Why Do Good Things Happen to Bad People? – 22

Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand” (Ps. 73:23, NKJV). This is the 2nd division here in vv. 23-26. “Continually” is not an adverb, but a noun, from tamidh, “duration, extension, continuance (Ezek. 39:14), continuity (Is. 21:8)” (TWOT/OTWS). Literally, it reads, “I am in [preposition, im] continuity with you.” This implies security in God. Every saved person, whether he is filled with doubt or despair, is always in continuity with God. Because God Himself holds that person.

“Hold” here is a beautiful word, from achaz, “holding in possession” (Strong). Note the parallel meanings here in vv. 23-24. “You hold my right hand” is parallel in meaning to, “I am always continually with you.” Here, we have what is called, “step parallelism.” The next line adds a new idea to a previous line. Asaph said that he is in continuity with Jehovah. It means that Jehovah holds his right hand. In other words, even though he doubted God, God will not let go of him!

Let me ask you, when you are in deep trials and troubles, did you feel that God was not there? That’s what we feel sometimes. We feel that God is from a distance. But Asaph here says that God is good to the pure in heart. How is He good to the pure in heart? He holds you. He possesses you by your right hand. In other words, He will not let you go!

Then Asaph wrote that the LORD guides him with His counsel. “You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory” (Ps. 73:24, ESV). The verb form of “guide” speaks of ongoing guidance. (Hiphil Imperfect) This means that God continues to guide him. He said God guides him continually with God’s counsel.

The noun, “counsel,” here is from etsah, “advise; consultation; purpose, project, plan, design; wisdom, deliberation” (TWOT/OTWS). Despite his foolish conclusions, Jehovah overcomes it with His wise counsel. The LORD leads Him according to His purpose and plan.

I read a true story about 75 convicts. In November I975, 75 convicts started digging a secret tunnel designed to bring them up at the other side of the wall of Saltillo Prison in northern Mexico. On April 18, 1976, guided by pure genius, they tunneled up into the nearby courtroom in which many of them had been sentenced. The surprised judges returned all 75 to jail. (www.sermoncentral.com. Accessed July 16, 2009)

During hard times, we think we know what to do. But we end up in the wrong places! So we need to do one thing—ask God for wisdom. James wrote, “If any of you lacks wisdom [in times of trials], let him ask of God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5). His wisdom will overcome our foolishness.

“Glory” here (v. 24) does not mean going to the glory of heaven. It is from the Heb. kavodh, “weight, honor, esteem, glory (Gen. 31:1; 1 Kgs. 8:11; Mal. 1:6).” (TWOT/OTWS) In the chapter, Asaph talks about the honor and esteem of the wicked. He talks about their prosperity, pride, and power, which gives them worldly honor. Now Asaph talks about Jehovah Himself who will give him honor. The LORD Himself will hold him in high esteem.

Before men, you may be nobody. But before the LORD, you are esteemed highly by Him. The LORD will receive you in honor and glory. He will hold you in high importance.

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