by Pastor Richard Tow
March 20, 2016
Text: Psalm 73:1-28

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Description: This sermon examines an experience Asaph had that brought “Foundational Guidance” into his life. In the first half of this Psalm the author is perplexed and frustrated by what he observes in the lives of ungodly people. He compares his own experience and their experience and questions the goodness of God to His people. But a revelation comes into his heart that turns all that around and leads him to conclude, “Truly, God is good to Israel, to such as are pure in heart.”

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    A.    Text: Psalm 73
> Asaph
> Experience

B.   Verse 1: Summary of Conclusion from this Experience
Truly God is good to Israel, To such as are pure in heart.”

I. The STRUGGLE Asaph experienced coming to this conclusion

A.    Prosperity of the wicked
Vs :2-3 “But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped. 3 For I was envious of the boastful, When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”
Simplistic theology & Job’s friends
Asaph sees ungodly living it up!

Vs 4-12 “For there are no pangs in their death, But their strength is firm. 5 They are not in trouble as other men, Nor are they plagued like other men 6 Therefore pride serves as their necklace; Violence covers them like a garment. 7 Their eyes bulge with abundance; They have more than heart could wish. 8 They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression; They speak loftily. 9 They set their mouth against the heavens, And their tongue walks through the earth. 10 Therefore his people return here, And waters of a full cup are drained by them. 11 And they say, “How does God know? And is there knowledge in the Most High?” 12 Behold, these are the ungodly, Who are always at ease; They increase in riches.”

1 Tim. 6:5-10
Biblical Balance

B.     Chastening of the godly (Comparing His experience to their experience)
Vs 13-16 “Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, And washed my hands in innocence. 14 For all day long I have been plagued, And chastened every  morning. 15 If I had said, “I will speak thus, “Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children. 16 When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me.”

Vs 17 “Until….” 

II. The REVELATION that brought Asaph to this conclusion

A.     Their End!

Vs 17-20 “Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end. 18 Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. 19 Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors. 20 As a dream when one awakes, So, Lord, when You awake, You shall despise their image.”

Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16)
If there is no hell…¦but if there is a hell….
Now I don’t envy the wicked; I pity them. (Story)
The folly of envying the wicked

Vs 21-22 “Thus my heart was grieved, And I was vexed in my mind. 22 I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You.”

B.     My End! (Glory)

Vs 23-27 “Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. 24 You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. 26 My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of                     my heart and my portion forever. 27 For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for

Vs 28 identifies three things to do. “But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, That I may declare all Your works.”




1. What was Asaph struggling with during the first half of this Psalm? What has been your experience with that struggle?

2. What brought about the turn-around for Asap in verse 17? How was that experience different from what he was doing in verse 16?

3. What was the one factor (realized in verse 17) that he was not considering earlier?

4. Do you think there is a hell? Why would God tell us about that?

5. What three things did Asaph decide to do in verse 28? How about you?