From Protest To Praise - Psalm 73 - Part 1

I had the opportunity to preach from Psalm 73 recently, and I figured that I would share my thoughts here. Here is the outline that I used:
From Protest To Praise – Psalm 73

Intro: The Fundamental Question

1. Protest – The Testing of Faith (vs 1-15)

A. Faith Affirmed (vs1)
B. Two Problems (vs2-3)
C. The Sinners “Success” (vs 4-12)
D. The Secret Sin – Faith Dies in Affluence (vs 13-15)

2. Praise – The Triumph of Faith (vs 16-26)

A. The Worship Perspective of the Unrighteous (vs 16-20)
B. The Worship Perspective of the Self-Righteous (vs 21-22)
C. The Secret Blessing – Faith Triumphs in Affliction (vs 23-26)

3. People – The Testimony of Faith (vs 27-28)

A. Full Circle
B. “Carried” – What Story Are You Telling?

So, here are my thoughts:
Intro: The Fundamental Question
The fundamental question underlying Psalm 73 is, “How can a good God allow the righteous to suffer?” This question has puzzled saints and pleased skeptics over the centuries. This psalm and the question with which it deals is extremely important to us, both for the purpose of apologetics (defending our faith) and in order to preserve our faith in the midst of life’s trials. Many Christians today seem to think that faith in God comes with a guarantee of freedom from adversity. In fact, too many of our evangelistic appeals are tainted with the false promise (implied or stated) that coming to faith in Christ will deliver men from their trials in life. When young Christians come to the realization that this is not so, their faith is sometimes severely shaken.

The question, “How can a good God allow the righteous to suffer?” reveals at least fallacies in our thinking. The first is the assumption that suffering is always evil and therefore irreconcilable with God’s goodness. The second is a failure to understand righteousness, so far as it relates to the saint, the true child of God. In answer to the problem of pain, this psalm forces us to take another look at our definition of good, lest we accuse God of being the author of evil by allowing us to suffer.

“We may indicate the distinctive nature of the solution offered in this psalm by noting that it penetrates deeper than does any other that has ever been attempted on the Old Testament level. It mounts to the very presence of God, holds close to Him, and then views the situation from that vantage point.” H. C. Leupold, Exposition of Psalms (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House [reprint], 1969), p. 523.

Next time we'll get into the text!

Love in the Truth