Psalms 73:13-28 “Truly God Is Good to Israel…”

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Psa 73:13-28 “Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart”

Sometime ago we talked about how God is flushing Adam in us out of the garden as stated in Genesis 3:9.

[see Part 1 of Psalm 51].

He calls both Adam and Eve (because they are one in purpose and corrupt spirit) out of the garden. Adam represents ‘another Jesus’ leading Eve who represents the church in the wilderness, which must come out of this garden where we hide from our Lord, and is brought into giving an accounting of our actions unto the Lord (Rom 14:11, Php 2:11).

This cleansing process of being dragged to Christ to give an accounting is God’s goodness to Israel (of verse 1) and is the way in which He creates a new heart within His people in this age (Eze 36:26). Everything prior to pentecost that looks like this accounting is only a type and shadow of the true dragging to our Lord that leads to deep repentance and fruit being borne (Mat 3:8).

We will now look at how the process of being dragged to Christ is one that has the aim of completely humbling the first man Adam within us, bringing us to understand that we are the workmanship of His hands being formed for His purpose, which is to make us fishers of men who will be able to apply this same merciful process that we are so blessed to be enduring today (Joh 6:44, Mat 4:19).

The elect will narrowly escape (1Co 3:15), as scripture declares, and that escape from a physical perspective will feel very narrow; but from God’s perspective, who has declared the end from the beginning, this escape is certain (Heb 12:2, Php 4:13) and accomplishes exactly what God deems needful and necessary for us to become compassionate and merciful kings and priests of God, who come to learn, deeply and personally, of His working within our hearts. It is an exercise for both personal deliverance and collective deliverance that can only unfold because of the grace and faith being given to God’s elect today in advance of all the rest of the world.

These following verses speak very powerfully of where God brings us all so that we know that it is Him alone who can create within us a “clean heart” which is formed through fiery trials that bring us to cry out unto our deliverer:

Mat 8:24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
Mat 8:25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
Mat 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
Mat 8:27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

Psa 107:23 They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
Psa 107:24 These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.
Psa 107:25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
Psa 107:26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
Psa 107:27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.
Psa 107:28 Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
Psa 107:29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
Psa 107:30 Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
Psa 107:31 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Psa 73:13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.
Psa 73:14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.
Psa 73:15 If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.
Psa 73:16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;

Here is the great conflict which we all face at first when we come into the knowledge of the true God. We look at our families and friends and former church members who we know and love and want with all our hearts to receive the word grafted into their hearts as the Lord is doing with us (Rom 11:19, Jas 1:21). After witnessing and being rejected, we struggle with the fact that we know something so great and profound and have suffered for being plagued and chastened “every morning” and yet this generation of “thy children” doesn’t care what we have to say.

Eventually God brings a balance into our hearts where we realize that this is “the day of small things” (Zec 4:10) and that we are not to despise their blindness or their inability to receive the witness that God brings to them through us (2Co 4:4, Joh 9:3). They are serving us in their unbelief, and we are recognizing the incredible privilege that has been given to us: to be grafted in as ‘the generation of thy children’ in the positive sense of the word, and not as the generation of children that we used to be part of when we walked after our former conversation (Eph 4:22). God is dealing with our conceit (Rom 11:25) and making us see that the dragging and converting are His alone to do, and yet when He deems that we have tried fishing long enough by our own power, then we hear our Master tell us where and when and how to cast the net as true fishers of men, which is what He has always been working toward in each of our lives (Joh 21:6, Mat 4:19).

With all this mind it truly is “too painfulH5999 for me” at the start. A look at how this H5999 is translated elsewhere tells us clearly why that is: H5999 = grievance, grievousness, iniquity, labor, mischief, miserable, misery, pain, painful, perverseness, sorrow, toil, travail, trouble, wearisome, wickedness.

So we do understand that it is by tried faith that these trials exercise in us that we will come to a place where we “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice” (Php 4:4) for the wondrous works that the Lord is working in each of our lives to prepare us to be saviours or fishers of men of this world.

Psa 73:17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.
Psa 73:18 Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.
Psa 73:19 How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.
Psa 73:20 As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.

This is the turning point for ‘Asaph’ [see last week’s study and reflection on verse 1 at Psalm 73:1-13] as we recognize that there is an end to all flesh and that God has set the ungodly in “slippery places” (H2513: flattery, smooth things: Psa 12:3) that casts them down from their ‘high places’ to destruction (the ‘day of the Lord’: Zep 1:15, 2Ti 3:1, Luk 21:20).

When our old man is destroyed, we are “brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors” like Saul of Tarsus that we are (Act 9:6).

The waking from the dream spoken of in verse 20 is a dream that is one, and one that we must live and experience. So we have the parable of the wise and foolish virgins of whom we are both in our appointed time (Mat 25:2). All idols, the lusts and pride and greed and violence and highmindedness and so on – the first heaven and the first earth (Rev 21:1) – will pass away like dreams do once we awaken (Rev 20:5), and all shall be judged that is “despised” (Num 15:31, Rev 20:13-14).

Psa 73:21 Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins.
Psa 73:22 So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.

When we are being brought to our wits’ end, we need to be mindful that such a brother or sister is going to have a heart that is “grieved” just as ours has been and will be. We will feel “pricked in my reins” because of the foolish and ignorant way that the Lord has allowed us to carry on before Him, even as a brute beast [for more insight on the “Behemoth” of Job 40 – see ].

We truly do need to anoint each other through our walk and reassure each other when we do fall and come back with a repentant and contrite heart. If we don’t afford this mercy to others, God will not afford it to us (Mat 5:7, Jas 2:13).

Psa 73:23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.
Psa 73:24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.
Psa 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

After God brings us back to our senses through judgment, we feel held up by God – or as the Psalmist says, “thou hast holden me by my right hand”. God’s right hand produces the fruits brought out in this verse.

2Co 7:11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

We are reminded again of the importance of seeking wise counsel through the church, the body of Christ, as we go from glory to glory, being received to that glory which God gives to those in whom He is making a clean heart in this generation.

“Where will we go then” the Psalmist says – “you have the words of eternal life” – or “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee?”

Psa 73:26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
Psa 73:27 For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.
Psa 73:28 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.

My heart fails, and that is exactly the point of this whole study. Our hearts fail “but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever“, and He is going to show the world how He can cleanse the bride of Christ and make her ready as He demonstrates to all of Israel [the world] how truly good He is to those who are of a clean heart.

Rev 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

Psa 73:1 A Psalm of Asaph. Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.

Luk 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

God has blessed us to see that He is destroying that part of us that “go a whoring from thee”, and that when we draw near to Him and put our trust in “the Lord God”, we will not only overcome and be able to resist the adversary but also be more than conquerors through him [kings and priests in the making] because He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world (1Jn 4:4).

Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

1Jn 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

In time we will “declare all thy works”, and the world will discern and understand “Truly God is good to Israel [the Israel of God], even to such as are of a clean heart”.

Mal 3:18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

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