Psalm 73 - What Good Is Faith, Anyway?
Psa.73; What Good Is Faith, Anyway?
Psa 73:27 (KJV) For, lo, they that are far from thee shall
perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.
Psa 73:27 (NIV) Those who are far from you will perish; you
destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
Psa 73:27 (NEB) They who are far from thee are lost; thou dost
destroy all who wantonly forsake thee.
Psa 73:27 (TEV) Those who abandon you will certainly perish;
you will destroy those who are unfaithful to you.
Psa 73:27 (CEV) Powerful Lord God, all who stay far from you
will be lost, and you will destroy those who are unfaithful.
Psa 73:27 (CWB) Those who go on without you will perish. Those
who are unfaithful to you will have to suffer the consequences.
Psa 73:27 (TLB) But those refusing to worship God will perish,
for he destroys those serving other gods.
Asaph confesses envy of the carefree life of the wicked in this
world (73:1-12). He became bitter, feeling his own commitment to
godliness was all in vain (vv. 13-15). Then, while worshiping, he realized
the very prosperity of the wicked was "slippery ground," for they
felt no need of God and were vulnerable to judgment (vv. 16-20).
Suddenly Asaph felt foolish--and relieved. He had God, now and forever.
And having God as his portion far outweighs a carefree life (vv.
21-28). [Victor Bible Reader's Companion]
This he learned in the sanctuary upon this occasion, and he
would never forget it (v. 27): "Lo, those that are far from thee, in a
state of distance and estrangement, that desire the Almighty to depart
from them, shall certainly perish; so shall their doom be; they
choose to be far from God, and they shall be far from him for ever.
Thou wilt justly destroy all those that go a whoring from thee, that
is, all apostates, that in profession have been betrothed to God,
but forsake him, their duty to him and their communion with him, to
embrace the bosom of a stranger." (Matthew Henry's Commentary)
No human spirit that is not united to God can be saved. Those
who are FAR FROM THEE shall perish-- they shall be lost, undone,
ruined; and that without remedy. Being separated from God by sin, they
shall never be rejoined; the great gulf must be between them and their
Maker eternally. (Adam Clarke Commentary)
Here is yet another approach to the problem of the prosperity of
the wicked. Although the psalmist is troubled by his own suffering,
he is more perplexed by the lack of punishment of the wicked. This
psalm goes deeper into the problem than do Psalms 37 and 49, and the
author finds peace in spiritual fellowship with God. It may be
classified as a song of trust, with overtones that link it with the Wisdom
writers. The didactic purpose is evident throughout, but it is interwoven
with the confession of a man whose faith has been sorely tested.
[Wycliffe Bible Commentary]
The psalmist was disturbed by the prosperity of the wicked but
learned that God would eventually punish them. We are often impatient
with the injustices of life, but God's justice will prevail. We can
discuss our frustrations with God candidly, knowing the prosperity of
the wicked is only temporary. God knows the world's wickedness and
injustice. He has plans to establish His kingdom and eliminate that which
opposes Him. [Disciple SB]
Probably you can understand Asaph's feelings. He'd tried all his
life to be a good person. He'd tried to serve God. But all he'd
gotten in return was sickness, hardships, and more troubles than he
cared to name.
Of course, what really bothered Asaph was that he knew people
with no faith at all who were healthy and strong, rich and carefree!
No wonder Asaph was discouraged, and had begun to feel that "in
vain have I kept my heart pure." What good is a faith that doesn't
work in this world? What good is a faith that seems to bring more
plagues and punishments on the believer than the world's wicked have to
The psalm tells us that Asaph struggled with these thoughts in
silence. And then, suddenly, one day in God's sanctuary, Asaph found his
answer! Asaph realized that the troubles he experienced were gifts from
God, and that the easy life granted the wicked was actually "slippery
What Asaph gained was a perspective that you and I need to keep
constantly in mind. The easy life of the wicked is no reward, for it leads
them away from any dependence on God! Why turn their thoughts to the
LORD when they feel no need of His help? Yet, one day soon, they will
be "swept away by terrors," for they will awaken to realize that
this world is the dream, and eternity the reality.
And Asaph? Asaph, now ashamed of his earlier jealousy of the
wicked, realized that the very trials he had hated had led him again and
again to God in prayer. Only through his troubles had Asaph discovered
God as "the strength of my heart and my portion forever." [The
365-Day Devotional Commentary]
The relation of God to his people is often compared in the
Scriptures with the marriage relation; and a departure from Him is compared
with a want of fidelity to the marriage contract. (Barnes' Notes)
All spiritual estrangement from God, whether by idolatry or
covetousness, is `whoredom'. (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)
Since God is the Source of life, those who separate themselves
from God have separated themselves from life itself. [Disciple SB]
To be with God is life; to be far from Him is death. [SDA
The story is told of two prisoners in one small cell with no
light except what came through a tiny window three feet above eye
level. Both prisoners spent a great deal of time looking at that
window. One of them saw the bars--obvious, ugly, metallic reminders of
reality. From day to day he grew increasingly discouraged, bitter, angry,
and hopeless. By contrast, the other prisoner looked through the
window to the stars beyond. Hope welled up in that prisoner as he began
to think of starting a new life in freedom.
The prisoners were looking at the same window, but one saw bars
while the other saw stars. And the difference in their vision made a
huge difference in their lives.
. . . Vision, like courage and discipline, is a character trait
that can be stimulated and developed in anyone who is willing to
understand what it really is and then to work hard at making it part of
everyday life. Everyone can choose to look at bars or stars. In fact,
everyone makes that choice several times every day. (from Who You Are
When No One Is Looking by Bill Hybels) [Inspirational SB]