Study 57 From the Book of Psalms is: Psalms 73
Pss. 73-83 are all entitled ‘of Asaph’ (cf. 2 Ch. 35:15; Ezr. 2:41; 3:10). These psalms are marked by certain characteristic features, among which may be mentioned the representation of God as Judge and also as the Shepherd of His people. They are, in the main, national psalms, and look back to the past history of Israel to draw from it encouragement and warning.
- The problem of the prosperity of the ungodly oppressed the psalmist sorely. See verses 2, 13, 16. Real life seemed to mock the assertion of verse 1. What was the root of the psalmist’s distress? See verses 3, 22; Cf. Pr. 23:17; Ps. 37:1. What is the ‘more excellent way’? Cf. 1 Cor. 13:4; 1 Pet. 2:1.
- How did the psalmist discover the grossness of this error? What did he come to see with regard to the wicked (verses 17-20), and what did he find that he possessed in God (verses 23-26)? Can you honestly and enthusiastically make the confession of verse 25?
- What may we learn from the psalmist’s example (a) in verses 15-17 (for ‘the sanctuary’, cf. Pss. 63:2, 3; 68:35), and (b) in verse 28? Do you delight in being near to God, and in speaking not of doubts (verse 15), but of God’s mighty works?
- Verse 15. The psalmist realizes that to parade his doubt (verses 13, 14), or to speak like the wicked (verse 9), would be to betray the family of God.
- Verse 20. The sense is, ‘The wicked are like a dream when one awakes; and when you, O Lord, awake, you will despise their shadow.’