The Bad Sleep Well

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The Bad Sleep Well

(Psalm 73)

Andy Nagahara

A. Can God be trusted?

1. The mistrust in our hearts toward God (1-3)

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.

2. “The bad sleep well” (4-12)

4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. 
5 They are free from the burdens common to man; 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; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits. 
8 They scoff, and speak with malice; in their 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. 
11 They say, “How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?” 
12 This is what the wicked are like– always carefree, they increase in wealth. 

3. Continuing to question (13-17)

13 Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence.
14 All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning.
15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed your children.
16 When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me
17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.

B. It is good to be near God

1. I was the same as them (18-22)

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 As a dream when one awakes, so when you arise, O 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.

“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, `Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ (Luke 15:28-30)

2. With Jesus forever (23-28)

23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward 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 forever.
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.

“`My son,’ the father said, `you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.  But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” (Luke 15:31-32)


Why is it that the selfish prosper while my life is full of suffering even though I am a follower of God? Why shouldn’t I be like them and live a self-centered life? Everyone faces this doubt at one time or another. We doubt the new values system that God presents to us. If we cling to our old values, we might gain wealth and honor, but lose something far more precious.   

For Discussion

1) For what reason have you resented God recently?
2) What matters the most to you?