Good to Be Near God - Radical

Good to Be Near God

When we see the wicked, we need to be careful not to envy the way they live and regret the way we live. In this message on Psalm 73, Pastor David Platt calls us to trust in God’s goodness and tell others about God’s greatness. As Christians, we must fix our eyes on Jesus and remember the faithfulness of God.

  1. He remembers their future.
  2. He realizes his foolishness.
  3. He rejoices in God’s faithfulness.

If you have His Word, and I hope you do, let me invite you to open it up with me to Psalm 73. So I hold in my hands right here notes from a worship service that I was in the first time I ever heard Psalm 73 preached, at least that I can remember. So this was January 26, 1997, when I heard Psalm 73. I remember where I was sitting when I wrote these notes. So it’s just a testimony to the value of taking notes, and the way that certain texts speak to you at certain times in your life. I remember where I was sitting when I heard this sermon.

It was actually in a Methodist church in Athens, Georgia, while I was attending the University of Georgia. And I vividly remember this Methodist preacher just walking verse by verse through Psalm 73. The reason I remember it is… Well, I hope it will be evident in just a minute.

Here’s what I want to do. I want to read through this psalm with you—it’s just under 30 verses—I want to pray and ask God to help us understand it, and then I want to share with you why this psalm had a particular impact on my life in college, and even why I wanted to preach this sermon particularly at 6:00 tonight instead of 9 or 11 this morning. So let’s start by hearing God’s Word. Psalm 73:1, the Bible says,

Truly God is good to Israel,

to those who are pure in heart.

But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,

my steps had nearly slipped.

For I was envious of the arrogant

when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For they have no pangs until death;

their bodies are fat and sleek.

They are not in trouble as others are;

they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.

Therefore pride is their necklace;

violence covers them as a garment.

Their eyes swell out through fatness;

their hearts overflow with follies.

They scoff and speak with malice;

loftily they threaten oppression.

They set their mouths against the heavens,

and their tongue struts through the earth.

Therefore his people turn back to them,

and find no fault in them.

And they say, “How can God know?

Is there knowledge in the Most High?”

Behold, these are the wicked;

always at ease, they increase in riches.

All in vain have I kept my heart clean

and washed my hands in innocence. For all the day long I have been stricken

and rebuked every morning.

If I had said, “I will speak thus,”

I would have betrayed the generation of your children.

But when I thought how to understand this,

it seemed to me a wearisome task,

until I went into the sanctuary of God;

then I discerned their end.

Truly you set them in slippery places;

you make them fall to ruin.

How they are destroyed in a moment,

swept away utterly by terrors!

Like a dream when one awakes,

O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.

When my soul was embittered,

when I was pricked in heart,

I was brutish and ignorant;

I was like a beast toward you.

Nevertheless, I am continually with you;

you hold my right hand.

You guide me with your counsel,

and afterward you will receive me to glory.

Whom have I in heaven but you?

And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;

you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.

But for me it is good to be near God;

I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,

that I may tell of all your works.

Let’s pray.

O God, I thank You for the way You impressed this psalm on my heart in such a powerful way 17 years ago. And I could be so bold as to pray, O God, that You might do the same in hearts receiving this message, that You’d take this Word and cause it to lodge in our minds and deep within our hearts, and that what the psalmist discovered here might be discovered in a fresh way, or maybe for the first time. We pray this knowing I can’t make that happen, I can’t manufacture that. Only Your Spirit can bring that about. Lord, so we pray that Your Spirit would work in the next few moments. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

When I walked into that Methodist church on a Sunday morning, I was at a pretty vulnerable, pivotal point in my relationship with God. By God’s grace I had come to Christ at an early age, and I’d grown up in the church, pretty grounded in my faith. But when I got to college I began to see a number of friends who I thought were pretty grounded in their faith begin to turn aside from God. They began to compromise their faith in Christ, choosing instead different ways in the world.

And here was the deal. They seemed to be enjoying it. Quite honestly, they seemed to be having a lot of fun. I on the other hand felt like I was missing out on a lot. And in this way I felt like this psalmist. I looked at the world around me, specifically even at the ways of those around me who were turning aside from God, and they seemed to be prospering. They seemed to be enjoying life in a way that I wasn’t.

