Sycamore Presbyterian Church Friday Men’s Bible Study Psalm 73 (see notes)
Question 8. Think back over the psalm. What have you learned that can help you “pray through your doubts and difficulties” better?
In a way that is similar to the lesson learned in the previous study, I have learned a difficult lesson about prayer. This week, I learned that God has very explicitly told us that this life isn’t going to be comfortable, or even just. I’ve already written about how my initial expectations that the Christian life would be smooth were very quickly broken by God. In this psalm God is telling me that I should expect to see the wicked prosper, that He will take vengeance upon them, and to go to church. So whenever I encounter injustice – or unrepentant brokenness – of any type, and it is not my duty to confront it (as it did not appear to be Asaph’s duty here), I have to pray that God would take vengeance upon it, not expecting this to be answered in this life.
As a side note, “vengeance” against an unbeliever might take the form of vengeance against his sin but not his person. This would imply the unbeliever’s conversion. I share the same faith as Paul, who famously said he’d give up his salvation for the sake of his Jewish countrymen. This is a good prayer.
The most difficult part about this lesson is thinking that we will be praying for vengeance against someone who is luxuriating in his wickedness when, again, presumably also in with Asaph’s case, that person is also a follower of God. In that case in my prayer life I have some choices: 1) I’m wrong – there’s no injustice there, or I have only found a speck in a brother’s eye; 2) This fellow believer is really acting wickedly and unrepentantly; the vengeance has actually already been carried out – against his sin, on the cross, so thankfulness is in order; 3) This fellow believer is acting wickedly and unrepentantly, and shows a trajectory away from God to death. My petition then has to be for: 1) clarity or understanding; 2) thankfulness and peace with the situation; and 3) repentance and a return to God.
The most difficult aspect of this lesson will be accepting that there will be injustice that I will never see fixed in this life.
Using Praying the Psalms Group Study Product
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