The Soreness of Holiness. “For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning” (Ps. 73:14, ESV). “Stricken” (v. 14) is from naga`, “to touch, i.e. lay the hand upon . . . violently, to strike” (Strong). Asaph was being stricken continually (which is indicated by the Hebrew form—Qal Participle Passive). He was stricken violently and touched terribly with his struggle and depression about the sufferings of the righteous and the prosperity of the wicked.
Every morning, Asaph was “rebuked,” which is from the Hebrew, towkechah, “Rebuke, correction, reproof, punishment, chastisement” (BDB). Nobody can punish him for his sin, for he lived a holy life. But his struggle was punishing him inside his heart, not just all day, but every morning, every day.
It’s one thing to suffer for your sins. But it’s another thing to suffer for your disappointment with life. You are disappointed that you’ve lived for the Lord, but you are suffering for it; while sinning, God-disobeying people around you seem to be prospering.
But Asaph realizes one very important thing here. He wrote, “If I had said, ‘I will speak thus,’ Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children” (Ps. 73:15, NKJV). “Speak” here is from caphar, “to recount, rehearse, declare” in the Piel stem (BDB). If he would recount and declare the things that are in his heart, he might betray his brethren, the Israelites. “Untrue” (NKJV) or “betrayed” (ESV) is from bagad, “(Qal) to act or deal treacherously, faithlessly, deceitfully, offend.” (BDB). The noun, “generation,” here is the same word used in Ps. 14:5 says, “There they were in great fear, for God is in the generation of the righteous” (NKJV). Asaph is talking about the same generation, the righteous “generation of your children” (v. 15), the children of Israel, esp. in this context, the pure in heart (v. 1). And so Asaph is saying, “If I were to keep on doubting God because of the prosperity of the wicked, then I would betray the faith of your children, the righteous generation of Israel.”
Isn’t that what happens when you agree with the world, and think like the world, and live like the world? When you live like this sinful, lost world, you are actually betraying the people of God, and the God of His people! By your words and actions, you cause fellow believers to stumble and to be discouraged, which I think is a greater sin, because you bring down other believers with you.