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Sep 08, 2019 | Randy Gunter

Trusting God When Evil Seems Successful

Psalm 73

Trusting God When Evil Seems Successful
Psalm 73

The Lord is a rewarder of the faithful and righteous, and he is a punisher of the wicked. Why then do wicked people getahead and righteous people experience tragedy?  (Suzan Der Kirkour)

Psalm 73 expresses the psalmist struggle to understand the success of evil people.

The Heart’s Concession

Psalm 73:1

God gives grace and blessings to the pure in heart. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”(Matthew 5:8 ESV).  

The Conflicting Thoughts

Psalm 73:2-12

When Asaph looked around and took notice of the success of the wicked, he almost stumbled and fell in his faith. The wicked showed disdain for God, even questioning his existence. Rhetorically, they asked, “If God is real and holy, how can we get away with such wickedness?”  

Asaph was conflicted by verse 1 and verse 12.

Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. (73:1)

The wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.(73:12)

 The Internal Challenge

Psalm 73:13-14

Asaph sought a pure life, desiring to live with a clean heart and hands, but it seemed naïve to him in light of his experience with the wicked. 

All of Asaph’s efforts to be clean and innocent are met with God’s rebuking touch of discipline. God used pain and suffering to shape and mold Asaph. Candidly, the Psalmist writes that he just doesn’t get it—the wicked prosper while he, the righteous, suffers.

11 My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, 12 for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.(Proverbs 3:11-12 ESV)

To win the internal challenge, we must understand that God always acts in love and grace towards us.

The Truthful Clarity

Psalm 73:15-20

Had he continued in his errant reasoning, Asaph would have walked away from his faith and undoubtedly would have led others to do the same.

Worldly observations and human reasoning fall short when we attempt to discover eternal realities. Asaph didn’t need better reasoning; he needed divine revelation. God gave him understanding by revealing the Day of Judgment.

 God allowed Asaph to read the final chapter of the age. Everything is apparent when the end is known.

God revealed that what the wicked spend their entire life achieving, he will destroy in a moment.

 The Confession

Psalm 73:21-28

With the revelation of God, Asaph understood and confessed that his mind and emotions had been far from the truth and far from God. Knowing the goodness and mercy of God, Asaph worshipped God.  

Your struggle: Is there an unfairness, a hurt, a sorrow, a disappointment or loss that you’ve blamed on God? Are you wrongly concluding, “It is just not worth being surrendered to Jesus”? Have you accepted something as fact without seeking God’s eternal perspective? Is there a hurt or sorrow that keeps you from experiencing truth and worshipping God fully? Would you allow God to guide you with spiritual discernment today?   

Series Information

The Book of Psalms is full of rich insight into God's plan for our lives. It speaks to our response to God, both in seasons good and bad. 

Other sermons in the series