyed in a moment, and swept away utterly by terrors. But – because of the cross, we don’t have this to look forward to. When we focus constantly on what we don’t have, we have turned away from realizing what we deserve.
3) Remember Who holds and guides you. God is not distant; He is near. The most important thing we can do is meditate on the Gospel and the destiny we’ve been saved from. God works through our imperfect stories, our disappointments, and our heartbreak… and He’s STILL faithful in the midst of those times.
He begins to conclude by saying the following:
Idols keep us from enjoying relationships. We can’t enjoy the relationships that God has planned for us if they are what we are living for.
Marriage is not the ultimate relationship we were created for; it has an end. All we’ve experienced on this earth is just a shdow of things to come. It’s a means for glorifying God, not the end.
When God is more than enough, we can live with unanswered questions.
Until He is your portion, no portion will be adequate. Til He’s your hope, hope will be elusive.
Ahh, my notes are not doing this sermon justice. It really served me. Thank you, Joshua. I definitely recommend this sermon to all brothers and sisters – no matter your age, status (social, relational, familial, etc.), or position. It was delicious food to a starving soul.
When the sermon was done, it brought to mind a song that I used to really like by BarlowGirl. It breathed new life into it, and after Harris’ breakdown of the passage, I feel like I am listening to it with new ears.[audio:MyGodsEnough.mp3]