I could identify with verse 13, “All in vain have I kept my heart clean.” I thought, “The pursuit of holiness on this campus—it’s vain. Where does it get you? Look at all it keeps you from—socially, sexually, in a myriad of ways.” I could identify with verse 2, then; “But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped.” And quite honestly in some ways, my feet did stumble and my steps did slip. In the way that I look back now, with the perspective of verses 21 and 22, where the psalmist basically says, “What was I thinking? I was brutish and ignorant.”

So I share all of this because I’m looking out at a gathering full of people who I’m guessing are prone to struggle in the same way that this psalmist struggles. In particular, I wanted to preach this psalm because I know that there are a number of younger singles who are in this service in particular. I often pray for that large segment of our church. I think about the Word that we walk through, and then I think about the world that surrounds us, the world that surrounds you, particularly even young singles. I think there’s a huge tension here—a huge tension.

We walked through 1 Corinthians 6 on sexual immorality in God’s Word. We saw that you/we are to flee all sexual immorality. So all sexual activity—all sexual looking, desiring, touching, entertaining, acting of any kind outside of marriage. We saw in Scripture three God–ordained categories for relationships between men and women. We saw the neighbor relationship, where all sexual activity is prohibited—everything—Luke 10:25–37, 1 Corinthians 7:7–9. We saw the family relationship, which would include brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, children. And again there, all sexuality, sexual activity, is prohibited—

Leviticus 18:6, 1 Timothy 5:1–2. The Bible clearly forbids sexual activity with members of your family apart from your husband or your wife.

Which then leads to the third God-ordained category of relationship, which is the marriage relationship between a man and a woman, where sexual activity is basically commanded at the beginning of 1 Corinthians 7. So we put all that together and we realize that God in His Word has no category whatsoever for two people who aren’t married but kinda sorta act in some ways like they are, particularly sexually. We saw in God’s Word that there is only one place—well, there’s not one place, in all of God’s Word, where we’re ever encouraged to engage in any sexual activity of any sort outside of the marriage relationship. Because anyone outside the marriage relationship is either your neighbor or your family member, and God prohibits sexual activity in both those relationships.

We even looked at Paul’s instruction to Timothy in 1 Timothy 5, where he says, “Treat younger men like brothers, older women like mothers, younger women like sisters, in all purity.” So the Bible even ties pure treatment of the opposite sex with the picture of the family relationship. We asked, “Guys, if you have a sister in your family, what would purity look like with her? Would you make out with your sister?” I wish you could have seen the look on my brother and sister’s face when I asked that question.

“Would you passionately kiss your sister?”

You say, “No. That’s disgusting.”

“Why not?”

“Because she’s my sister.”

Precisely. This is the biblical standard for purity in your relationship with any sister in Christ to whom you’re not married. Absolutely nothing sexual. She’s your sister. So we came to this conclusion biblically. Don’t do anything with someone who’s not your husband or wife that you would not do with your brother or sister. Flee all sexual activity outside of marriage. So we saw that, and I’ve got this feeling that many, many of you heard that word from God and then looked at the ways of this world and thought, “I don’t think so.” Because the ways of this world look a lot better, don’t they? This Word—it’s just too extreme.

And that’s just one application, right? But it’s not just for singles alone, it’s for all of us. There are so many things we walk through in the Word where we’re commanded to avoid the ways of this world, the pursuit of pleasure around us, the achievement of status around us. And yet we turn around and we walk out of worship gatherings and we see non Christians—or we see nominal Christians—and they’re prospering. Things are going well for them. Things seem like they’re going better for them than for us, and it feels like we’re missing out. And all of a sudden our feet are about to slip.

Maybe your feet have slipped. Maybe your steps have stumbled, and God in His grace, in His love for you, has brought you to hear this Word at just the right time in a way that may mark your life for the next 17 years. Or maybe your feet are tempted to slip, your steps on the verge of stumbling, and God in His grace and His love for you has brought you here to hear this Word at just the right time before you walk down a certain road.

