Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand.Psalm 73:23(NASB)
We have a peep into the heart of Asaph in Psalm 73. He was both a skilled singer and gifted poet as well as being entrusted with certain prophetic utterances. This man knows in his heart that God is good to the people of Israel and to those who are pure in heart, but he seems to be struggling with his faith.
Although declaring his confidence in God in the first verse, he continues by confessing that his trust was faltering. Asaph's inner conflict becomes increasingly evident as he describes how envious he is of the prosperity of the wicked. He laments that while evil men manage to avoid problems and pain, both in life and in death - difficulties, dangers, poverty, and pain, stalk his own peculiar path, and the lives of all the godly.
Asaph complains that the arrogance of evil men is a necklace they proudly wear, while they cover themselves with a garment of violence. He protests that they are wealthy beyond compare, mock the people of God, allow the imagination of their heart to run riot, and have even set themselves against the most high God.
Asaph certainly "waxed lyrical" with his complaint against evil, ungodly men, who drink the waters of abundance and increase their wealth at the expense of others. However, he does not continue to focus on the advantages of the successful sinner while bemoaning the severe disadvantages of those that are righteous, and keep their hearts pure. Instead, he starts to ponder on his foolish fancies and the bitter future these evil men must face.
During his ill-considered rantings, Asaph began to admit his own stupidity and lack of spiritual understanding. It was when he entered the Sanctuary of the Lord that he finally confessed. "I was like an unthinking animal toward You," he cried. He suddenly came to understand that the precious promises of God towards His people are everlasting, but the wicked will be swept away by terrors... for the wages of sin is eternal condemnation and separation from God.
As quickly as he considered the destiny of the wicked, Asaph admitted the glorious benefits that belong to those that know their God. "Yet I am always with You," he admitted, "and You hold my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel," he continued, "and afterward You will take me up into glory."
Every man has the free-will to chose to do the good and eschew the evil or harden their heart to all that is holy and true. To follow after the self-indulgent, glamour and 'glitz' of this fallen, cursed world, is a choice of the will. However, the choices every man must make in this world, have eternal consequences. He must choose between life and death, light and darkness, good or evil, blessings or cursings, forgiveness or condemnation, - salvation or destruction.
While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with wealth or success, it is a tool that is often used by the enemy to tempt men away from seeking the Lord. There is nothing evil about prosperity or creature comforts when treated righteously, but too often 'the good life' causes us to trust in worldly riches rather than placing our trust in the Lord.
Hearts can quickly become covetous, infected with greed, and hardened against the Lord, and all that is good and true. As the fleshpots of the world become increasing attractive so ungodliness escalates... because sin conflicts with godliness. The born-again spirit lusts against the fallen nature and the flesh lusts against the spirit.
Instead of storing up treasure in heaven, there is a danger that the things of this dying world become of greater importance than our eternal destiny. Asaph was a man who was brought to this startling realisation, when he began to be resentful of the lifestyle of the wicked and covet the riches of ungodly men - UNTIL he considered their terrifying end.
Asaph wisely began to reflect on the many precious promises that were his, by faith. We who have been saved by grace through faith in Christ, should do the same. The overabundance of God's blessings, both now and in the future, do not translate into the glittering prizes this world affords. Nevertheless, we have received many precious promises that far outweigh the trivial trinkets this world offers - for He is with us and will never leave us nor forsake us. God is our Strength and Stay, our Shepherd and Shield, our Protector and Provider, our Defence and Defender, our blessed Hope and the God of our salvation.
Praise God that today, and into the eternal ages to come, our feet stand securely on His sufficient strength, His right-hand takes hold of our right hand as He holds us through every eventuality of life. "Fear not... I the Lord thy Lord will hold they right hand," was the promise given through Isaiah and Jesus confirmed that nothing can pluck us out of His hand and no one can snatch us from His Father's hand.
Praise God that He is continually with us to lead and to guide, to comfort and heal, to instruct and correct, to have and to hold. Praise God that we have nothing to fear, for He holds us securely in His palm of His hand and protects us in the cleft of the ROCK.
Heavenly Father, as I consider the destructive end of those that reject Your offer of salvation to secure the passing trinkets of this life, how I praise and thank You that You are with me continually. Thank You that You have taken hold of my right hand and have promised never to leave me nor forsake me. Keep me from hankering after the things of this world which are passing away like the morning mist. Keep my eyes ever looking to Jesus, for He alone is worthy of all praise and glory, not only in this world but in the ages to come. This I pray in His precious name, AMEN.
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