Sunday, June 28, 2020

Psalm 73: Comparison, Envy, and Jealousy (Summer Playlist Series)

Today, we are continuing our summer series my pastor is calling Summer Playlist.  Our summer playlist is from various Psalms (Songs) from the book of Psalms.  Today, my pastor is teaching from Psalm 73 which covers the topic of jealousy.  Comparison and envy will result in jealousy.

Comparison, Envy, and Jealousy
Comparing ourselves to others leads to envy and jealousy.

 The following Bible study notes are based on my pastor's sermon.  You are invited to watch, listen, and worship with us here.

Psalm 73:  Comparison and Envy

Psalm 73 is a Psalm of Asaph.  Asaph, according to Aubry Buster at Bible Odyssey, was a Levite singer in David's court.  

Let's read Psalm 73.

God certainly is good to Israel,
To those who are pure in heart!
But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,
My steps had almost slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant
As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For there are no pains in their death,
And their belly is fat.
They are not in trouble like other people,
Nor are they tormented together with the rest of mankind.
Therefore arrogance is their necklace;
The garment of violence covers them.
Their eye bulges from fatness;
The imaginations of their heart overflow.
They mock and wickedly speak of oppression;
They speak from on high.
They have set their mouth against the heavens,
And their tongue parades through the earth.

10 Therefore his people return here,
And abundant waters are drunk by them.
11 They say, “How does God know?
And is there knowledge with the Most High?”
12 Behold, these are the wicked;
And always at ease, they have increased in wealth.
13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
And washed my hands in innocence;
14 For I have been stricken all day long,
And punished every morning.

15 If I had said, “I will speak this way,”
Behold, I would have betrayed the generation of Your children.
16 When I thought of understanding this,
It was troublesome in my sight
17 Until I entered the sanctuary of God;
Then I perceived their end.
18 You indeed put them on slippery ground;
You dropped them into ruin.
19 How they are destroyed in a moment!
They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!
20 Like a dream when one awakes,
Lord, when stirred, You will despise their image.

21 When my heart was embittered
And I was pierced within,
22 Then I was stupid and ignorant;
I was like an animal before You.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
24 You will guide me with Your plan,
And afterward receive me to glory.

25 Whom do I have in heaven but You?
And with You, I desire nothing on earth.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.
28 But as for me, the nearness of God is good for me;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
So that I may tell of all Your works. (Psalm 73)

Psalm 73:26 Wall Decal
This Psalm 73:26 wall decal is available here.

Have you ever made a comparison between your life and someone else's life?  We all do this.  Sometimes we compare ourselves with others and we don't even realize. it.  We notice other people's homes, cars, families, etc. and we compare those people to ourselves.  We must be careful about this because comparison leads to jealousy.

God is just and God is good.  We can sing of the goodness of God.

Verse 1:  God is good to those who are pure in heart (to those who truly trust and know Him).

Verses 2-3:  Asaph began to stumble.  He came close to stumbling but he didn't completely fall.  He began to fall because he began to envy the experiences of the wicked.  He was jealous of their prosperity.  

Verse 4:  The wicked had it easy.  They faced little or no trouble and they were wealthy.  Their bellies were fat, meaning they needed nothing.

Verse 5:  The wicked had no disadvantages.

Verse 6:  BUT it wasn't the material wealth that was the problem.  The problem was the hearts behind the wealth.  They were prideful and arrogant.

Verse 7:  What they had was never enough.  They always wanted more.

Verse 8:  They put themselves on par with God.

Verse 9:  No one could shut them up.

Verse 10:  Even though they speak with malice, they still have a following.

Verse 11:  They question God's authority and knowledge.  They have no accountability.

Verse 12:  They are always at ease.

The Personal Experience

Verse 13-15:  Asaph wonders if all he has done is in vain.  He has kept his heart pure and yet, he has been stricken and chastened.  He has served God his whole life and yet this is God's treatment of him?  

When your world has been turned upside down, is God still good?

Verses 16-18:  Is God good?  Is He just?

Experiencing the Presence of God

God is both good and just.  Just because God doesn't judge in the temporal doesn't mean He won't judge and punish in the eternal.

The Lord is slow to anger and great in power,
And the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.
In the gale and the storm is His way,
And clouds are the dust beneath His feet. - Nahum 1:3

But for the cowardly, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and sexually immoral persons, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. - Revelation 21:8

There is coming a day when this world will be judged.

Verse 23:  God is good and will hold your hand just like you hold a child's hand so he won't fall.  He will give counsel and receive us into glory.

If you experience something terrible, rest in His presence.  Grab your Father's hand and allow Him to use your pain to lead others to Him.

Comparison, Envy, and Jealousy

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