In the sanctuary, God taught Asaph 3 things.
He Discerned Their End. “Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end” (Ps. 73:17, ESV). “Discerned” here is from biyn, “To understand, know (with the mind); to observe, mark, give heed to, distinguish” (BDB). Inside the sanctuary, as he listened and learned from the Word of God, God made him see the end of the wicked. God made him distinguish between the temporal and the eternal. God replaced his doubts with faith. He discerned that God is not blind. He understood that God is in control.
He Declared God’s Judgment. “Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin” (Ps. 73: 18, ESV). The verb, “set,” is from shiyth, “To set, station, appoint, fix” in the Qal stem (BDB). The verb here means that the subject will perform the action. (Qal stem) God Himself has stationed the wicked in slippery places. He Himself has appointed them in slippery places. He has fixed those slippery places for the wicked.
The noun, “slippery,” is from cheleq, “smoothness (of the tongue” (Strong); “smooth part” (BDB). If you stand on a smooth part of the floor, what will happen to you? You fall down. That’s what will happen to the wicked, Asaph said. God Himself will put them on a smooth, slippery ground. And they will fall down to ruin.
You say, “Pastor, can God do that?” Oh yes, He can! And He will. He will do that to the wicked!” Because the verb, “make them fall down,” from naphal, means, “To cause to fall, fell, throw down, knock out, lay prostrate; To overthrow” in the Hiphil stem. (BDB). God Himself will cause the wicked to fall down in ruin. He Himself will cause them to knock down. God will cause the overthrow of the wicked. Sooner or later, they will fall down in ruin. And the noun, “ruin,” is mashhuwah, “desolation, destruction” (Strong); from the root, mshow’ah, “wreck, waste” (Strong).
You see the picture here? God Himself will cause them to fall down to destruction. God Himself will waste them. God will wreck them.
He Determined Their Quick Destruction. “How they are destroyed in a moment,swept away utterly by terrors (Ps. 73:19, ESV)! Asaph uses another Hebrew word here for “destruction,” which is shammah, “A waste (of land, city, etc); Appallment, horror” (BDB). This word means 2 things: waste and horror. The word “appall” means shock, disgust, or horrify. God will bring waste, shock, horror, and disgust in the lives of the wicked.
And God will waste them quickly. The adverb, “in a moment,” is rega, from the root, raga, “a wink (of the eyes), i.e. a very short space of time:–instant, moment, space, suddenly.” (Strong) And so God will bring them quick destruction. God will quickly lay waste to the wicked.