A Heavenly Perspective

June 24, 2024
Gary McBride

A suitable outline for Psalm 73 is:
An outward look (vv.4-11)
An inward look (vv.2-3,14-16)
An upward look (vv.17-20)
A forward look (vv.21-28)


Asaph had sound theology as seen in his statement “truly God is good to Israel, to such as are pure in heart.” This is a truth he grew up with and as a worship leader in the temple, he would have often proclaimed and affirmed it. As a parallel, the believer today also knows that “God is good.” However, we have a fuller revelation. We know God offers His peace to us, that our future is secure, and that God is sovereign over this world. We also know that things will deteriorate morally and spiritually in the last days.


Asaph was torn apart on the inside because he started focusing on the world around him. In his case he was envious of the wealthy people who were also evil in their dealings. He could not understand why these people had few worries and lacked the troubles that plagued other people. They were characterized by pride, violence, abundance, and blasphemy. They went so far as to mock God. They were ungodly, and yet they continued to prosper financially and materially.

Asaph confessed that his feet almost stumbled as these conditions began to affect his outlook on life (v.3). He knew he could not verbalize his doubts and thoughts but had to keep them to himself (v.15). As a result, the situation became too painful for him, in that he was being torn apart emotionally as he was consumed by envy (v.14).

In the Psalms, Asaph is not alone in this predicament. David (Psa. 37) and the Sons of Korah (Psa. 49) also expressed similar thoughts. Some of the prophets expressed the same perspective (ex. Habakkuk). The world around them seemed to contradict their theology, in particular the premise that God was good to His people. The circumstances around them affected their perspective and caused doubts to arise.


Asaph did not have an answer, so he changed his position by going into the presence of God. He realized he needed to have God’s Word as his guide. What a transformation took place in Asaph’s world view. He now recognized the imminent danger these wicked people faced as he came to understand their end.

The wicked were in slippery places and headed for destruction. There was desolation and there were terrors ahead for them. These people were not to be envied but rather, in light of where they were headed, they were to be pitied. They would experience an eternal separation from God. He later said, “For indeed, those who are far from you shall perish” (v.27).


God’s revelation in the sanctuary made Asaph realize his error. He felt a sense of grief and sorrow. He repented by admitting he had been foolish and ignorant to have had such thoughts about the wicked people he was observing.
In light of this revelation, his perspective changed. The world around him and the wealthy wicked were still there but Asaph had changed on the inside. Time with the Lord and a different perspective radically transformed Asaph’s thinking. He moved from being controlled by feelings to resting on facts and then to responding in faith.


Instead of being controlled by his emotions, he now thought rationally and acknowledged that he had an unbreakable relationship with God. The same is true for us as well for we have the assurance of Christ. He is our hope of glory, and He promises us that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5). Asaph also affirmed God’s direction in his life. God held his hand and guided him with His counsel. We also have the assurance that the Spirit guides, directs and gives us comfort. Further, he knew his destiny was to be in the presence of God forever (vv.23-24). The same is true for us. Our citizenship is in heaven and so is our future home. I once heard this encouraging outline: “we have the guarantee of His presence, the grasp of His hand, the guidance of His counsel, and His glory to follow.”

With the change of focus, Asaph saw that his relationship with God gave him all he needed and could ever want. The wicked may have riches but Asaph had an eternal relationship and a wealth the world cannot fathom. He could draw near to God (v.28) and proclaim that God is indeed good, thus taking himself back to the start of the Psalm. He put his trust in the Lord and was now determined to declare the works of God.


Many believers today are consumed with what they see, either in the news, on-line, or in their own city. Like Asaph, many wonder that if God is good, then why are all these wicked and immoral things going on around us. Some believers feel that their only hope is a change in government and that perhaps a different person in power would usher in a godlier environment.

For us the answer is the same as Asaph discovered. A focus on circumstances will result in discouragement, whereas a focus on Christ will bring delight to the child of God. We should go to the Word of God for insight and a godly perspective. Our concern should be for the souls of men and women who are headed to a lost eternity. The world around us is not likely to change or get better, but we can change as we focus on the benefits and beauty of our relationship with the Lord. Instead of feelings being in control, we can focus on facts and respond in faith. When considering Asaph’s experience, I am reminded of the following poem by an unknown author:

Three men were walking on a wall,

Feeling, Faith, and Fact.

When Feeling took an awful fall,

And Faith was taken back.

So close was Faith to Feeling,

He stumbled and fell too.

But Fact remained and pulled Faith back,