“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Truly God is [only] good to Israel, even to those who are upright and pure in heart. Psalms 73:1 AMP
The Psalmist is correct when he speaks of the goodness of God. God is a good God and He is good to those who are upright and pure in heart. We choose blessing by choosing to serve and honor God.
But as for me, my feet were almost gone, my steps had well-nigh slipped. 3 For I was envious of the foolish and arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For they suffer no violent pangs in their death, but their strength is firm. 5 They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they smitten and plagued like other men. 6 Therefore pride is about their necks like a chain; violence covers them like a garment [like a long, luxurious robe]. 7 Their eyes stand out with fatness, they have more than heart could wish; and the imaginations of their minds overflow [with follies]. 8 They scoff, and wickedly utter oppression; they speak loftily [from on high, maliciously and blasphemously]. 9 They set their mouths against and speak down from heaven, and their tongues swagger through the earth [invading even heaven with blasphemy and smearing earth with slanders]. 10 Therefore His people return here, and waters of a full cup [offered by the wicked] are [blindly] drained by them. 11 And they say, How does God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High? 12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who always prosper and are at ease in the world; they increase in riches. Psalms 73:2-12 AMP
The psalmist was not in a good place. He had nearly lost his way, because he started to look to the wicked and think that they had it better than him. He looked at their wealth, their pride, and their arrogance; he looked at they way they scoffed and blasphemed; and yet they seemed to have it so good. They seemed only to increase in riches.
Surely then in vain have I cleansed my heart and washed my hands in innocency. 14 For all the day long have I been smitten and plagued, and chastened every morning. Psalms 73:13-14 AMP
The psalmist is tempted with thoughts of envy for the wealthy wicked. He starts to feel that serving God and his self-sacrifice have not been beneficial to him; that God has not taken care of him; that he does not have it as good as the arrogant wicked.
Had I spoken thus [and given expression to my feelings], I would have been untrue and have dealt treacherously against the generation of Your children. Psalms 73:15 AMP
Thankfully, the one mistake he does not make, is to open his mouth and speak his negative thoughts out loud. Even though he is tempted by the devil to make terrible accusations against God – in his heart, he knows the truth. If he had spoken these demonic lies he would have been lying and he would have been betraying every child of God, who loves and serves Him and who has experienced His goodness.
But when I considered how to understand this, it was too great an effort for me and too painful 17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood [for I considered] their end. 18[After all] You do set the [wicked] in slippery places; You cast them down to ruin and destruction. 19 How they become a desolation in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors! Psalms 73:16-19 AMP
It was hard for him to understand why the sinners – the arrogant, wealthy people seem better off, but he started to understand when he realized what their end would be. No man can stand against God and live. Only those who honor Him will live forever. This life is so short and eternity is so long. You can serve yourself and think that you are really something, but if you refuse to humble yourself before God, you will suffer in hell forever. Forever is a long time! Whatever the believer suffers on this earth in order to serve God, it is nothing compared to eternity in the glorious presence of God!
As a dream [which seems real] until one awakens, so, O Lord, when You arouse Yourself [to take note of the wicked], You will despise their outward show. 21 For my heart was grieved, embittered, and in a state of ferment, and I was pricked in my heart [as with the sharp fang of an adder]. 22 So foolish, stupid, and brutish was I, and ignorant; I was like a beast before You. Psalms 73:20-22 AMP
The psalmist is honest with God. He confesses the torment he went through, as a result of feeling that life was unfair, until his conscience pricked him and he realized the truth – that he was stupid for thinking like that and stupid for listening to the devil.
Nevertheless I am continually with You; You do hold my right hand. 24 You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to honor and glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but You? And I have no delight or desire on earth besides You. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the Rock and firm Strength of my heart and my Portion forever. 27 For behold, those who are far from You shall perish; You will destroy all who are false to You and like [spiritual] harlots depart from You. 28 But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God and made Him my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works. Psalms 73:23-28 AMP
The psalmist once again reminds himself of God’s faithfulness and His promises, and he testifies of it to others. Sometimes we feel that life is unfair and that we have not been appropriately rewarded for doing right, but we must remind ourselves of God’s goodness. The devil would love to separate us from God with his lies, but when we hide God’s word in our hearts, we will keep on believing right and talking right and we will live to see His blessing on our lives.