Psalm 73 is a psalm we can all relate to.
Asaph knew that God is good especially to those who are pure in heart. Yet, he struggled with the notion that those who did not know God were healthy and prosperous and observing them was causing him to stumble. It seemed that they have received the better lot no matter how sinful their lifestyle is and how much they hold the Lord Almighty in utter contempt.
The wicked seemed to be carefree and rich.
As Asaph looked around, thoughts came to his mind. Thoughts that many of us have entertained –
“Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
and have washed my hands in innocence.
All day long I have been afflicted,
and every morning brings new punishments.”
In times of deep anguish, many of us ask ourselves if it is really worth following Christ. I know this thought ran through Job’s mind (Job 34:9; 35:3). Admittedly, it has also ran through mine.
Instead of voicing out these thoughts, though, Asaph, being a Levite, offered sacrifices and entered the sanctuary of God. And there he gained understanding. He gained a perspective on eternity and that judgement will certainly come upon the wicked.
Harboring those feelings of envy towards the wicked and condemning God for the injustice, Asaph considered himself ignorant, even rapacious. Because the truth is that God is faithful, and it is good to be near God, to find refuge in Him and to be content in Him.
As Christians, we have been blessed with the Holy Spirit and the wonderful privilege of having access to the throne of grace and mercy – the Most Holy Place. Unlike Asaph, there is no need for us to bring sacrifices to go to God because Jesus is our one-time sacrifice. Unlike Asaph, we, who are in Christ, have freedom and confidence to approach God.
Therefore, at any time, especially during times of affliction, let us remember God’s love and faithfulness and enter His sanctuary where we will find peace and joy.
In my own life there came a time when despite sharing the gospel, discipling my children and praying for our marriage, nothing seemed to be going right. I was so discouraged and thoughts of giving up my Christian walk bombarded me. But I turned to the Lord and declared (just as Simon Peter did in John 6:68), “Lord, to whom shall I go? You have the words of eternal life. I have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
So by the grace of God, I pressed on. Blinded with tears and with pain searing my heart, I entered the sanctuary of God.
My life was never the same after that. I have learned that the presence of God is the most precious thing and that is where I choose to dwell.
If something is going on in your life and your world seems to be falling apart, do not look around you especially to those who do not know God. Do not turn away from Him who loves you. Instead, go into His presence. He alone has the words of eternal life.
“Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.”
– Rochelle Mendoza