Let’s look at a little background before we jump into Psalm 73. Psalm 50 as well as Psalms 73-83 are called Psalms of Asaph. Asaph was one of the men from the tribe of Levi that David had appointed as worship leaders (see 1 Chronicles 6:31-39). 2 Chronicles 29:30 tells us that both David and Asaph were skilled poets and singers and also refers to Asaph as a “seer” or prophet.
Asaph’s openness and honesty about his struggles pulls us in and for me, makes him very relatable.
Have you ever struggled with comparing yourself with others or envying others? I most definitely have. We can read about celebrities who seem to go through life without a care in the world, who have all they want monetarily, who are beautiful and live a life of luxury. And then we look at our own lives and they can seem to fall far short of that in comparison. Maybe it’s money struggles or illness, marital issues, problems with our kids – the list goes on and on and can leave us feeling like we live under a dark cloud. Sometimes, like Asaph, those feelings can have a huge impact on us spiritually if we don’t keep them in check.
Or maybe it’s not celebrities that we compare ourselves to, but rather those closer to us. If we aren’t careful, time spent on social media can have the effect of making us feel that we don’t measure up, our families don’t measure up, our lives don’t measure up. Comparison and envy are a breeding ground for bitterness and discontent and can pull us far away from the lives of gratitude that we are meant to live as Christ followers. When we chase after things that are temporary, we are in danger of missing the eternal.
Asaph gives us the cure for envy and comparison – lay it out before a God who loves you and wants His best for you:
21When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, 22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.
23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach