Are you ticked off at God?

Psalm 73 – One of the most important chapters of the Bible. 

Chip Ingram tells of his own miseries back in college, when he felt as though adhering to his Christian beliefs was penalizing his life, while people around him who knew nothing but the evils of the world were thriving. As has often been recommended to Christians looking to hear from the Lord, he turned to the Bible to hear His Voice.  He pointed out that it wasn’t that he just randomly flipped to a page, or forced a page into God’s Lips. No, Ingram simply continued reading where he had already been reading, which was in the middle of the Psalms. The first couple didn’t trigger anything for him, but reading Psalm 73 changed his life.

God Is My Strength and Portion Forever

A Psalm of Asaph.

1 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.

So, do you feel like Asaph did here? The wicked can say or do whatever they want, without consequence, while you – he – we suffer for every little mistake we make, and too often when we don’t err at all. “All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning.”

But there’s a conclusion coming, starting in verse 16…

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.

(And remember, today, “the sanctuary of God” is within US,)

18Truly 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.

“Those who are far from You shall perish” – “destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!” Meanwhile, “You hold my right hand, You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will receive me to Glory.” Those perils WE face are our testing by fire, our character-building circumstances which James tells us in James 1:2-4 to “count it all (as) joy” when He gives us tribulations of varying kinds, so as to build us up in the Lord. 

But when the wicked face those troubles, they won’t be able to learn from them. They will soon be overwhelmed by those terrors. 

“It is good to be near God. I have made God my refuge, that I may tell of all Your Works.”

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