When You Get a Raw Deal Part 5

Scripture: Psalm 73

Maybe you’re still struggling with the injustice you’ve been dealt and you’ve felt your commitment to God wane because of it. Before you bail out on God, Asaph wants you to sit with him and learn from his experiences. Consider this godly guidance when you get a raw deal.

I. Pour your heart out to God

This psalm is a brutally honest confessional, from the heart of Asaph to the God he felt had given him a rip off. He took his doubts and confusion to God in prayer. He didn’t pretend everything was okay. He did what Job did. Job was a righteous man who lost all his children, his possessions, and his health. In Job 29-31, this broken man struggles with the raw deal he received. He wrestles with the tension of holding onto God’s goodness and sovereignty while dealing the tragedies he was experiencing. And through it all, he stayed real with God. “God I’m so angry! I don’t understand what is happening or why! I want answers, God.” There is no record that God ever rebuffs Job for being honest.

In fact, God offers this invitation in Isaiah 43:26: “Take Me to court; let us argue our case together. State your [case], so that you may be vindicated.” Psalm 145:18 adds that “the Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.”

God is big enough to take your anger, your pain and your questions. So go ahead, tell Him about it. Don’t keep those emotions cooped up inside you, building layers of resentment and hardship between you and God. Stored up anger vents itself in headaches, ulcers, bitterness, resentment, private rehearsals of the injustice you’ve experienced and outbursts of anger that are disconnected from the real problem. Unload that acid. God is waiting to talk with you.

II. Weigh your choices carefully

In v. 12-14, Asaph’s envy had so taken his heart that he was fed up with living a godly life. He was angry and disillusioned. Still, in v. 15, he stops to consider the impact his next steps will have: “If I had said, ‘I will speak thus,’ I would have betrayed your children.” Asaph realized that if he went public with his inner struggles, letting his cynicism and anger out in words, he would become a tool of Satan’s for the ruin of God’s people.

How many rash words and unsifted actions have we wished to take back because of the negative consequences they brought about? We do things that brought regret and heartache because we didn’t stop to consider the consequences of our words and choices. Asaph paused to realize that his decisions will have ripple effects on others. I would urge you to follow his example, tracing the results your words and actions have on your family, friends, lost acquaintances and church.

III. Get the big picture

Here is where Asaph’s perspective is expanded. Listen to his words in v. 16-17: “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.” Asaph went to “church.” He brought his confusion under the truth of God. As long as Asaph tried to reason his way out of his troubled perception apart from God, he would hit his head against the wall. “It was oppressive to me,” he said. The envy he had of the wicked was like blinders to his eyes. All he could only see their immediate pleasure.

But in worship we see from God’s infinite perspective. You can sense this music director’s relief when he comes to worship. Everything changed. In the sanctuary God was his focus, not his problems. There he was reminded of God’s attributes, character and power. He could see both God’s judgment of sin as well as God’s solution offered to sinners. Eternity broke into his temporal perspective.

Verses 17-19 show us that Asaph was now seeing things differently. “Then I understood their final destiny. Surely You place them on slippery ground; You cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! Their prosperity is only temporary. They enjoy their sin for a time, perhaps from a human perspective for a lifetime. But from the perspective of eternity, from the point of view in worship, there is a quick ride to the bottom. Asaph realized that “the world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:17) God completely controls their destiny, not them. And their end will be terrible.

IV. Renew your relationship with God

Armed with a new perspective about God and this world, Asaph also sees himself clearly. Envy had poisoned him and had powerful effects on him. Listen to his confession in v. 21 “When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.” God, I was like an animal. What does he mean by this? Well have you ever watched your dog? Rover is only concerned with the immediate. He’s not thinking about tomorrow. His big concern is immediate gratification. Asaph confessed his self-pitying, self-centered bent. And then, in worship, he renews his relationship in praise:

Yet I am always with you; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from You will perish; You destroy all who are unfaithful to You. 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.

Asaph takes his raw deal to the right place and finds out that he didn’t have it bad after all. With an eternal perspective, everything looks different. God wants to do that for you.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

2 thoughts on “When You Get a Raw Deal Part 5

  1. Tshepo

    I needed this Devotion. It is part of what we go through everyday. Its amazing how life changes when you have a relationship with God. I bless God for his word.
    Amen!

    Like

    Reply

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