My Feet Almost Slipped (Psalm 73)
By now, most of you have gotten the picture that the psalmist has painted. Basically, he has stated that believers develop a distorted view of God’s actions in the world EVERY time they lose sight of God. That is, when Christians fall out of fellowship with God, they will inevitably begin to believe the lies of the world. I have a saying that goes like this: “If a Christian does not fellowship with the church, he will eventually fellowship with the world.” This is the blindness that Jesus spoke about. It is a blindness that goes beyond intelligence and information. This darkness in the human soul prevents the person from seeing God’s action on our behalf. The problem is so profound that even when people are immersed in the deepest of spiritual darkness they still have an unquenchable need and desire for God. It is that desire that can awaken a person to God’s activity at any moment they meet the light of God. Some will run from the light, but many will embrace the light of God—the truth of our desperate reality.
This is precisely the psalmist’s point. After describing how a person out of fellowship with God describes the “blessings” of the unbelievers, he makes a 180 degrees turn around. Listen how the psalmist wrote it: “When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny” (Psalm 73:16-17). When I entered into the sanctuary of God, or when my eyes were open by the light of God’s truth I was able to see the darkness in my soul that was keeping blinded and enslaved. He said: “I realized that their lives are empty and meaningless. Their destruction comes quickly.” This is not to say that they will die young. This is to say that compared to eternity, the unbelievers’ present “blessings” are temporary and quickly passing. Their enjoyment will last for a short season (maybe 70 years). But for us, for those who have turned our lives into God’s hands, our present suffering is temporary and our joy will be eternal.
The psalmist is encouraging us to take an eternal approach to how we live. Sure, life is rough some days. But wait a few years and see the glory of God manifested in our lives. Sure, the unbelievers seem to get away with disobedience and rebellion. But wait just a moment and you will see how they are destroyed by their own deception. Sure, I have been tempted by envy as I saw the prosperity of the wicked. But wait just a few years and you will see that their prosperity comes to nothing while we will inherit the streets of gold. Listen to the conclusion of this great psalm: “You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory”; and to conclude he said; “But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds” (Psalm 24; 28). If we want to have a proper and sober perspective about life, we need to stay “near God” or in fellowship with God.