Psalms: when we get real, God gets real too – Psalm 73  

This Psalm is for those like me who find it hard to believe how the most callous and cruel leaders are able to stay in power, even when caught out in lies, scandals, blatant profiteering, hate speech, and bullying their people into submission. 

Because Psalm 73 echoes the same thoughts. Asaph, who authored this Psalm and twelve more in what is considered the darkest part of Psalms, shared the same view of those in power, or “at the top,” verse 3 (The Message). He envied “the wicked who have it made, who have nothing to worry about, not a care in the whole wide world,” verses 3-4. Just like those today who fly all over the world in their private jets, pontificating about saving the planet while abusing the environment themselves. But somehow they get away with it, and carry on without a care in (or for) the world. The same callous hypocrisy Asaph witnessed.    

Fortunately, the Holy Spirit had Asaph write this Psalm, exposing these people for who and what they are. They are “pretentious with arrogance,” they’re “pampered and overfed, decked out in the silk bows of silliness (lunacy). They jeer (scoff at us underlings),” and “bully their way with words,” and yet, verse 10, “People actually listen to them – can you believe it?” Same as today, when tyrants are treated like gods and saviours. 

Asaph’s reaction was to ask in verses 11-12: “What’s going on here? Is God out to lunch? The wicked get by with everything; they have it made, piling up riches.” Ring any bells about drug companies of late? But “when I tried to figure it out” – as to why God was letting it happen – “all I got was a splitting headache.” Probably a lot of lost sleep too, wondering just how lunatic things would yet become (verse 16).  


Oh, you mean there’s a way of handling this? A way of not curling up in a corner and giving up? Well, according to Asaph in verse 17, it was when “I entered the sanctuary of God, then I saw the whole picture: the slippery road you’ve put them on, with a final crash in a ditch of delusions. In the blink of an eye, disaster! We wake up and rub our eyes….and there’s nothing to them, and there never was,” verses 18-20

God blew away the fog of despair, by opening Asaph’s eyes to his world, the real world where no one gets away with anything. God became real to Asaph, because Asaph was real with him.       

(Next ‘Psalm Sunday’ – Psalm 2)

One thought on “Psalms: when we get real, God gets real too – Psalm 73  

  1. These men think they have it all, but when it comes right down to it, life is but a vapour and all their “profiteering,” “pontificating,” “pretentions,” “pampering” and “piling up riches” will come to naught. Like everyone else, their end comes soon enough. King Solomon expressed this very eloquently in Ecclesiates 1.

    Here is a poem in the form of a “Rondeau” that I wrote many years ago that expresses this thought:


    Men toil in vain beneath the sun;
    In vain they vie, in vain they run.
    For all their moil, no gain to show;
    From dust they come, to dust they go.
    All men return where they’ve begun.

    In vain men strive for thrills, for fun;
    Their striving holds no merit…..none.
    In weariness they come to know—
    Men toil in vain.

    There’s nothing lasting ever won;
    All things end in oblivion.
    No headstone keeps of those below;
    Their graves in time will overgrow.
    When all is said and all is done,
    Men toil in vain!

    “(Let the rich man) glory in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits.” (James 1:10-11)


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