Word of the Week: The Failure of Success without Christ

Psalm 73:1-28 KJV
Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. [2] But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.


[3] For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. [4] For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. [5] They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. [6] Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. [7] Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. [8] They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. [9] They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth. [10] Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them. [11] And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High? [12] Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. [13] Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. [14] For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. [15] If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. [16] When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; [17] Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. [18] Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. [19] How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. [20] As a dream when one awaketh; so , O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image. [21] Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. [22] So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. [23] Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. [24] Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. [25] Whom have I in heaven but thee ? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. [26] My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. [27] For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee. [28] But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God , that I may declare all thy
works.

Today at sermon,  we focused on a certain Psalm by Asaph,  one of the chief musicians in David’s temple choir. Before anything else,  I want to give you a background of my faith.  I am a Christian. Yes,  there are a lot of denominations under the umbrella of Christianity-and I belong to the Fundamental Baptist group.  I will not tell you the do’s and dont’s of our here. Instead,  I would like to share to you the faith that I have gained by knowing the Gospel,  or the Good News.  It is that Jesus Christ died to redeem me from my sins and save me from eternal separation from my Creator. He died and on the third day rose again,  conquering the limits of death and showing the glorious power of the One,  true God.  His death and resurrection covered the sins of the whole world once and for all.  He is only waiting for us to accept his free gift of eternal life by believing and accepting Him as our personal Lord and Savior.

Going back to the message this morning,  this Psalm showed the humanity of Asaph.  We might feel that we are far from the heroes of faith in the Bible because we are so ordinary while they,  well,  they did a ton of miracles for God.  But,  little do we know that they too were just ordinary people,  yet because of their faith,  God equipped them to doing extraordinary things. 

Asaph’s jealousy of the success and prosperity of the unbelievers (vv. 1-16) mirrors that of my sentiments sometimes. I begin to wonder how God allows good things to happen to bad people.

But, there is always a turning point to every message of the Bible.

“Until I went into your Temple. ” This pivotal statement made Asaph realize the true end of the unbelieving people. We are misled by the assumption that believing in God is a ticket to an easy ride through life.  That is not mostly the case.  God sometimes presses us with more and more struggles and trials that leave us wondering why we even bother at being good. “You will put them in slippery places,  and make them fall into destruction. ” (v. 18) God enlightened Asaph that those who have no plan nor ambition to believe and follow Christ have a definite and eternal end. Happiness and hope can be a reality but only when they are based on God,  and not riches nor temporal success.

The musician’s confidence was restored. As he said,  “Thou has holden me by my right hand.  Thou shalt guide me with thy counsels. ” Indeed,  we are led to realize how stupid our regrets are in God’s eyes. The trials of this life are but a pint of the wonderful things the Lord is preparing for those who love Him. 

In all,  may it be that there will be no comparisons among us with the unbelievers who have material abundance.  Instead,  we should have greater compassion on their eternal fate and absolute love and prayer to share the true abundant life in Christ. 

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