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Psalm 73

Talks for Growing Christians

Why God allows the Wicked to Prosper

Psalm 73

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Lesson Number 54

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The prosperity of the wicked confuses the saint.
  2. The destiny of the wicked clarifies the situation.

Practical Application

  1. Be careful what you share with those who are younger in the faith.

Questions

  1. Who was Asaph?
  2. What was Asaph’s key question here?
  3. Why had Asaph almost stumbled in his walk as a believer?
  4. What is a theodicy?
  5. What was Asaph’s perspective by the time we come to verses 27-28?

Answers

  1. Asaph, the author of Psalm 73, was a contemporary of David. He also wrote Psalms 50 and 74-83.
  2. Why do the wicked prosper and get away with their evil ways? Meanwhile the righteous suffer and don’t receive justice.
  3. Because as he describes in verses 3-12, he became envious of the proud and prosperous wicked.
  4. A theodicy is a vindication of God and His divine justice in the face of the existence of evil. Psalm 73 is a theodicy.
  5. The wicked may have prosperity now, but they will perish in the end. The righteous may have hardships now, but they will have a home in heaven in the future Even now they have the nearness of the Lord and the understanding of His ways.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Have you ever wondered, like Asaph, “Is it worth it? Or is righteous living all in vain?” How did you answer these doubts?
  2. The turning point in Psalm 73 comes in verse 17. What happened in this verse to encourage Asaph’s faith? How could this perspective be encouraging to you too?

Challenge

  1. Asaph was careful not to mislead other believers with his personal doubts. He went before the Lord in the sanctuary and waited on God for the Lord’s answers. Once he received insights and clarification from the Lord, then he shared his experience with other believers. We too need to get before the Lord and into His Word when we have doubts and struggles in our faith.

Key Verses

  • “But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” Psalm 73:2-3
  • “Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end.” Psalm 73:17
  • “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.” Psalm 73:28

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