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John Larsen
Recovering success-addict. Value in Jesus. Cherishes lovely wife & daughter! College pastor.
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Psalm 73
Psalm 73
Disciples of Jesus will inherit the entire Kingdom of God, but most notably God Himself as their portion.
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#discipleship
#kingdomofgod
Published March 23rd, 2016
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God is my portion forever
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God is my portion forever
Jesus commands all his disciples to seek first the kingdom God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). With regard to seeking first His righteousness, every disciple will inevitably be tempted toward envy. This will occur when contrasting the unfair results of evil acquaintances to the results of his righteous decisions. Yes, this will lead the disciple to times of unjust pain in which he will seriously think through throwing in the towel. As the Psalmist says, "All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. (Psalm 73:13). Moreover, purposefully seeking first the kingdom of God will lead the disciple to times of feeling as dumb as an animal before God when he is embittered about the unfair results (Psalm 73:21,22). These acquaintances seems to have healthy bodies, always have an increase in their saving accounts and act proudly about their self-made lives of comfort. All the while they arrogantly mock the disciple, who suffers in his health and is very tight on finances (enjoying generic brand items at best) all because of Kingdom decisions. But Christ’s command came with a promise as well: 'and all these things will be added to you' (Matthew 6:33). Clearly, however, we know that 'these things', that is food and drink and clothes (Matthew 6:25), were not intended to fully satisfy us, as the Psalmist also says, Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. (Psalm 73:25) God is my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26 b) Furthermore, the Psalmist does not say, "What have I in heaven but you?" Rather in saying 'whom' he states that the satisfaction of heaven is a person and not an object. He then clarifies even more in saying, "there is nothing on earth that I desire beside you", showing that not only is God the disciple's portion forever in heaven, but even now on earth! He thus proves that these 'added things', though good, will not be sufficient for our satisfaction on earth. But finally, we need not remain envious or embittered on account of these evil and proud acquaintances, for if they remain unrepentant, they will be destroyed in moment (Psalm 73:19, Matthew 25:41,46), while disciples of Jesus will inherit the entire Kingdom of God (Matthew 25:34), which of course includes all that they have laid up (Matthew 6:19-20), but most notably God Himself as their portion (Psalm 73:26) and Treasure (Matthew 6:21).
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editing
OT
Psalms 73:1-28
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mine
Truly God is good to c Israel,
to those who are d pure in heart.
ideaexplanation
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,
Although my feet had almost stumbled,
my steps had nearly slipped.
e For I was f envious of the arrogant when I saw the g prosperity of the wicked.
For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are; they are not h stricken like the rest of mankind.
Therefore pride is i their necklace; violence covers them as j a garment.
Their k eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and l speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth.
Therefore his people turn back to them, and find m no fault in them. 1
And they say, n “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
series
Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they o increase in riches.
All in vain have I p kept my heart clean and q washed my hands in innocence.
For all the day long I have been h stricken and r rebuked s every morning.
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If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
I would have betrayed t the generation of your children.
conditional
But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me u a wearisome task,
until I went into v the sanctuary of God;
then I discerned their w end.
Truly you set them in x slippery places; you make them fall to ruin.
How they are destroyed y in a moment, swept away utterly by z terrors!
Like a a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when b you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.
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actionresult
temporal
When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,
I was c brutish and ignorant;
I was like d a beast toward you.
Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you e hold my right hand.
You f guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will g receive me to glory.
progression
h Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
concessive
i My flesh and my heart may fail,
Furthermore, my flesh and heart may fail in the future.
but God is j the strength 1 of my heart and my k portion l forever.
Nonetheless God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
For behold, those who are m far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is n unfaithful to you.
But for me it is good to o be near God;
I have made the Lord God my p refuge,
that I may q tell of all your works.
actionpurpose
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Explaining when he was wearied thinking about unjust suffering.
Chiasm?
discourse
Phrase
Psalms 73:1-28
Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment.
Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth.
Therefore his people turn back to them, and find no fault in them.
And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.
Summary of 4-11
All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.
For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning.
If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed the generation of your children.
But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I discerned their end.
Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin.
How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!
Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.
When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart,
I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.
Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
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.
phrasing
Comments
Steven Long
Some great insights, John. I especially like the way you laid out your phrase. It visually helps seeing the differences between the attitudes of the wicked and the righteous.
John Larsen
Thank you, brother!
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.