Psalms 73 – 89
A psalm of Asaph.
1 Surely God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold.
3 For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 They have no struggles;
their bodies are healthy and strong.[a]
5 They are free from common human burdens;
they are not plagued by human ills.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace;
they clothe themselves with violence.
7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity;[b]
their evil imaginations have no limits.
8 They scoff, and speak with malice;
with arrogance they threaten oppression.
9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven,
and their tongues take possession of the earth.
10 Therefore their people turn to them
and drink up waters in abundance.[c]
11 They say, ‘How would God know?
Does the Most High know anything?’
12 This is what the wicked are like –
always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
and have washed my hands in innocence.
14 All day long I have been afflicted,
and every morning brings new punishments.
15 If I had spoken out like that,
I would have betrayed your children.
16 When I tried to understand all this,
it troubled me deeply
17 till I entered the sanctuary of God;
then I understood their final destiny.
18 Surely you place them on slippery ground;
you cast them down to ruin.
19 How suddenly are they destroyed,
completely swept away by terrors!
20 They are like a dream when one awakes;
when you arise, Lord,
you will despise them as fantasies.
21 When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterwards you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion for ever.
27 Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 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.
The End of the Wicked Contrasted with That of the Righteous.
A Psalm of Asaph.
1Truly God is good to Israel,
To those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,
My steps had almost slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant
As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For there are no pains in their death,
Their body is fat and pampered.
They are not in trouble as other men,
Nor are they plagued like mankind.
Therefore pride is their necklace;
Violence covers them like a garment [like a long, luxurious robe].
Their eye bulges from fatness [they have more than the heart desires];
The imaginations of their mind run riot [with foolishness].
They mock and wickedly speak of oppression;
They speak loftily [with malice].
They set their mouth against the heavens,
And their tongue swaggers through the earth.
Therefore his people return to this place,
And waters of abundance [offered by the irreverent] are [blindly] drunk by them.
They say, “How does God know?
Is there knowledge [of us] with the Most High?”
Behold, these are the ungodly,
Who always prosper and are at ease [in the world]; they have increased in wealth.
Surely then in vain I have cleansed my heart
And washed my hands in innocence.
For all the day long have I been stricken,
And punished every morning.
If I had said, “I will say this,” [and expressed my feelings],
I would have betrayed the generation of Your children.
When I considered how to understand this,
It was too great an effort for me and too painful
Until I came into the sanctuary of God;
Then I understood [for I considered] their end.
Surely You set the wicked-minded and immoral on slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.
How they are destroyed in a moment!
They are completely swept away by sudden terrors!
Like a dream [which seems real] until one awakens,
O Lord, when stirred, [You observe the wicked], You will despise their image.
When my heart was embittered
And I was pierced within [as with the fang of an adder],
Then I was senseless and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
You will guide me with Your counsel,
And afterward receive me to honor and glory.
Whom have I in heaven [but You]?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the rock and strength of my heart and my portion forever.
For behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful and have abandoned You.
But as for me, it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge and placed my trust in Him,
That I may tell of all Your works.