Sunday, July 29, 2012

AWAKE MY SOUL:  Confidence  (Psalm 73)

Psalm 73 is a gut-wrenching Psalm written by a worship leader named Asaph.  Asaph was about to throw in the towel with God.  He was about to lose his faith.  Over what?  Over the fact that it seemed like the godless prospered and the godly didn’t.  Asaph had taken his eyes off God and put them on other people – that’s always dangerous.

Have you ever had an issue with God?  Have you ever cynically brooded while peppering God with questions like “Why did you allow this to happen?”, “Why do other people prosper and I don’t?”.  Have you ever felt like the joke’s on you when it came to following Jesus?  Have you ever felt like the wool’s been pulled over your eyes?  Have you ever felt like following Jesus wasn’t paying off?  Then Asaph is your friend.  He felt the same way.

In this chapter we see…

1.  A divine proposition (vs. 1).  Asaph declares that God is good.  But then he spends the next 15 verses telling us why he doesn’t think God is good to him!

2.  A distressing paradox (vss. 2-12).  Asaph finds himself in a theological conundrum; a doctrinal mystery.  If God is good, then why do arrogantly wicked people seem to prosper and “have it all”?

3.  A disturbing pain (vss. 13-16).  Asaph was asking the question, “Why remain faithful to God if it doesn’t pay off?” He was looking through the lens of legalism – the idea that if I do this – God should do that (he owes me).  When, in fact, God never owes any of us anything – period.  This lack of reciprocation from God felt like a plague from and a punishment from God to Asaph (vs. 14).  It took him to a very dark place spiritually (vs. 21).

4.  A dawning perception (vss. 17-20).  Fully engulfed in the negativity of his accusation against God, Asaph goes to the Temple and in the Temple God gave him some understanding (funny how God uses his church to teach us things we would never learn elsewhere).  At the Temple God showed Asaph the destiny of the pompous people who ignored him ( vs. 18) – and it was not good (vs. 19).  Especially compared to the destiny of those who trust God (vs. 24).  Asaph’s perception was changed when he realized that those who ignore God and do their own thing are building their lives on slippery ground (vs. 18) and will ultimately come to ruin.

5.  A determined person (vss. 21-28).  Asaph experienced an “as for me” moment in which he renewed his conviction to be a determined person who puts his eyes back on God and  builds his life on solid ground (vs. 28).  Asaph decided that God was ENOUGH for him (vs. 25).

Have you ever questioned God?  Has your confidence in God ever been shaken?  It’s happened to most of us at some point or another.  Perhaps you need an “as for me” moment in which you renew your confidence in God and allow your soul to awaken to his wisdom and peace in your life.

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