Study Guide – Psalm 73:1-12

Psalm73-1-12

 

1 Truly God is good to Israel,
    to those whose hearts are pure.
2 But as for me, I almost lost my footing.
    My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.
3 For I envied the proud
    when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.
4 They seem to live such painless lives;
    their bodies are so healthy and strong.
5 They don’t have troubles like other people;
    they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else.
6 They wear pride like a jeweled necklace
    and clothe themselves with cruelty.
7 These fat cats have everything
    their hearts could ever wish for!
8 They scoff and speak only evil;
    in their pride they seek to crush others.
9 They boast against the very heavens,
    and their words strut throughout the earth.
10 And so the people are dismayed and confused,
    drinking in all their words.
11 “What does God know?” they ask.
    “Does the Most High even know what’s happening?”
12 Look at these wicked people—
    enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply. NLT

 

What kind of heart does God honor? How does that kind of heart show itself?

 

What does the writer of this psalm confess in verses 2-3? How does this contrast with verse 1?

 

In verses 4-9 the writer describes why he was envious of the “proud”? Identify and describe all the ways in these verses that the “proud” prove themselves to be the opposite of the “pure”:

 

            v.4

 

            v.5

 

            v.6

 

            v.7

 

            v.8

 

            v.9

 

 

Look at verse 10-11. Why does the behavior of the “proud” confuse the way people think they should live?

 

Almost as if he’s throwing up his hands in frustration, the writer of this psalm makes one more cynical comment about the “proud”. How does verse 12 reveal the inner struggle of the writer?

 

Why is it so hard to have a pure heart in our society today?

 

::::: APPLICATION CHALLENGE :::::

Envy is a very real struggle that impacts the purity of our heart and also our perspective on how we should live. In what ways are you tempted to justify certain patterns in your life so that you can live “proud”?

 

::::: DIGGING DEEPER :::::

*Background Info: Psalm 73 begins the third “book” within the Psalms (chapters 73-89). This psalm is attributed to Asaph, a prolific Levite who authored numerous psalms focused on God’s rule over both the macro (big picture) and micro (personal) aspects of life.

Related articles

Study Guide – Psalm 129
Study Guide – Psalm 21
Study Guide – Psalm 72:1-7
Study Guide – Psalm 1
Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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