The splendour of a King, clothed in majesty.
Let all the Earth rejoice.
He wraps himself in light,
And darkness tries to hide,
And trembles at His voice.
Live to know
Psalm 73 – A psalm of Asaph
1 Surely God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold.
3 For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 They have no struggles;
their bodies are healthy and strong.
5 They are free from common human burdens;
they are not plagued by human ills.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace;
they clothe themselves with violence.
7 From their callous heart comes iniquity;
their evil imaginations have no limits.
8 They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression.
9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.
10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.
11 They day, ‘How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?’
12 This is what the wicked are like – always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence.
14 All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments.
15 If I had spoken out like that, I would have betrayed your children.
Asaph – Levite. Inheritance is God. God is their portion. God is their everything yet there’s a paradox as they envy others.
How often as Christians do we envy what others have?
God if you are just why do good people suffer and the wicked prosper?
Envy and jealousy
Surely God you are good.
How god uses our trials and suffering and intellectual difficulties to show us the greater good.
Pray to reflect and for a solution
“They don’t have the same problems as the rest of us.” They don’t suffer like the rest of us, free from common human burdens.
They’re almost God-like yet think they’re above God.
Why does Asaph envy them?
Verse 4: health and strength, no struggles.
Verse 12: care-free, wealth, easy life.
Envy is a spirit of comparison.
It is not just wanting what others have, it’s comparing what they have with what you have.
If envy can not be happier than everyone else, it will make everyone more miserable than itself.
Asaph thinks what they have will make him happy.
We all envy others. Envy of others’ intelligence, progression, success, looks, personality, relationships.
Comparing their happiness with your misery
Why hasn’t God provided?
Envy has two consequences: disappointment and disillusionment. Verses 13-14. What’s the point? Why do I bother obeying God?
Envy distorts how we see God, and how we understand ourselves and the world. Is our whole life a waste?
Envy is not just a character fault.
How do we put envy to death in our life?
Part 2 – Asaph’s time of reflection
16 When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply
17 Till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.
18 Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin.
19 How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!
20 They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.
21 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.
Verse 20: the people he envies become but just a dream.
Where does it lead? Where does it go? What is the endpoint?
God shows Asaph where their path leads, and where their path ends.
They thought they were so stable, and that their lives were so certain.
Punishment and condemnation are not easy things to understand.
Is God truly good when he judges people?
Asaph tries to do business with God
He is self-centred with God.
Have you ever done religious things to be blessed from God?
Part 3 – God is our greatest good
23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterwards you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire but you.
26 M’y flesh and my heart my fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refus; I will tell of all your deeds.
Don’t envy someone holding pennies, when you are holding a diamond.
How does God fulfil his promises?
How do we envy? We don’t every stuff. We envy people.
Envy has no transfer. Yet when we look at Christ there’s no envy because there’s a transaction, a transfer of God and fulfilment. He shares everything of who He is with us.
Looking at Christ will give you life. It’s a promise we have in the Bible.
There you have it. A little Bordeaux Church sermon by the wonderful James.
Happy Sunday lovelies,