A Psalm of Envy
Text: Psalm 73
Captured by envy (vss 1-16)
- Asaph begins to develop the sin of envy within himself. He contemplates how good the wicked have it versus how tough his life looks. This makes him envious and it makes his heart unclean.
- Envied the fact that they are wealthier than me (vs 3)
- Envied them because they seem to be healthy people with access to the best medical attention (vs 4)
- Envied them because they live above what normal people live in (vs 5)
- Envied them because they persecuted those below them (vs 6)
- Envied them because they had more things than I could want (vs 7)
- Envied them because they speak crudely and without mercy, but aren’t affected by any of it (vss 8-9)
- Envied them because they have no needs (vs 10)
- Envied them because God lets them get away with everything (vs 11)
- Envied them because they have the money and I don’t (vs 12)
- Envied them because I’ve made an effort to be right with God and continue to have trouble while they make no effort to be right with God and have everything (vs 13)
- Envied them because I’m not allowed to state the obvious without being called a lunatic even though their hypocrisy is clear to all (vs 15)
- And all of my envy caused me much pain (vs 16)
Calamity of the wicked (vss 17-20)
- Asaph gets God’s perspective on that which is highly esteemed in this world.
- People who do not believe God have no choice but to be surprised when God judges them.
- Proverbs 1:24-32
Conviction of Asaph (vss 21-22)
- Convicted that his envy was pointless. He was convicted when He got God’s perspective on what is highly exalted in this world. Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
Correction in righteousness (vss 23-28)
- Held by the hand of the LORD like a child held hand in hand with his father (vss 22-23)
- I was childish and my perspective was ignorant.
- I was foolish, but the LORD is with me.
- Guided by the counsel of the LORD in this life then received in glory (vs 24)
- He’s been given immediate instruction about the sin of envy and how it hurts his life.
- Then Asaph, as an old testament saint, is looking forward to being in glory.
- The LORD is my affection (vs 25)
- The LORD is my life (vs 26)
- My health will not last, but the LORD is everlasting life and power over death.
- My portion FOREVER! Asaph wants to inherit the LORD and His kingdom.
- The LORD brings certain destruction to the wicked (vs 27)
- Proverbs 11:4 Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.
- The currency in God’s economy is righteousness.
- Draw near to God (vs 28)
- Remember Asaph came to the house of the LORD, he drew near, and it helped him.
- Hebrews 10:22-25 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
- Trust God (vs 28)
- So I’ll have something to declare of the LORD’S work.