Scripture:
Psalm 73
Vs 1 Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
Vs 2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped.
Vs 3 For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
Vs 5 They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
Vs 11 And (God’s people) say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
V2 12 Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.
Vs 13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.
Vs 16 But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task,
Vs 17 until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.
Vs 21 When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart,
Vs 22 I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.
Vs 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Vs 27 For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
Vs 28 But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.
Observation:
The writer of this Psalm tells of a sweeping heart transformation within himself.
And with this transformation of the heart comes a renewed way of seeing others in the world, as new way of seeing himself in the world, and especially a new way of seeing God in the world.
And all of this came about by “entering the sanctuary of God” … in other words, “Worship”.
Worship moved the author from being “pricked in heart” to being “pure in heart”.
And it was worship where he recognized “my heart may fail”, but “God is my strength of heart” forever.
Application:
What people do I take notice of around me? And how do I respond to them, especially within my heart?
Do I look around and just see “the prosperous”? Do I look around and think, “Why don’t those people have any problems?”
“Their life seems so perfect.” … “Everything goes their way.” …  “They have such an easy life!”
Am I envious of anyone else and their seemingly perfect life?
I need to be very cautious against this! When I do this, I begin to think I can see the unseen.
And when I do this, I begin to think I can even think more rightly or clearly than God!
As the psalmist said, “Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
And then I begin to even think my own right actions or right thinking are “in vain”.
I will slip into a “Why bother?!” attitude.
Why should I bother “keeping my heart clean” if God is going to reward “the wicked” and “bring trouble to the rest of mankind”?
I need to quickly recognize these thoughts are from my own “brutishness and ignorance”!
In fact, I am “acting like a beast” toward God … in other words, ignoring Him, the very opposite of Worship.
So how can I correct this? … Certainly not on my own.
If I seek to “understand” or “discern” the ways of the world on my own, it will be a “wearisome task”.
I must recognize where my strength comes from. “God is strength of my heart.”
And where will I know this? In the sanctuary, among worship with others.
This is where I see God as my strength. This is where I will see God as my refuge. This is where God will be near.
And this where Jesus’ words make sense, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”.
Prayer:
God thank You that you are my strength forever.
Thank you that when I slip or fail, You are near.
Help me see others the way you see them and not simply with my own envious eyes.
Help me remember that you are sovereign.
Help me Holy Spirit to never see purity of heart as being “in vain”
Help me tell others of your works
In Jesus name
Amen