PSALM 73 GOD...Will You Really Be Good to ME?. The Psalmist’s Problem : His theology is in conflict with his perception of life’s experience. The Psalmist’s Solution : His perception of life is altered by an experience with God. E W x O p R E S R H I I E
GOD...Will You Really Be Good to ME?
The Psalmist’s Problem:
His theology is in conflict
with his perception of
The Psalmist’s Solution:
His perception of life is
altered by an experience
Prosperity of Wicked Observed
Psalmist questions vanity of own faith
Reality of Wicked’s Fate
Reality of God’s Grace to the Faithful
v 1 v 12
v 13 v 16
v 18 v 20
v 21 v 28
How often do the tragic or just the confusing events of life call God's Goodness into question? Do situations become such a heavy burden that the only reasonable response we have is to cry out in despair saying, "God, are you really there? God, do you really care?"
This is the situation in which the writer of Psalm 73 finds himself. His faith, or more accurately his theology, tells him that God will be good to the pure in heart (v1). Yet, as he observes the prosperity of the wicked (v1-12) he wonders if this is really true. God has promised to His people that if they were faithful He will bless them. However, that is not what the writer experiences. He sees the wicked thrive while the righteous suffer. The Psalmist is not able to reconcile what he observes in the world with what God has said. This is troubling not only for the writer of Psalm 73 but for us as well. It is also not an issue we can either ignore or suppress because the Word of God itself calls us into confrontation with it.
PROBLEM: (73:1-16) Problem of conflict in theology and experience.
This is the real moral dilemma for the writer and for us. We know how things should be but that is not how they always are. The real scare for the psalmist comes in his conclusion regarding the lifestyle of the wicked: IT WORKS (v12). This conclusion now comes into direct conflict with the Psalmist's faith. In vv13-16 he states that not only does the way of the wicked work, it even seems better than the way of God. How can it be bad if it produces such happy results?
SOLUTION: (73:17-28) Solution of conflict by theological experience.
Thus far the focus of the Psalm has been upon the wicked and the pure in heart; between "they" and "I". But now the direction is dramatically altered. The Psalmist now sees life through the eyes of God. He has experienced God during the temple worship time (v17) which has completely re-oriented how he understands the world itself. He sees the surity of the downfall of the wicked (vv18-20). Additionally, he perceives the reality of God's constant abiding Grace in the life of the faithful (vv21-26). The climactic statements in vv27-28 tells all. First, he confirms that the wicked lifestyle does not work (v27) and secondly that it is good to draw near and to put one's trust in the Lord God. The problems of life have become secondary to the worship of God.