Faith is a struggle, isn’t it? That’s one of the things I love about this psalm. This is real. There’s a wrestling here. This psalm is written by a guy named Asaph. He’s one of the Levites, basically a worship leader among the people of God. And he knew…he knew…deep down in his heart he knew that God is good. He starts the whole psalm by saying, “Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.” So this is not the doubting of somebody who’s opposed to God, somebody who’s trying to prove that God isn’t good or God isn’t great. No, this is the doubting of someone who knows God is God, who believes God is good. “Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.”

But then he’s honest. He’s totally honest. He says, verse 2, “But…” I know God is good, but I’ll just be honest, “My feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” So let’s just walk through this, hopefully in a way similar to how that Methodist preacher walked through this with me, in one of those sermons where he’s speaking to a large group of people, but it seemed like he was speaking right to me. We see two perspectives in this psalm.

Two Perspectives

Psalm 73 reminds us that when he sees the wicked.

One perspective is when he sees the wicked. So his eyes are on the wicked, when he sees the wicked. He’s focused on the wicked, and they’re flourishing. And when he sees the wicked, three things happen. One, he envies how they live. Hold your place here in Psalm 73 for a minute, and turn back to the left to Psalm 1. Look back at the very first Psalm, Psalm 1. It’s interesting how these Psalms are arranged in the Bible into different books.

And Psalm 73 is the first psalm in the third book.

So go back with me to the first psalm in the first book, and see if you can feel the tension here. So look at how the Psalms begin. Psalm 1, this beloved psalm—many people memorize this psalm. But look at this, Psalm 1:1, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” So he’s blessed! Blessed is the man who doesn’t walk in the way of the wicked.

Verse three, “He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” The righteous prospers in all that he does. But then verse four, “The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.” The wicked don’t prosper. Verse five, “Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” So there’s Psalm 1. The righteous will prosper and the wicked will perish.

So then you get to Psalm 73, and it’s like the psalmist is saying, “Is that really true? Because when I look around, it doesn’t seem true. I envy the wicked.” Then to put it into terms that apply in this world today, “I want sexual activity outside of marriage. I want success according to the standards of this world. I want to maximize the luxuries that are available to me in this world. Like, I hear this call to radical obedience and I look around me, and there seems to be another way, a better way, in this world. Even a better way to be a Christian and then enjoy the things of this world.”

This is honest. Just see how the psalmist describes those who are disobeying God around him. He describes them in five different ways. He says they die peacefully. Verse four, “They have no pangs until death.” They’re healthy. They die peacefully. Two, they’re blessed physically. “Their bodies are fat and sleek.” It’s a reference to how bountiful their lives are. They don’t experience trouble like others, verse five. They’re blessed physically.

Third, they flourish with pride. Verse six, “Therefore pride is their necklace.” Then the psalmist goes on to describe the pride that they have toward others, and even the pride they have toward God. Verse nine, “They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth.” Verse 11, “They say, ‘How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?’” Outright pride, with obvious prosperity.

Fourth, they avoid pain. Verse 12, they are “always at ease.” And then end of verse 12, number five, they enjoy prosperity. “They increase in riches.” In other words, it just keeps getting better and better and better for them. He envies the wicked because they die peacefully, they’re blessed physically, they flourish with pride, they avoid pain, and they enjoy prosperity. The psalmist envies how they live.

And then, when he sees the wicked the second thing he does is he regrets how he lives. So follow this. When the psalmist focuses on the flourishing of the wicked, he envies how they live and he regrets how he lives. He looks at his own life and he concludes that he has pursued purity in vain. “All in vain,” verse 13, “have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.” All in vain. What a statement!

But it’s a statement that if we’re honest we can sometimes identify with, right? Don’t you ever think, “Is it worth it? Radical obedience to the commands of Christ, living according to extreme standards of purity, simplifying your life in this world to sacrifice more, to give away—like, is all of this worth it? Is there real reward in righteousness?”

Asaph concludes that he has pursued purity in vain, and he’s suffered constantly in silence all the day long. Verse 14, “All the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning.” “Not only am I pursuing purity in vain, but in the process I’m experiencing pain all day long, every morning.” It’s like Asaph knows nothing of Psalm 1. He does not feel like a tree planted by streams of water, yielding its fruit in season and in all that he does, he prospers. No, he feels the exact opposite.

