Messiah’s people almost offended in Him

Asaph, with honesty and openness, describes how he succumbed to the temptation of envying the wicked. As he viewed their prosperity, and how they seemed to advance in life without the troubles that plagued the righteous, he is torn with incomprehension and jealousy. He asked himself, what was the point of living a righteous life? Why walk in holiness and suffer deprivation and economic inferiority?

He thought like this – until! It was when he went into the house of God that perspective on things returned. The sanctuary makes us wise unto salvation. It is there that we look at things from God’s angle, and not our own. Through the means of grace and the explanation of His word, we see the outcome of an ungodly life. 

Asaph’s conscience was pricked, and he once again realised that he had someone in Heaven that was incomparable. Christ was his life on earth and there was none other, and would be so in glory. He would know Christ’s guidance and counsel, and that subdued all his discontent. 

Psalm 73

   1  Yet God is good to Israel,
         to each pure-hearted one.
   2  But as for me, my steps near slipped,
         my feet were almost gone.

   3  For I envious was, and grudged
         the foolish folk to see,
      When I perceived the wicked sort
         enjoy prosperity.

   4  For still their strength continueth firm;
         their death of bands is free.
   5  They are not toiled like other men,
         nor plagued, as others be.

   6  Therefore their pride, like to a chain,
         them compasseth about;
      And, as a garment, violence
         doth cover them throughout.

   7  Their eyes stand out with fat; they have
         more than their hearts could wish.
   8  They are corrupt; their talk of wrong
         both lewd and lofty is.

   9  They set their mouth against the heav'ns
         in their blasphemous talk;
      And their reproaching tongue throughout
         the earth at large doth walk.

  10  His people oftentimes for this
         look back, and turn about;
      Sith waters of so full a cup
         to these are poured out.

  11  And thus they say, How can it be
         that God these things doth know?
      Or, Can there in the Highest be
         knowledge of things below?

  12  Behold, these are the wicked ones,
         yet prosper at their will
      In worldly things; they do increase
         in wealth and riches still.

  13  I verily have done in vain
         my heart to purify;
      To no effect in innocence
         washed my hands have I.

  14  For daily, and all day throughout,
         great plagues I suffered have;
      Yea, ev'ry morning I of new
         did chastisement receive.

  15  If in this manner foolishly
         to speak I would intend,
      Thy children's generation,
         behold, I should offend.

  16  When I this thought to know, it was
         too hard a thing for me;
  17  Till to God's sanctuary I went,
         then I their end did see.

  18  Assuredly thou didst them set
         a slipp'ry place upon;
      Them suddenly thou castedst down
         into destruction.

  19  How in a moment suddenly
         to ruin brought are they!
      With fearful terrors utterly
         they are consumed away.

  20  Ev'n like unto a dream, when one
         from sleeping doth arise;
      So thou, O Lord, when thou awak'st,
         their image shalt despise.

  21  Thus grieved was my heart in me,
         and me my reins oppressed:
  22  So rude was I, and ignorant,
         and in thy sight a beast.

  23  Nevertheless continually,
         O Lord, I am with thee:
      Thou dost me hold by my right hand,
         and still upholdest me.

  24  Thou, with thy counsel, while I live,
         wilt me conduct and guide;
      And to thy glory afterward
         receive me to abide.

  25  Whom have I in the heavens high
         but thee, O Lord, alone?
      And in the earth whom I desire
         besides thee there is none.

  26  My flesh and heart doth faint and fail,
         but God doth fail me never:
      For of my heart God is the strength
         and portion for ever.

  27  For, lo, they that are far from thee
         for ever perish shall;
      Them that a whoring from thee go
         thou hast destroyed all.

  28  But surely it is good for me
         that I draw near to God:
      In God I trust, that all thy works
         I may declare abroad.

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Kilmarnock (Verses 1 -22)

Tiverton (Verses 23 - 28)

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