Have You Ever Thought That Following God Is In Vain?

Today’s Verse from YouVersion

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Written by Asaph, he expresses “Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure” (Psalm 73:13 NIV) when he saw that those who openly rebelled against God were doing terrific.  Perhaps in today’s terms it would be like you paid your right taxes and had to tighten your belt then you see corrupt government officials’ luxurious spending; maybe you studied so hard for an exam and you find out that people paid the teacher for the answer key and the cheaters aced the exam;  you tried to follow the rules and someone blatantly commits repeated treachery in response and, seemingly from a human view, get away with it.

In the MSG translation, it says “I’ve been stupid to play by the rules; what has it gotten me?” (v13)

But when Asaph entered the presence of God in His sanctuary, Asaph’s eyes were opened to the big picture, the reality that the end for the rebellious is certain.  He pulled himself together and remembered that his intimate relationship with God, God’s counsel, strength, and promises are his and nothing on earth can compare!


If you have always read this passage in the NIV version, here’s the Message Translation written by Eugene Peterson in an attempt to bring into English the rhythms and idioms of the original ancient Greek writing to capture its conversational feel :

Chapter 73 (MSG)

An Asaph Psalm
73 1-5 No doubt about it!
God is good—  good to good people, good to the good-hearted        
But I nearly missed it, missed seeing his goodness.

I was looking the other way, looking up to the people at the top, envying the wicked who have it made, who have nothing to worry about, not a care in the whole wide world.

6-10 Pretentious with arrogance, they wear the latest fashions in violence,
Pampered and overfed, decked out in silk bows of silliness.
They jeer, using words to kill; they bully their way with words.
They’re full of hot air, loudmouths disturbing the peace.
People actually listen to them—can you believe it? Like thirsty puppies, they lap up their words.
11-14 What’s going on here? Is God out to lunch? Nobody’s tending the store.
The wicked get by with everything; they have it made, piling up riches.

I’ve been stupid to play by the rules;
what has it gotten me?

A long run of bad luck, that’s what— a slap in the face every time I walk out the door.

15-20 If I’d have given in and talked like this, I would have betrayed your dear children.
Still, when I tried to figure it out, all I got was a splitting headache . . .

Until I entered the sanctuary of God.
Then I saw the whole picture:

The slippery road you’ve put them on, with a final crash in a ditch of delusions.
In the blink of an eye, disaster! A blind curve in the dark, and—nightmare!
We wake up and rub our eyes. . . . Nothing. There’s nothing to them. And there never was.

21-24 When I was beleaguered and bitter, totally consumed by envy,
I was totally ignorant, a dumb ox in your very presence.
I’m still in your presence, but you’ve taken my hand.
You wisely and tenderly lead me, and then you bless me.

25-28 You’re all I want in heaven!
You’re all I want on earth!
When my skin sags and my bones get brittle,
God is rock-firm and faithful.

Look! Those who left you are falling apart! Deserters, they’ll never be heard from again.
But I’m in the very presence of God— oh, how refreshing it is!
I’ve made Lord God my home. God, I’m telling the world what you do!


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