Daily Archives: February 12, 2014

When You Get a Raw Deal Part 2

Scripture: Psalm 73

Asaph’s Raw Deal

Take a look at v. 1: “God is indeed good to Israel, to the pure in heart.” Asaph is acknowledging what Hebrews 11:6 names as the very essence of faith. “Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.” Asaph believes God exists, that He is good and sovereign over all.

But Asaph is in trouble. In v. 2, he says, “But as for me, my feet almost slipped; my steps nearly went astray.” “I nearly lost my grip on what I believe. I tripping over something that just doesn’t make sense! It’s not fair.”

This God-inspired worship leader is ready to walk away. He’s on the edge of throwing in the towel. And he doesn’t keep the cause of his troubles a secret. Look at v. 3: “For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” Asaph had been checking out the people playing for the other team. He was watching how the ungodly were getting along. He probably didn’t do this purposefully at the beginning. Maybe he was sitting at the doctor’s office one day and started thumbing through a magazine that featured celebrity homes. Or maybe he does business with an ungodly person in town who seems to have the Midas touch. I don’t know how it started. I just know that suddenly, Asaph started paying attention, and his confusion deepened.

To get insight into Asaph’s struggle here, notice four key words in v. 3. Two of the words refer to the people he had been tracking. They are arrogant and wicked, he said. Arrogant refers to people who make sure people notice them and what they have. Wicked emphasizes the guilt of those who are actively choosing that which is offensive to God. Asaph has his eye on the celebrities of his day.

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When You Get a Raw Deal Part 1

Scripture: Psalm 73

Life has a way of suddenly altering its course down hard paths, leaving us hurt, confused and weak, with lots of unanswered questions.

What do you do when with your theology clashes with reality? How do you hold to the conviction that God is good when life stings? I want to talk with you about the hardest, the most painful, the worst days of your life. We’re going to say the things that sometimes go unsaid about our struggles, our depressions, when we feel so alone and have no ready answers.

To help us, we will turn to the Psalms, where the raw emotions of real people who just hit the wall are expressed and where deep reservoirs of truth are found that can help you through. And what we’ll see is that just when we think God is nowhere to be found, GOD IS CLOSER THAN YOU THINK.

Psalm 73 is the passage and the title is “When You Get a Raw Deal.” Anybody know what I’m talking about? When you did the right thing, but got the back of the hand anyway. Have you ever been betrayed? Ever been gossiped about? Who did you in financially? Who put the screws to you? Who did something unfair to you at work? Maybe it happened at home with a parent or grandparent, your husband or wife or best friend.

If you’ve ever had something happen to you that was out of human control but seemed so unfair that you don’t understand how a good God could let it happen, then you need to sit awhile with a choir director named Asaph. Asaph was one of three directors who worked under King David. He was one of the great worship leaders in the OT. And he’s about to get as real as it gets.

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Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

We are God’s temple! He lives in us and what we do in our bodies is part of our worship to him. We are called to not only abstain from impurity, but we are called to glorify God in our bodies.

Father, I confess to you that I sometimes lose sight of how precious my body is to you. With aging and the other challenges that daily remind me that my body is a vessel of decay, I find it hard to believe that I can glorify you with it. Please, through your indwelling Spirit, quicken in me a deeper reverence and appreciation of your presence in me. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.

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