PSALM 73:28: “As for me, how good it is for me that God is near! I have made the Lord God my refuge so I can tell all about your deeds.” (ISV)
OBSERVATION: Why isn’t life fair? This was the question that Asaph explored as he wrote Psalm 73. Asaph was a Levite, and one of the leaders of the Tabernacle choir that David had assembled. He was probably a young man, and began reflecting upon the life he was called to, in contrast to the life that others were living. Like Asaph, we all have struggled with comparing ourselves to others, and thinking that we have received the short end of the stick. Asaph questioned his calling, doubted the benefit of his obedience, and asked himself – “Why isn’t life fair?”
As a Levite, Asaph was actively involved in the service of the Tabernacle. This required him to make many sacrifices as a young man. When he looked at the life of those who were not following the Lord as he was, these sacrifices seemed useless and unfair. Here he was, trying to follow the Lord, resisting the everyday temptations to sin, and what good did it do? It seemed like those who were careless with their lives were doing better than he was. They seemed happier, they were not struggling like he was. Was there any meaning and purpose in all of his dedication and service?
What I love about this Psalm is the brutal honesty of Asaph. As Christians, we have all felt this way, but many of us have not openly admitted it. Asaph was honest with himself, open with his doubts, and sincerely seeking an answer. Did he receive one? Yes, but it did not come from within himself. His answer came as he encountered the presence of God!
- “When I tried to understand this, it was too difficult for me, until I entered the sanctuaries of God. Then I understood their destiny.” Psalm 73:16-17
Asaph discovered the truth when he stopped viewing life through his own limited understanding, and began viewing it through the wisdom of God. This did not take place automatically, but happened when he purposefully and intentionally entered the Tabernacle (the presence of God). It is only In God’s presence, through the Holy Spirit, that we can truly understand the meaning of life. If we view life from our limited and finite perspective, we will always be disappointed, become discouraged, and think life is unfair. However, if we draw near to God, in His presence we will discover the true meaning and purpose of life, and the awesome blessing of living for Him!
- “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.” Proverbs 3:5-7 NKJV
As Asaph entered into the presence of God, he laid down his own understanding, and through the Holy Spirit received God’s wisdom and understanding. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. When Asaph was humbled and reverent before the Lord, God opened his eyes to see the blessedness of walking with the Lord, and the ultimate plight of those who do not. He ends this Psalm with these words of affirmation and hope,
- “As for me, how good it is for me that God is near! I have made the Lord God my refuge so I can tell all about your deeds.” Psalm 73:28
Asaph learned not to compare himself to others. He learned that the question in life is not whether life is fair, but whether God is faithful. Asaph went from doubt to faith, from discouragement to hope, all because he chose to enter into the presence of the living God!
Lord, as I draw near to You today, fill me anew with Your Holy Spirit. Help me to abide in Your presence, to meditate upon Your Word, and to make You my refuge. As I do, fill my life with Your wisdom, understanding, affirmation and hope! Give me boldness to tell others about Your goodness and mercy, the gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, and the blessedness of living a life of obedience to Your will through the power of the Holy Spirit!
In Jesus Name!