Today’s reading includes Psalm 73, titled, A Psalm of Asaph. Asaph was a Levite who was appointed by King David to minister before the ark of the covenant in Jerusalem. (1 Chron. 16:37). He is the author of Psalms 50 and 73 – 83.

This is a very personal Psalm that begins with Asaph affirming that God has been good to his people Israel. But then he expresses his own personal struggle: “But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped.” (73:2). Affirming that God is good to Israel, to those pure in heart, here in verse 3, he also observed that it seems that God was also good to the boastful and the wicked. And this seemed unfair to him, causing him to almost stumble.

Asaph recounts the seemingly good life of wicked in verses 4 – 9. From his perspective, God seems indifferent to the ungodly and their wickedness. In his frustration at what he is observing, he concludes that his own pursuit of personal holiness has been in vain. He feels that his life is much more difficult than the life of the ungodly man (v. 13, 14).

In verses 15 – 17, Asaph gains a divine perspective. He catches himself from promoting his earlier sense of injustice and despair to the next generation of his fellow Israelites. Asaph’s crisis of faith builds until he goes into the sanctuary of the Lord. It is THERE that he gains a new perspective and sees things from an eternal viewpoint. In verse 17, we read that he discerned their END. This he describes in verses 18 – 20.  

Asaph then goes on to confess his own ignorance and that God would give him guidance. He concludes this Psalm by revealing his renewed sense of longing for the God of eternity!

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

So, what was it that sparked the change of heart and perspective in Asaph? He went to the house of the Lord…he went to church and God met him there.

Let this Psalm be a reminder for us. May HE be the strength of our hearts and our portion forever!

by Paul Schmidt, Elder

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