Now, I mentioned he suffered constantly in silence, because he acknowledges in verse 15 that he’s kept all this to himself. “If I had said, ‘I will speak thus,’ I would have betrayed the generation of your children.” In other words, when he leads the people of God into the worship of God he doesn’t say to them, “What do you all think about this? This is pointless, isn’t it?” This is another place where this psalm is really helpful, because it shows a healthy way to wrestle with doubt in our hearts.

So get the picture. This psalmist clearly… He envies how they live, he regrets how he lives, and then when he sees the wicked, third, he wrestles with how God works. He wrestles with how God works! He envies how they live, he regrets how he lives, and he wrestles with how God works. But he wrestles with his faith in a way that’s honest, between him and God, but not a hindrance to others in their faith. He shows us how to ask questions, how to struggle in faith, while not pulling other people away from God—this is so helpful—while being so honest, honest in ways that we can identify with.

And let’s be honest. There is much to wrestle with, before God and in a world where sex traffickers are flourishing, and godless leaders are ruling, and sinful people, successful people—why does God allow this? Is He not powerful enough to stop this? Is He not just enough to put an end to this? So see it. When the psalmist sees the wicked, these are the conclusions he comes to. They’re prospering, I’m in pain—what in the world is God doing?

He envies how they live, he regrets how he lives, he wrestles with how God works.

But then, there’s another perspective, and it’s the transition in verse 16, when the psalmist says, “But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task.” How true is that? When you think about how to understand the wickedness of the world and the goodness of God and the prosperity of those who oppose God, such wrestling will wear you out. “Until,” the psalmist says, “until I went into the sanctuary of God.”

And here, everything changes. So here’s the second perspective. One perspective: he sees the wicked. Second perspective: he sees God. When the psalmist goes into the presence of God, the sanctuary of God, amidst all of the questions he has in this world, when he goes into the presence of God everything changes. Everything! His entire perspective changes. In three ways, just like before—this time, though, the opposite effect.

When he sees God …

So when he sees the wicked, he envies how they live. When he sees God, though, here’s what happens. He remembers their future. “Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.” And that changes everything. It’s like he was looking at a fat cow, full, eating a meal, enjoying a meal, on its way to the slaughter. He’s looking at the wicked and he’s thinking, “Everything there is good.” But then, he turns his gaze to see where the cow is going, and he thinks, “Oh, okay. I’m glad I’m not headed in that direction.” He remembers their future.

He knows, verse 18, he knows that God has set them in slippery places, and God will make them fall to ruin. “In a moment,” he says in verse 19, in a moment they will be destroyed, “swept away utterly by terrors!” Now, “like a dream,” he says—this is great imagery. You and I, we have dreams that seem so long and so real sometimes that we wake up and realize it was only a second—it’s gone. And it wasn’t real. It was never real. That’s the way of the wicked. They’re phantoms, seeming delight in men and women for a second that leads to finding themselves despised by God. Do you hear the severity of the language here? They will fall to ruin, they’ll be destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors. See how our perspective changes when we lift our eyes to God? Even in light of this practical application that we’re thinking about even in here—it’s the same thing. What does 1 Corinthians 6 say? So bring that text back to mind. It says, don’t be deceived. “Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” Don’t be deceived. This road leads to destruction.

Revelation 21, “As for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur.” Like, remember where that road’s headed—see, look, see God, and see where that road’s headed, and then, so Revelation 18, “Come out of her, my people,” God says, “lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues.”

And just think about it with me. What is it about seeing God, about coming into the sanctuary of God, that causes the psalmist to remember the future of the wicked? And don’t miss it. What the psalmist sees is the justice of God. It’s here in Psalm 73. He sees, indeed, God is not asleep when it comes to sex trafficking in the world. He’s not asleep. And He’s not asleep when it comes to sexual immorality of any kind in this world. He will rouse Himself and He will assert His justice.

God’s doing everything here. “You set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin…..You rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.” So when the psalmist sees God, one, he remembers their future. And then second, he realizes his foolishness. Verse 21, “When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.” Translation, “I didn’t know what I was thinking. I didn’t know what I was doing. I was like a beast towards You.”

