Introduction: We come to our last lesson in the “1844 series.” What
have we learned? We learned that God revealed to Daniel (and all
believers) how world events would play out through the end of human
history. God shared the timing of the coming of Jesus. God shared how
the gospel would be a message for everyone. God shared that He has an
end-time judgment, and the standard for that judgment is
righteousness by a meaningful faith. Do we want the world to end in
judgment? Do you want to be judged? Let’s finish up this series by
diving into the topic of whether we want what God has revealed!
- Give Me Judgment or Not?
- Read Psalms 73:1. Is this statement true? Is it “sure”
that God is good to those who are pure in heart?
- Read Psalms 73:2-3. Why do you think this fellow almost
“fell down?” (He began to doubt the truth of Psalms 73:1.
Maybe God is not so good to the faithful.)
- What caused doubt in this fellow’s mind? (He saw that
the arrogant were prosperous.)
- Have you seen this too? Do bad people do well?
- Notice that he “envied” the arrogant. Is that a
violation of the Ten Commandments? (See Exodus
- Read 1 Peter 2:1. Is envy “okay?”
- If this fellow had not violated God’s laws would he
have had a problem with doubt?
- Notice that he also calls the wicked rich “arrogant.”
Why do you think he does that? (This probably arises
in part from his envy. Why should they be rich and
not me? They are “looking down on me” with their
- Read Psalms 73:4-5. Is this true in your experience? (This
might be the impression of someone looking in from the
- Let’s read a few texts on this. Read Ecclesiastes
7:12, Ecclesiastes 10:19 and Proverbs 10:15. What
does money and wealth do for you? (The Bible tells us
that money is a source of protection from many
- Read Psalms 73:6. What does it mean to have pride as a
necklace? (You are obviously proud. You wear it.)
- Do you think the problem only lies with the wicked
rich here? Is envy speaking to us? (My read of this
situation is that the writer envies money, thus he
has a special “radar” for the pride of the rich.)
- So far, does there seem to be a problem with being rich?
(It sounds good – even this Bible writer wants it because
he is filled with envy.)
- There is a dark side to this wealth. Read again
Psalms 73:6. Does committing violence come from being
rich? (This could refer to unjust gain – but the
Hebrew says “violence,” and that is how most
translators portray it.)
- Read Psalms 73:7-8. Do you think these traits come from
being rich? Are they encouraged by having wealth? (This
is not just envy speaking. If money gives you “the key” to
most problems, then it promotes a feeling that you are
above the rules that govern others. You are tempted to
bend the rules to help yourself.)
- Read Psalms 73:9. What really makes the Psalmist mad?
(They claim to be good people! (Or, they say that heaven
does not matter because they are in charge.) The Psalmist
envies them, he is upset with them because they are
successful and wicked, and now they even claim to be good
(or have no need to be good) – which was the Psalmist’s
basis to feel superior to them!)
- Read Psalms 73:10-11. Are the rich-wicked people popular?
- What is the effect on the general population for the
wicked to be rich, happy, popular and (supposedly)
righteous? (The regular people wonder if there is a
God that is paying attention. “Does the Most High
have knowledge?” Is our God alert to what is going
on? Does it really matter how we live?)
- Read Psalms 73:12-14. What comparison is this writer
making between his life and the life of the wicked? (They
have it all good, he has it all bad.)
- Is it his lack of money which is the problem? (Most
likely at least in part.)
- He mentioned before that his foot had almost slipped.
Psalms 73:13 explains this. What is the reaction of this
fellow? (He has been good for no reason.)
- My Bible has a note that the writer of this psalms is
a fellow named Asaph. What do you think about Asaph?
- Has Asaph got a point?
- Simply put, Asaph is asking: “What good is it to have
a God, and obey that God, if God is not going to
- Do you agree with Asaph’s point?
- Or, is Asaph just a twisted, envious “little”
man who needs to go out and get a life and quit
- Read Psalms 73:15. Has Asaph voiced his feelings to
anyone other than God? (It appears not. He believes that
if he shared his thoughts with God’s people, he would
- What does this say about Asaph’s character? (This
puts him in a very good light. He is concerned about
causing others to lose their faith and so he
struggles in his own mind with his questions about
- Is there a lesson in this for us? (It is certainly
good not to harm the faith of others, but I think it
is better to find someone who is strong in faith and
share your questions about God with that person.)
- The Answer: Judgment
- Read Psalms 73:16-17. How is God’s sanctuary the answer to
what Asaph could not otherwise figure out? (The sanctuary
is about God’s plan to deal with sin. It presents the way
of forgiveness and the way of judgment. Asaph is reminded
by the sanctuary that a judgment is coming.)
- How does this answer fit our series of lessons this
quarter? (Our lessons have been about the sweep of
history ending in God’s judgment.)
- Read Psalms 73:18-20. Why is this so good?
- What about Asaph and his envy? Shouldn’t he be
subject to judgment?
- Is Asaph, with his “little” sin of envy more
righteous than the rich wicked who practice
violence?(You want judgment for others, and not for
- Based on our discussion last week, why do you think
that sinful Asaph is saved, while the rich wicked are
not? (He turns to God! All of Psalms 73 is a plea to
God to make things right. The essence of
righteousness by faith is not a perfect character, it
is reliance on God!)
- Why is the judgment important to the plan of salvation?
(We can have confidence that God will sort everything out
in a judgment. We may find that life is unfair to us now.
But if we cling to God, He has promised to make everything
more than fair for his people.)
- Read Psalms 73:23-24. If God does not necessarily give us
wealth and success here, what does He give? (He gives us
His presence. Many years ago the secretary who worked with
me gave me a picture of Jesus talking with a lawyer (or a
businessman) and below it she put the words of Psalms
73:24. This hangs in my office today. God will guide those
who rely on Him, who follow His counsel while here on
earth, and he will ultimately take them to heaven!)
- Read Psalms 73:25-26. Friend, this is the key to the
judgment. While things may not be perfect in your life,
God promises to make everything right. He will destroy the
wicked in judgment. He will save those who repent of their
sins, and accept by faith Jesus’ life and death in their
place. Will you say, with Asaph, “Whom have I in heaven
but You?” Jesus is in heaven right now as our High Priest
acting on our behalf in the heavenly sanctuary. Rely on
Him, and not the “Little Horn” system of your own works,
and you have eternal life!
- Next week: We start a new series of lessons on the book of