Asaph was one of the ancestor’s of Hezekiah’s recorders, Joah. He was one of David’s three chief musicians. He is the author of Psalms 50, and 73-82. Four of Asaph’s sons were among those appointed to conduct under him and took part in the dedication of the temple.
Asaph is said to have “prophesied under the direction of the king,” through music and two of his sons were royal seers.”
Verse 1 – Truly God is good to Israel, to such as are pure in heart.
Verse 2 – But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped.
Verse 3 – For I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
Have you ever felt like giving up? We often realize how hard it is to convince someone who they need a Savior, when in their own eyes, they have everything they could possible want. They might look at the person’s life that is telling them this, and see all the struggle they go through “with a Savior” and decide it’s not worth it.
Like Asaph as he wrote this psalm: We almost slip or stumble with our thinking when we see those who never give God a second thought, prospering.
Verse 4 – For there are no pangs in their death, but their strength is firm.
Verse 5 – They are not in trouble as other men, nor are they plagued like other men.
Verse 6 – Therefore pride serves as their necklace; violence covers like a garment.
Verse 7 – Their eyes bulge with abundance; they have more than the heart could wish.
Verse 8 – They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression; they speak loftily.
Verse 9 – They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walks through the earth.
There are two strong themes in these verses; (1) The wicked (lost without Jesus) prosper, leaving the faithful to wonder, why bother being good and (2) the wealth of the wicked looks so inviting that faithful people may want to trade places with them.
If we are honest with ourselves, we have asked, “Why bother,” at some time in our Christian walk.
Here’s the truth though; the pleasures of the wicked are only temporary. They can take nothing with them when they die. When a Christian dies, they have eternal wealth with Jesus Christ! Which would you rather have?
There are a couple of places in God’s Word about this:
(1) Proverbs 13:22 – A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.
(2) Ecclesiastes 2:26 – For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting, that he may give to him who is good before God.
Verse 10 – Therefore his people return here, and waters of a full cup are drained by them.
Verse 11 – And they say, “How does God know? And is their knowledge in the Most High?”
Verse 12 – Behold, these are the ungodly, who are always at ease; they increase in riches.
Verse 13 – Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocence.
Verse 14 – For all day long I have been plagued and chastened every morning.
Those who belong to God, have a sensitivity to their conscience. Those who don’t follow Christ never give a thought to what they have said or done. Asaph felt like always trying to do right was in vain.
Verse 15 – If I had said, “I will speak thus,” behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children.
Verse 16 – When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful to me (troublesome).
Verse 17 – Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end.
When we pray and come into God’s presence, then we realize everything we go through in this life is worth it all to spend eternity with the One who died for us!
Verse 18 – Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction.
Verse 19 – Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors.
Verse 20 – As a dream when one awakes, so, Lord, when You awake, You shall despise their image.
Asaph, in other words said, ” Those who put their joy and trust in their wealth, live in a dream world.”
Verse 21 – Thus my heart was grieved, and I was vexed in my mind.
Verse 22 – I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a best before You.
Verse 23 – Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand.
Verse 24 – You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.
Like Asaph, our confidence is in God, the One who uphold us by His right hand.
Verse 25 – Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
Verse 26 – My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.
Verse 27 – For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry (putting hope and trust in something besides God – money).
Verse 28 – But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in Lord God, that I may declare all Your works.
As Christian, we don’t go after the wealth for the sake of becoming rich, we go after Christ who says He will give us everything pertaining to life.
2 Peter 1:3 – …as His divine power has (already done) given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,…