It’s like he steps back with a whole new perspective, and thinks, “Who do I think I am to be qualified to question the judgment of God? What was I thinking, questioning the goodness of God and the commands He had given me in His Word?” It’s like an ignorant animal—it’s the language he uses here. Like to see it, see it, because I know, I know the temptation is there. The temptation is there to hear the commands of God, to hear the call of God to radical obedience to Him and His Word, and then to think, “Ah, I don’t know. I don’t….”

There is coming a day when we’re going to wonder how we ever thought, “I don’t know. I don’t know.” And we’re going to realize His Word is good. The whole goal is, that even now, my prayer is that you’d see God and you’d realize the foolishness of questioning the commands of God. You’re going to realize the foolishness of envying the ways of the world.

You’re going to realize this is foolishness.

And then third: when he sees God he rejoices in God’s faithfulness. So starting in verse 23, the rest of this psalm is a poetic masterpiece. It celebrates the majesty and mercy of God. What I love about the way this psalm ends is how the fullness of pleasure, experienced here by the psalmist at the end, far, far, far outweighs the fleeting phantom prosperity of the wicked described in the first part of this psalm. The psalmist is saying, “Here’s real joy, and here’s real pleasure, here’s real delight.” Indeed, Psalm 1 is absolutely, ultimately true.

Listen to how Asaph describes the faithfulness of God in four ways. He says, one, God grasps him. “Nevertheless,” verse 23, “I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.” What a picture—God holding Asaph’s hand. Just think about that. I love, I love those moments when I’m walking with my kids, and they reach up and they grab my hand, and I reach down and I grab their hand, and we walk together and we’re holding hands. And it would sound cheesy if it wasn’t true and biblical. Picture it—the God of the universe holding your hand. It’s an awesome thought. He grasps you. God grasps him.

Second, God guides him. Verse 24, “You guide me with your counsel.” Don’t you love that? In this life, in the confusion of this world, you don’t always know what to do. You don’t always know what is best. Maybe it’s small decisions; maybe it’s big decisions that you’ve got to make. And you look for counsel from the people around you, which is good and wise, but even better to look for counsel from God and to find it—for God to counsel you the way He promised. The Holy Spirit of God that dwells in us, described as the Counselor. God guides him. God grasps him, God guides him.

Third, God will glorify him. “You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.” It just gets better. He’s just remembered the future of the wicked, and now he remembers the future of the righteous. He remembers the future of those who put their hope and put their trust in God. He knows what Jesus will later say in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the pure in heart,” Psalm 73:1. “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” He will receive me to glory.

So ultimately, fourth, the psalmist concludes, God is good to him. “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Yes. And what a turnaround, right? Here’s a psalmist whose feet had almost slipped, whose steps had almost stumbled when he perceived the wicked, but now with new perspective, new eyes, he concludes, verse 20, “For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.”

Two Exhortations …

Psalm 73 reminds us to trust in God’s goodness.

So here—I’m confident—is God’s Word to every single person. It’s twofold based on this last verse. One, here’s the Word of God to you. Trust in God’s goodness. This is the Word of God to you right now. Trust in the goodness of God in a world where you are surrounded by wickedness and worldliness; temptation to both. Trust in the goodness of God. His presence is good, it is good. Trust that it is good to be with God.

And His Word is good—His Word is good—His Word is for our good. It’s for our good. Trust in His goodness. Trust that it is good to listen to God. Don’t be brutish and ignorant. Don’t be brutish and ignorant before God. Don’t buy into the deception, the lies, in the world around you. It’s good, it’s good, it’s good to be near God, to be with God, to listen to God.

Purity is not in vain. Purity is never in vain, for the pure will see God.

Now, this does present a problem, because the reality is that none of us is perfectly pure. Our feet have all slipped. Our steps have all stumbled. We have all turned aside from God and His Word to the ways of this world. And as a result, we all deserve this destiny of destruction. Then who among us can stand before the holy justice of God?

Non-Christian friend, please don’t misunderstand what you’re hearing. This is not a group of people in this church who believe that we are better than the people around us in the world. We know, we know, we know—we are sinners. We know we have followed after the ways of this world with the most wicked of them. Even our self-righteousness has been just as wicked as others’ self-indulgence. We are a church full of sinners, and so we all need a Savior. 

