Contentment – the Antidote to the Poison of Comparison

In Psalm 73 the writer wrestles with the injustice he witnessed in the world.

Three verses from this song will enable us to join the psalmist on his journey from comparison to contentment.

1. Comparison

“…I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”

Psalm 73:3

In Proverbs and throughout the Bible we see a sharp distinction made between the wise and the foolish. The foolish have rejected God and embraced sin. They either outright deny God’s existence or live as if He did not see their actions.

As the psalmist looks at them it seems they enjoy good health, no troubles, they hold positions of authority, they openly rebel against God, they’re wealthy, and a vein of pride runs through them as they attribute it all to their own greatness (Psalm 73:1-12)

2. Crises

“Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.”

Psalm 73:17

Asaph, this psalmist, reached a point of crises. He chose the way of righteousness and it felt like suffering and sorrow were his rewards (Psalm 73:13).

What should he do? Join the wicked or look to God?

At this crossroads, he made the right choice and looked to God, He went to the sanctuary, and there God gave him peace.

He understood that the few years of pleasure in this life that the wicked enjoyed would seem like nothing compared to the eternity of judgment they faced. They lived on a slippery slope and at any moment could fall into destruction (Psalm 73:18-20).

In those times when he compared himself to the wicked and complained about his state, he was like an animal in his limited understanding (Psalm 73:21-22).

3. Contentment

“But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.”

Psalm 73:28

Asaph’s crises turned when he looked to the Lord, and as a consequence, he found rest and contentment.

He understood God stood by his side, God guided and upheld him and when his pilgrimage ended God would receive him into glory (Psalm 73:23-24)!

Asaph found peace in the realization that God was his only eternal help and hope, and his greatest need in this life was met by God alone (Psalm 73:25).

Asaph found strength in God when he stopped relying upon his own strength (Psalm 73:26).

In the end, when he concluded God was all he had, he understood God was all he needed. He chose to trust. At this point, where he had perceived only a drought of good things, he suddenly sees a tidal wave of God’s blessings and joyfully proclaims that he will declare all God’s works (Psalm 73:28)!

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