73:1 A Psalm of Asaph. Truly a God [is] good to Israel, [even] to such as are of a clean heart.
(a) As it were between hope and despair he bursts forth into this affection, being assured that God would continue his favour toward such as were godly indeed, and not hypocrites. 73:4 For [there are] b no bands in their death: but their strength [is] firm.
(b) The wicked in this life live at pleasure and are not drawn to death like prisoners: that is, by sickness which is deaths messenger. 73:6 c Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them [as] a garment.
(c) They glory in their pride as some do in their chains, and in cruelty, as some do in apparel. 73:9 They d set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.
(d) They blaspheme God, and do not fear his power and rail upon men, because they esteem themselves above all others. 73:10 Therefore his e people return hither: and waters of a full [cup] are wrung out to them.
(e) Not only the reprobate, but also the people of God often fall back seeing the prosperous estate of the wicked, and are overwhelmed with sorrows, thinking that God does not correctly consider the estate of the godly. 73:11 And they f say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?
(f) Thus the flesh moves even the godly to dispute with God concerning their poor estate, and the prosperity of the wicked. 73:15 If I say, g I will speak thus; behold, I should offend [against] the generation of thy children.
(g) If I give place to this wicked thought, I offend against your providence, seeing you do all things most wisely and preserve your children in their greatest dangers. 73:17 Until I went into the h sanctuary of God; [then] understood I their end.
(h) Until I entered into your school and learned by your word and Holy Spirit that you order all things most wisely and justly. 73:19 How are they [brought] into desolation, as in a moment! they are i utterly consumed with terrors.
(i) By your fearful judgment. 73:20 As a dream when [one] awaketh; [so], O Lord, when k thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.
(k) When you open our eyes to consider your heavenly happiness, we contemn all their vain pomp. 73:22 So foolish [was] I, and ignorant: I was [as] a l beast before thee.
(l) For the more that man goes about by his own reason to seek out Gods judgments, the more he declares himself a beast. 73:23 Nevertheless I [am] continually m with thee: thou hast holden [me] by my right hand.
(m) By faith I was assured that your providence always watched over me to preserve me. 73:25 Whom have I in n heaven [but thee]? and [there is] none upon earth [that] I desire beside thee.
(n) He sought neither help nor comfort of any save God only. 73:26 My flesh and my heart faileth: [but] God [is] the strength of my heart, and my o portion for ever.
(o) He teaches us to deny ourselves, to have God our whole sufficiency, and only contentment. 73:27 For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that p go a whoring from thee.
(p) That is, forsake you to seek others. 73:28 But [it is] good for me q to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.
(q) Though all the world shrinks from God, yet he promises to trust in him and to magnify his works.