Archive of Pastor Darby's Sermon Notes, transcribed from his original typewritten documents

Psalm 73:1-28

DO THE WICKED PROSPER?

Jul 11, 1971 am


HERE IS A PSALM OF A MAN WHO KNEW GOD WELL, BUT ALLOWED AN ATTITUDE TO ALMOST DESTROY HIM

  • Did you ever have one of those days when everything went wrong?  One which you could tell before dawn?
  • Too often it is our own attitude that makes a storm out of a beautiful day, or otherwise.
  • This Psalm tells us the cure for a bad attitude, and how you can inoculate yourself against the dread disease and suffering.

Verse 17 tells us how to report to the Doctor for the needle!

THE CRISIS OF ATTITUDE  - PS 73:1-5

Prov 23:7 says "as he thinketh in his heart, so is he" - applies to kings and knaves - and you.

DAVID KNEW GOD'S GOODNESS BY FAITH AND BY FACE; AND SHOULD NOT HAVE ALLOWED ANY DOUBT TO COME IN

  • David began by stating the doctrine of goodness as an attribute of God - he ought to know - Shepherd, King
  • This is a general statement that is mouthed foolishly by many - "God is great, God is good -"
  • We can know this with our head - reason; and by hand - work - and fickleheartedly forget it!

BUT THERE IS A REAL CRISIS OF ATTITUDE WHEN WE WALK OVER THE SLIPPERY STEPS OF ENVY - V.2,3

  • It takes a test to make sure of our strength - but some tests we can flunk - maybe fatally!
  • The psalmist looked at the seeming prosperity of the wicked - something slipped - clog in mind.
  •  We know - like Peter - his mistake was in taking his eyes off Jesus - and we know by experience.

NOTE THE MISTAKE HE MADE BY A FALSE LOOK AT THE WICKED, AND HIS VIEW IS PLAINLY FALSE - V.4,5

  • "No pain in their death" - this is FALSE!  But because you are not there, you don't know.
  • "Their strength firm" - FALSE - read press clippings of opposing team and quake!  Beat by press- 
  • "They not in trouble -" Boy is this false!  Pastor friend just eloped - NO TROUBLE AT ALL - NOW!

These thoughts are so clearly false- but just give the disease a chance, and you'll believe them.

THE DEADLY FANTASIES - PS. 73:5-14

When you allow yourself the luxury of feeling sorry for yourself - depression - you lose balance!

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF PROSPERITY AND GLORY THAT THE PSALMIST SAW IN THE WICKED?

  • Their pride and violence gives them courage and protection - and they get away with murder - v.6
  • More and rich food - v.7; arrogant against God and man - v.8,9 - and lots of corrupt speaking today.
  • People wonder if God knows- v.11, why look  - these rich ones are ungodly v.12 So - swap with God?

THE DEADLY ATTITUDE OF DOUBT CREEPS IN AND BEGINS TO DESTROY SANITY AND REASON

  • Woe is me - I've wasted my time confessing my sins - and accepting Christ - poor me - it didn't pay.
  • My problems are all the time, nothing but whipping - just count your gripes and watch 'em grow!
  • Depression and elation go in cycles - but if you love one and work hard, you can spoil your soul.

THE REAL PROBLEM REALLY BEGAN IN THE PSALMIST'S HEART - NOTE 3A - LET A SIN GROW IN YOUR HEART!

  • The envy of v.3a is close akin to covetousness, lust, - and is a deadly germ - can destroy fast.
  • The more attention a person gives to some false attitudes- the greater they grow - until they take your whole being.
  • Spiritual sins among Christians can poison your whole life- and all you come in contact with!

If you want to indulge in these fatal fantasies, the New Testament tells me to part company with you.

THE WAY TO VICTORY, CONFIDENCE, AND BALANCE - V.15

When you get sick, you go to the doctor.  He may hurt, but he will cure - but where for attitude?

WE FIRST NEED TO DO OUR DUTY, AND NOT FOLLOW OUR OWN SELFISH DESIRES - NOTE V.15, 16.

  • The Christian's duties - NOT TO SPREAD THE DISEASE!  If you speak, you will hurt others!  Misery loves company.
  • Even if your being silent brings pain - v.16, bear your pain, don't spread it!  It is contagious!
  • One depressed person can demoralize an entire church - if house-hopping, spreads disease 1 by 1.

THE ONLY WAY TO TRULY UNDERSTAND IS TO GO TO CHURCH V.17 AND THERE THE MEMBERS AND SERVICE HELPS

  • Many drop out of church- have only their own sour attitudes never recover!  Love to count gripes.
  • But in Christ, as you worship, the Holy Spirit has a chance to heal (sandpaper of Christians) 
  • Who cares about transient wealth?  Judge righteous judgment - John 7:24 - see their end!

GODLINESS WITH CONTENTMENT IS GREAT GAIN - I TIM 6:6 - ALL I DESIRE IS THEE!  V.20-

  • The psalmist saw his sin - as one that wakened from a dream - 20-21, and turned to God-23,24 to guide.
  • The desire of our hearts should be toward God- v.25 - Place God first and attitudes balance!
  • The best escape from diseased attitude is to draw near to God - v.28 - do what is good for you.

I know from experience that God is no debtor to any man - Heaven now and in eternity, too!

DO NOT ALLOW THE SLIPPERY PIT OF ENVY AND DOUBT TO LEAD YOU TO PAIN AND HEARTACHE NOW!

  • You have no chance without accepting Jesus Christ as your Saviour - NOW - or you are wicked.
  • What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?  Matt 16:26.
  • Then start counting your blessings, and give God the praise - not Pollyanna - but sincere!

The more you count your savings in Heaven - the more interest you get now!