Psalm 73:27 - What Good Is Faith, Anyway?

Psa.73:27; 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]