Ps 73:1-28. Of Asaph—(see Introduction). God is good to His
people. For although the prosperity of the wicked, and the
afflictions of the righteous, tempted the Psalmist to misgivings of
God's government, yet the sudden and fearful ruin of the ungodly, seen
in the light of God's revelation, reassures his heart; and, chiding
himself for his folly, he is led to confide renewedly in God, and
celebrate His goodness and love.
1. The abrupt announcement of the theme
indicates that it is the conclusion of a perplexing mental conflict,
which is then detailed (compare Jer 12:1-4).
Truly—or, "Surely it is so."
clean heart—(Ps 18:26) describes the true Israel.
2. The figures express his wavering faith, by
terms denoting tottering and weakness (compare Ps 22:5; 62:3).
3-9. The prosperous wicked are insolently
proud (compare Ps 5:5). They
die, as well as live, free from perplexities: pride adorns them, and
violence is their clothing; indeed they are inflated with unexpected
success. With all this—
8. They are corrupt—or, literally, "they
deride," they speak maliciously and arrogantly and invade even heaven
with blasphemy (Re 13:6), and
cover earth with slanders (Job 21:7-14).
10-12. Hence God's people are confounded,
turned hither (or back) and thither, perplexed with doubts of God's
knowledge and care, and filled with sorrow.
12. prosper in the word—literally,
"secure for ever."
13, 14. The Psalmist, partaking of these
troubles, is especially disturbed in view of his own case, that with
all his diligent efforts for a holy life, he is still sorely tried.
15. Freed from idiomatic phrases, this verse
expresses a supposition, as, "Had I thus spoken, I should," &c.,
intimating that he had kept his troubles to himself.
generation of thy children—Thy people
16, 17. Still he—
thought—literally, "studied," or,
"pondered this riddle"; but in vain; it remained a toil (compare
Margin), till he—
17. went into the sanctuary—to enquire
(compare Ex 25:22; Ps 5:7; 27:4).
18-20. their end—future (Ps 37:37, 38), which is dismal and terribly
sudden (Pr 1:27; 29:1), aggravated and hastened by terror. As
one despises an unsubstantial dream, so God, waking up to judgment
7:6; 44:23), despises their
vain shadow of happiness (Ps 39:6; Isa 29:7). They are thrown into ruins as a
building falling to pieces (Ps 74:3).
21, 22. He confesses how—
foolish—literally, "stupid," and
ignorant—literally, "not discerning,"
had been his course of thought.
22. before thee—literally, "with Thee,"
in conduct respecting Thee.
23. Still he was with God, as a
dependent beneficiary, and so kept from falling (Ps 73:2).
24. All doubts are silenced in confidence of
divine guidance and future glory.
receive me to glory—literally, "take
for (me) glory" (compare Ps 68:18; Eph 4:8).
25, 26. God is his only satisfying good.
26. strength—literally, "rock" (Ps 18:2).
portion—(Ps 16:5; La
27, 28. The lot of apostates, described by a
figure of frequent use (Jer 3:1, 3; Eze 23:35), is contrasted with his, who finds
happiness in nearness to God (Jas 4:8), and his delightful work the
declaration of His praise.