And the good news is that God has provided one. He has provided a way for you, for me, to be saved from our stumbling, from our self, from our sin, to escape the just judgment we are due before God. God has sent His Son Jesus, God in the flesh, to live a life of perfect purity, to live the life we could not live. His feet never slipped, steps never stumbled. And yet He also came to die the death we deserve to die. The reason… So non-Christian friend, the reason the cross is a central symbol of Christianity is because there God has poured out all His just wrath upon His Son in our place, so that you and I might be saved from our sin.

And God has raised Him up in victory over sin and death, so that everyone…anyone who turns from themselves and their sin and trusts in Jesus as Savior and Lord can be reconciled to God forever. So that anyone and everyone who turns and trusts in Him can be near God and know His goodness, His mercy instead of His judgment forever. So we invite you to do that now, to turn from your sin and yourself and put your trust in Him, to see His hand of grace reaching down into your heart, even right now at this moment, and to take that hand.

Take it even now.

And for all who do and for all who have, to rejoice in this—to rejoice in God, to take your focus off of the seeming prosperity of the wicked in this world and to fix your gaze on the presence of God who is over this world. And to rejoice in Him, in the God who grasps you, the God who guides you, the God who will guide you to glory.

Alan Stanfield, a brother in our faith family, who I remember meeting a year ago in his house—just a radiant smile on this brother’s face. It’s like his smile was fixed on, his gaze, and all, to just joy. He was very sick. He was very sick. And this Saturday in the hospital, after a long bout in the hospital, breathed his last. It is an awesome thought to consider that the God who one day years ago grasped Alan Stanfield’s heart and drew him to Himself, and guided him through the middle of all this sickness, on Saturday guided him to glory, where he undoubtedly has come to the conclusion, “It is good to be near God.” He is “the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Tell others about God’s greatness.

This God is good. He’s good to you. It’s the Word—trust in His goodness, family, and trust in the weight of this Word. Trust in the goodness of God. And as you trust in God’s goodness, the second part of God’s Word to you is in this last verse here: Trust in God’s goodness and tell others about God’s greatness.

“I have made the Lord God my refuge”—not so that I may hide in it and never, ever, ever, ever come out. No, “I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.” And it makes sense, doesn’t it? When once you have a right perspective of God, you can’t sit back in silence. There are people all around you, living for phantom pleasures that are here one day and gone the next. They believe the way of this world is good.

But you know it’s not. You know where that road is headed. So how much do you have to hate someone not to tell them where that road is headed? Tell them. Tell your co-workers, your friends, your neighbors, the nations, that God alone is good, that God seeks and God satisfies. And tell them whereas the pleasures of this world will pass in a moment, the goodness of God will last forever. It’s the greatest news in the world, so tell others about God’s greatness. I don’t know where you find yourself in your life right now, the temptations you are struggling with, the sin where you may have slipped, or the questions you may be wrestling with. But regardless of where you are, I urge you now, based on the Word of God in Psalm 73, trust in the goodness of God. Trust in His goodness. His Word is good, His presence is good. Trust in the goodness of God and tell others about His greatness. See Him. Take your eyes off the world. Take your eyes off that today and take your eyes and fix them on Him, and you’ll see with a totally different perspective.

Two Perspectives…

  • When he sees the wicked…
    • He envies how they live.
  • They die peacefully.
  • They’re blessed physically. They flourish with pride.
  • They avoid pain.
  • They enjoy prosperity.
    • He regrets how he lives.
  • He has pursued purity in vain. He has suffered constantly in silence.
    • He wrestles with how God works.
  • When he sees God…
    • He remembers their future.
    • He realizes his foolishness.
    • He rejoices in God’s faithfulness.
  • God grasps him.
  • God guides him.
  • God will glorify him.
  • God is good to him.

Two Exhortations…

  • Trust in God’s goodness.
  • Tell others about God’s greatness.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

LESS THAN 1% OF ALL MONEY GIVEN TO MISSIONS GOES TO UNREACHED PEOPLE AND PLACES.

That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Together we can change that!