Book 3 (Psalms 73-89)
A psalm by Asaph.
73:1 Certainly God is good to Israel,
and to those whose motives are pure!
73:2 But as for me, my feet almost slipped;
my feet almost slid out from under me.
73:3 For I envied those who are proud,
as I observed the prosperity of the wicked.
73:4 For they suffer no pain;
their bodies are strong and well-fed.
73:5 They are immune to the trouble common to men;
they do not suffer as other men do.
73:6 Arrogance is their necklace,
and violence their clothing.
73:7 Their prosperity causes them to do wrong;
their thoughts are sinful.
73:8 They mock and say evil things;
they proudly threaten violence.
73:9 They speak as if they rule in heaven,
and lay claim to the earth.
73:10 Therefore they have more than enough food to eat,
and even suck up the water of the sea.
73:11 They say, “How does God know what we do?
Is the sovereign one aware of what goes on?”
73:12 Take a good look! This is what the wicked are like,
those who always have it so easy and get richer and richer.
73:13 I concluded, “Surely in vain I have kept my motives pure
and maintained a pure lifestyle.
73:14 I suffer all day long,
and am punished every morning.”
73:15 If I had publicized these thoughts,
I would have betrayed your loyal followers.
73:16 When I tried to make sense of this,
it was troubling to me.
73:17 Then I entered the precincts of God’s temple,
and understood the destiny of the wicked.
73:18 Surely you put them in slippery places;
you bring them down to ruin.
73:19 How desolate they become in a mere moment!
Terrifying judgments make their demise complete!
73:20 They are like a dream after one wakes up.
O Lord, when you awake you will despise them.
73:21 Yes, my spirit was bitter,
and my insides felt sharp pain.
73:22 I was ignorant and lacked insight;
I was as senseless as an animal before you.
73:23 But I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
73:24 You guide me by your wise advice,
and then you will lead me to a position of honor.
73:25 Whom do I have in heaven but you?
I desire no one but you on earth.
73:26 My flesh and my heart may grow weak,
but God always protects my heart and gives me stability.
73:27 Yes, look! Those far from you die;
you destroy everyone who is unfaithful to you.
73:28 But as for me, God’s presence is all I need.
I have made the sovereign LORD my shelter,
as I declare all the things you have done.