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Psalm 73

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Subject: Jealousy                                                                                                                Preaching Portion: Psalm 73

Theme: Victory over jealousy                                                                          Sermonic Process: Exposition

Prosperous Pagans

Intro.:

1. ** Tale of Temptation  

Ps 73:1 Truly God is good to Israel, to such as are pure in heart.

– Statement of Faith v.1

-          **T/V Movie Dream Sequence

-          Trusted chief musician/composer of King David

-          Belonging to God

Ezek 34:31 "You are My flock, the flock of My pasture; you are men, and I am your God," says the Lord GOD.' "

Rom 14:8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.

-          Fall Back position – Hank Hanegraaf

2. With our hope firmly anchored in God we can claim victory over worldly jealousy as Asaph attests to in Psalm 73

Spiritual Battle

1. Into Temptation                  A. Feet Slip – v 2

v 2But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped.

U       Israel – nation of slippery feet

U       Spiritual foothold

U       **Rock wall / Dream /Ice

B. Envied the Arrogant – v 3

V 3For I was envious of the boastful,When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

U       Fixed on wrong things

U       Personality of these ‘wealthy’

U       Overlooked Soul discomfort

U       Lazarus / Rich man Luke 16:19-31

C. But what about death - v. 4

v 4For there are no pangs in their death, But their strength is firm.

U       CH Spurgeon calls this the ‘chief wonder’

U       Faithful peaceful passing / Unfaithful disconcerting demise

2 Thess 2:11-12

And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

NKJV

U       Matthew Henry put it this way “Men may die like lambs and yet have their place forever with the goats.”

U       Surprise and sorrow – worthy of envy

D. Worthy of Envy? v 5-7

v 5-7 They are not in trouble as other men, Nor are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride serves as their necklace; Violence covers them like a garment. Their eyes bulge with abundance; They have more than heart could wish.

U       v. 5 troubled - violence / plagued health **Raptavia

U       v. 6 pride shinier than gold / more than statesman

U       CH Spurgeon says of these  that “They brag and bully, bluster and browbeat, as if they had a license to ride roughshod over people.”

U       Bulge with abundance - **Turkey Dinner / fat excess

E. Tongues like Whips v 8-10

V 8-9 They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression; They speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, And their tongue walks through the earth.

U      Oppression / people

U      Blasphemies against God

F. Bring it to God v. 10-14
v 10-14 Therefore his people return here, And waters of a full cup are drained by them.

And they say, "How does God know? And is there knowledge in the Most High?" Behold, these are the ungodly, Who are always at ease; They increase in riches. Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, And washed my hands in innocence. For all day long I have been plagued, And chastened every morning.

U       People knew to draw to God **Atheists Foxholes

U       Even though God loved them they ‘sucked’ back the bitter drink (explain) to the dregs.

Ps 75:8 In the hand of the LORD is a cup  full of foaming wine mixed with spices; he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs.

U       Then foolishness abounds

U       Question own faith  - do for nothing? For what?

Asaph slipped into Temptation

2. OUT OF TEMPTATION             A. Working it Through v.15-17

v. 15-17 If I had said, "I will speak thus, "Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children. When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me-- Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end.

U       Leading astray

Mark 9:42"But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.”

U       Poison (young)/ Cure (God)

U       Can’t do it alone anguished / tormented

U       Went back to God promises

U       Too little too judge – wider picture!

B. And Now You Know The Rest of the Story v. 18-20

v. 18-20 Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awakes, So, Lord, when You awake, You shall despise their image.

U       Who is need be afraid of slipping? Re: v.2

U       In a moment –**Sea to Sky highway consumed in terrors

U       Hope anchored in illusory wealth – like a dream that fades into a nightmare

U      God despises their image

 

C. Self-Examination v. 11-24

v 21-24 Thus my heart was grieved, And I was vexed in my mind.  I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You. Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory.

U       It tore me to shreds / like a beast

U       God never drew away / faithful

U       Held me! **Footprints

U       Real wisdom

U      End reward

Asaph Lifted out Temptation

 

3. Over The Temptation      A. Top-Down Support v. 25-26

v 25-26 Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

U       Focus on God - love

U       **CEO support

U       Where we fail and cannot

U       God as strength

Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. NKJV

                                                               

B.  The Answer!! V. 27-28

v.27-28 For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry. But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, That I may declare all Your works.

U       Draw near first – less pain

U       Escaped dilemma with God

U       Thomas Watson, 1669 said “To draw near to God is our wisdom, our honour, our safety, our peace, our riches.”

U       Come to the source of Goodness

U       Remember Asaph worried about polluting future generations v.15

U       Declaring the wonders of God – no lack of works to declare

 

Asaph came through Temptation with God

 

Application:

1)       Own struggles – confuse others… or seek wise counsel

2)       Give wise counsel

3)       Draw Near to God!

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