The End of the Wicked Contrasted with That of the Righteous.
A Psalm of Asaph.
73 Surely God is good to Israel, To those who are pure in heart! 2 But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling, My steps [a]had almost slipped. 3 For I was envious of the [b]arrogant As I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For there are no pains in their death, And their [c]body is fat. 5 They are not [d]in trouble as other[e]men, Nor are they plagued [f]like mankind. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; The garment of violence covers them. 7 Their eye [g]bulges from fatness; The imaginations of their heart [h]run riot. 8 They mock and [i]wickedly speak of oppression; They speak from on high. 9 They have set their mouth [j]against the heavens, And their tongue [k]parades through the earth.
10 Therefore [l]his people return to this place, And waters of abundance are [m]drunk by them. 11 They say, “How does God know? And is there knowledge [n]with the Most High?” 12 Behold, these are the wicked; And always at ease, they have increased in wealth. 13 Surely in vain I have [o]kept my heart pure And washed my hands in innocence; 14 For I have been stricken all day long And [p]chastened every morning.
15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,” Behold, I would have betrayed the generation of Your children. 16 When I pondered to understand this, It was [q]troublesome in my sight 17 Until I came into the [r]sanctuary of God; Then I perceived their end. 18 Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to [s]destruction. 19 How they are [t]destroyed in a moment! They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors! 20 Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when aroused, You will despise their [u]form.
21 When my heart was embittered And I was pierced [v]within, 22 Then I was senseless and ignorant; I was like[w]a beast [x]before You. 23 Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. 24 With Your counsel You will guide me, And afterward receive me [y]to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but You? And [z]besides You, I desire nothing on earth. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the [aa]strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 For, behold, those who are far from You will perish; You have [ab]destroyed all those who [ac]are unfaithful to You. 28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord [ad]God my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.
An Appeal against the Devastation of the Land by the Enemy.
74 O God, why have You rejected us forever? Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your [af]pasture? 2 Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old, Which You have redeemed to be the tribe of Your inheritance; And this Mount Zion, where You have dwelt. 3 [ag]Turn Your footsteps toward the perpetual ruins; The enemy has damaged everything within the sanctuary. 4 Your adversaries have roared in the midst of Your meeting place; They have set up their own [ah]standards for signs. 5 It seems as if one had lifted up His[ai]axe in a [aj]forest of trees. 6 And now [ak]all its carved work They smash with hatchet and [al]hammers. 7 They have [am]burned Your sanctuary [an]to the ground; They have defiled the dwelling place of Your name. 8 They said in their heart, “Let us [ao]completely [ap]subdue them.” They have burned all the meeting places of God in the land. 9 We do not see our signs; There is no longer any prophet, Nor is there any among us who knows how long. 10 How long, O God, will the adversary revile, And the enemy spurn Your name forever? 11 Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand? From within Your bosom, destroy them!
12 Yet God is my king from of old, Who works deeds of deliverance in the midst of the earth. 13 [aq]You divided the sea by Your strength; [ar]You broke the heads of the sea monsters [as]in the waters. 14 [at]You crushed the heads of [au]Leviathan; [av]You gave him as food for the [aw]creatures of the wilderness. 15 [ax]You broke open springs and torrents; [ay]You dried up ever-flowing streams. 16 Yours is the day, Yours also is the night; [az]You have prepared the [ba]light and the sun. 17 [bb]You have established all the boundaries of the earth; [bc]You have [bd]made summer and winter.
18 Remember this, [be]O Lord, that the enemy has reviled, And a foolish people has spurned Your name. 19 Do not deliver the soul of Your turtledove to the wild beast; Do not forget the life of Your afflicted forever. 20 Consider the covenant; For the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence. 21 Let not the oppressed return dishonored; Let the afflicted and needy praise Your name.
22 Arise, O God, andplead Your own cause; Remember [bf]how the foolish man reproaches You all day long. 23 Do not forget the voice of Your adversaries, The uproar of those who rise against You which ascends continually.
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