Psalm 73: Worship and a Renewed Vision

Date: 5/25/2014
Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: Worship
Organization: All Saints
Price: FREE

Psalm 73: Worship and a Renewed Vision

Text: Psalm 73 - Truly God is good to Israel,to those who are pure in heart.
2  But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped.
3  For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked...
12  Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.
13  All in vain have I kept my heart clean, and washed my hands in innocence...
16  But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task,
17  until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.
18  Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin...
21  When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart,
22  I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you...
23  Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever...

Wrong Vision - At the beginning of this Psalm, we see the Psalmist admitting that he was foolish, that he was envious of the wicked. The wicked here are well-to-do, and they lack nothing. They oppress others for financial gain, and they are blasphemous against God, yet they seem to be blessed. This calls into question the truth of Psalm 1. The Psalmist even has a hard time finding motivation to continue being faithful. The Psalmists is being drawn into what can be called practical atheism. God may exist, but does his existence really make a difference in the world? Does how we live really matter?

Right Worship - The hinge of the Psalm is vs 17. Going to the sanctuary of God changes everything for the Psalmist. What happens at God’s sanctuary? The worshipper is caught up in God’s majesty and his grace. The worshipper is reminded of Israel’s past, her redemption and the judgment on Egypt. The worshipper vividly sees his own sinfulness and need for grace. Worship is where we are confronted with God’s truth.

Renewed Vision - As a result of this worship, the Psalmist receives a makeover of how he sees the world. He first receives a renewed vision of the wicked; he sees that rather than being in a place of blessing, they are in a place of judgment. He receives a new vision of himself; he sees himself as an embittered sinner who can only cast himself upon God’s grace. He receives a renewed vision of God as the one who is himself the greatest blessing in heaven or on earth. 
 

Jared Micah McNabb Jared McNabb (M.Div. Westminster Theological Seminary) is the pastor of St. Paul's Independent Church (Millers, MD). He is a graduate of Lancaster Bible College, and has served as a Pastoral Intern at All Saints Church in Lancaster PA.