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Psalms 73:1-28 - Homilies By C. Short

The solution of a great problem.

The question here is—Why should good men suffer, and bad men prosper, when the Law had said that God was a righteous Judge, meting out to men in this world the due recompense of their deeds? The course of things should perfectly reflect the righteousness of God. The psalmist struggles for a solution of this problem. The first verse contains the conclusion he had arrived at.

I. HIS DANGER . Expressed in the second, thirteenth, and twenty-second verses.

1 . The example and sophistries of the wicked had nearly wrought his own downfall. His feet had been tempted by their prosperity to forsake the ways of righteousness, and he had almost fallen into their infidelity.

2 . His faith in righteousness had been nearly lost. ( Psalms 73:13 .) In vain had he cleansed his inward and outward life—at least, he was tempted to think so for a time.

3 . Others had been induced to follow the example of the wicked. ( Psalms 73:10 .) "Therefore turn his people after them, and at the full stream (of their prosperity) would slake their thirst" (Perowne).

II. THE CAUSE OF HIS DANGER . ( Psalms 73:4-9 .)

1 . The wicked and atheistic seemed prosperous and happy. They had no trouble, no sorrows that hasten their death ("bands"). They are proud and violent, oppressive and defiant of the heavens. All these are hasty and superficial estimates of the experience of the wicked.

2 . He himself was troubled and chastened continually. ( Psalms 73:14 .) He who had been at such pains to cleanse his heart and hands. This was mystery that bewildered him.

3 . But he restrains the utterance of his doubts to others. ( Psalms 73:15 .) He forebore to shake the faith of others, and cause them to stumble.


1 . He found the solution in the light of God ' s presence. ( Psalms 73:17 .) The sanctuary was the symbol of God's presence. Hitherto he had studied the matter only in the light of human experience; now in the light of God's righteous character.

2 . Their prosperity would come to a sudden end. ( Psalms 73:18-20 .)

3 . Communion with God is the realization of our highest destiny, not any unknown good. ( Psalms 73:23-28 .)—S.

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