We were reading and discussing Psalm 73 in the Interships today. I was reminded of notes I journaled nearly a year before. Psalm 73 is a Psalm written after “my own heart.” Take a moment now to read it for yourself.
It helps to know a bit about who Asaph was and what he did for his occupation. We find out about him 1 Chronicles 16 where scripture gives us his job description. He ministered to the LORD before the Ark of the Covenant. He had encountered the presence of the LORD through the simple act of worship. He is attributed with writing nearly a dozen Psalms.
Asaph starts out on tirade about the wicked prospering. This is something we’ve all observed at sometime or another. I toil and struggle, I chose rightly, making Godly decisions and yet it looks like the ungodly, those who take short cuts, swindle, use and abuse, they seem to be the one who blessings most often flow freely through. Of course what’s even worse than the “wicked” prospering, is my brother prospering and it seems like God has entirely forgotten me or turned a deaf ear to my prayers. Lord, what’s going on here? As you read the psalm your fully drawn into Asaph’s complaint, it is true you’ve seen it too! It seems depression and despair have gripped his soul. “When I thought how to understand this,It was too painful for me—” The Message version reads like this: “Still, when I tried to figure it out, all I got was a splitting headache . . .”
Suddenly Asaph takes a dramatic turn. He writes: “Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end.” How did clarity and understanding come to a man who’s very “profession” was to minister before God?” It came when he went into the “sanctuary of God.” If you read this too quickly you’ll miss it. When confusion, disillusion, and discouragement come in like a flood seeking to drown you, there is a solution. When the serpent comes along and whispers accusation against God, and a fog begins to cover your mind and heart, simply run into the sanctuary of Worship. Those questions that trouble us, we need to bring them to God and He will give clarity. In the presence of the LORD right understanding came to his mind.
In verse 15 he says, “If I had really spoken this way to others, I would have been a traitor to your people.” Paraphrase: “I would have fallen into sin if I had started talking this way to the people of God!” So we learn another lesson, take our questions, misunderstandings, and offense towards God, to Him in the place of prayer. I fear too often in our complaining we’ve empowered others to go on a diatribe against God rather than run into the Sanctuary of His presence and allow Holy Spirit to be our teacher.