This next Psalm is our series of five Psalms corresponding to the day of the month is meaty and lengthy indeed. But we will treat the major theme which is the contrast between Asaph’s earthly view of the wicked and the eternal view he eventually sets forth when he came to a full understanding.
The Psalm is outlined in three sections with the first showing The Necessity of A Clean Heart (v.1) ‘Truly God is good to Israel, even to such are of a clean heart.’ The goodness of God therefore, relies on the heart condition of man. The heart must be pure is the emphasis.
Secondly, The Negatives of A Clouded Heart (v.2-14) are set forth showing the source of these negative thoughts was envy. Not only are these thought of Asaph negative, but some of them are not true, but only the misguided thinking of an envious mind.
But, the third section, The Knowledge of A Clear Heart (v.15-28) is the turning point of this Psalm, especially when Asaph says: ‘Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.’ It was not until he was in the presence of God that the LORD gave him a clear heart’s view of the ‘end’ of those that are without Christ.
This description should bring great compassion to the lost from we that are saved, for they are truly in a desperate and eternally dangerous situation: ‘Surely Thou didst set them in slippery places: Thou cast them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when Thou awakest, Thou shalt despise their image.’
Asaph’s response to this dark and destructive picture of those who are lost is declared: ‘Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before Thee.’ He recognizes his grievous error in thinking, it convicts his inner-most being, he recognizes his own folly and lack of knowledge, seeing himself as an animal, void of compassion and mercy and feeding only upon the selfish views of a clouded heart, and the beastly desires of the flesh.
This, my friend, should awaken our souls to the great need of the lost around us, they are without Christ and have no hope unless we pray for them, and minister the Word of God to them, that they too might have the faith to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and repent of their sins.
It is enough to say that this is the emphasis of the Psalm. Asaph was awakened to the reality of the terrible end of the lost souls around him. The closing verses are some of the most revealing in the Psalms as it concerns the end of the believer when he says in (v.24) ‘Thou shalt guide me Thy counsel, and afterware receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but Thee; and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee.’ This verse shows the expectation of the Old Testament saint was the same as the New Testament saint. The ‘Blessed Hope’ was and is the same in both cases, glory was anticipated in heaven...Amen!
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