Psalm 73

This is a psalm that Asaph wrote.

God has helped me to understand

73:1This is a psalm by Asaph, or his group. The writer saw that bad people often had plenty of money. They did not have trouble in their lives. Would it be better for him to be bad? Then he went into God's house. There he understood that bad people were not really in a good, safe place, as it seemed. God would take care of his own people, even if they had problems.

1 God is truly good to the people of Israel,

to people who want to serve him honestly.

2 But this is what happened to me:

I nearly slipped and fell over.

I could no longer stand properly.

3 When I saw that wicked people had plenty of things,

I was jealous of those proud people.

4 Their bodies are fat and strong,

and they feel no pain in their lives.

5 They do not have trouble like other people.

They seem to have no problems.

6 Their pride is like their necklace.

They like to be cruel,

as they like to wear clothes.

7 Their greedy eyes lead them into sin.

Their minds think of evil things to do.

8 They laugh at people

and they say bad things about them.

They proudly speak about cruel things

that they want to do to people.

9 They think that they rule in heaven,

as well as on the earth!

10 As a result, God's people become confused,

and they listen to them.

They think that everything is true

that those wicked people say.

73:10This is a difficult verse to understand in Hebrew.

11 They say, ‘Does God really know what we do?

Does the Most High God know everything?’

12 Take a good look,

and see how wicked those people are!

They have no troubles,

and they become richer and richer.

13 I decided that I had tried to do what is right,

but it did not help me at all!

I had refused to do anything wrong,

for no good reason!

14 I had trouble each and every day.

Punishment came to me every morning!

15 If I had spoken aloud things like that,

I would have turned against your own people.

16 When I thought about all this,

it was so hard for me to understand.

17 But I went into your temple, God.

Then I understood what would happen

to wicked people in the end.

18 Yes, I realized that they are in a dangerous place,

where they will easily slip.

You will cause them to fall down to their death.

19 It will take just a moment to destroy them!

Great fear will sweep them away!

20 They will completely disappear,

like a dream disappears after you wake up.

Lord, when you decide to do something,

you will forget that they were there!

21 I was very upset,

and my thoughts were confused.

22 I was stupid,

and I did not understand you properly.

I was no better than an animal.

23 But I am always near to you.

You hold my right hand,

as my guide.

24 You teach me the right way to go,

and you will lead me to glory.

73:24For the writer of the psalm, this probably meant that people would respect him again as a good person. But it also means that God will take his people to heaven to be with him for ever.

25 You are the only one in heaven or on earth

that I need to help me.

You are the only one that I want.

26 My body and my mind may become weak,

but God will always keep me safe and strong.

27 Those people who stay far away from you will die.

You destroy everybody who turns away from you.

28 But as for me, it is good for me to stay near to God.

I have gone to the Lord God

as the place where I can be safe.

I will tell people about the great things that you have done.