The Psalms of David in Metre

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Psalm 73

This psalm, and the ten following, are called Psalms of Asaph; but whether because he composed most of them, or because he led the music in singing them, is not altogether certain. Here we have, (1.) The great foundation of all religion, viz. the goodness of God to his people, strongly asserted, ver. 1. (2.) The psalmist’s faith fearfully shaken by the consideration of the freedom, prosperity, plenty, and peaceful-like death of the wicked; which rendered them proud, oppressive, insolent, atheistical, and profane; while himself was in a manner consigned to nothing but trouble, ver. 2-13. (3.) The temptation, when it had reduced him to the brink of atheism, is broken, by a discovery of the connected purposes and providences of God in his word and ordinances, ver. 14-20. (4.) His improvement of his fall and recovery, to promote a deep sense of his own meanness, ignorance, and folly; a complete dependence on God as his guide; a cleaving to him as his portion, infinitely preferable to every thing else; without whom one is necessarily miserable, and in the enjoyment of whom he is assured of happiness, and excited to praise and thanksgiving, ver. 21-28.

While I sing, let me remember my own wickedness and folly; and let me receive instruction in duty. Let me cleave to God as my portion, and resolve to draw my light and comfort from the oracles of his mouth, and ordinances of his grace.

 A Psalm of Asaph.

1 Yet God is good to Israel,
to each pure-hearted one.
2 But as for me, my steps near slipped,
my feet were almost gone.

3 For I envious was, and grudged
the foolish folk to see,
When I perceived the wicked sort
enjoy prosperity.

4 For still their strength continueth firm;
their death of bands is free.
5 They are not toiled like other men,
nor plagued, as others be.

6 Therefore their pride, like to a chain,
them compasseth about;
And, as a garment, violence
doth cover them throughout.

7 Their eyes stand out with fat; they have
more than their hearts could wish.
8 They are corrupt; their talk of wrong
both lewd and lofty is.

9 They set their mouth against the heav’ns
in their blasphemous talk;
And their reproaching tongue throughout
the earth at large doth walk.

10 His people oftentimes for this
look back, and turn about;
Sith waters of so full a cup
to these are pourèd out.

11 And thus they say, How can it be
that God these things doth know?
Or, Can there in the Highest be
knowledge of things below?

12 Behold, these are the wicked ones,
yet prosper at their will
In worldly things; they do increase
in wealth and riches still.

13 I verily have done in vain
my heart to purify;
To no effect in innocence
washed my hands have I.

14 For daily, and all day throughout,
great plagues I suffered have;
Yea, ev’ry morning I of new
did chastisement receive.

15 If in this manner foolishly
to speak I would intend,
Thy children’s generation,
behold, I should offend.

16 When I this thought to know, it was
too hard a thing for me;
17 Till to God’s sanctuary I went,
then I their end did see.

18 Assuredly thou didst them set
a slipp’ry place upon;
Them suddenly thou castedst down
into destruction.

19 How in a moment suddenly
to ruin brought are they!
With fearful terrors utterly
they are consumed away.

20 Ev’n like unto a dream, when one
from sleeping doth arise;
So thou, O Lord, when thou awak’st,
their image shalt despise.

21 Thus grieved was my heart in me,
and me my reins oppressed:
22 So rude was I, and ignorant,
and in thy sight a beast.

23 Nevertheless continually,
O Lord, I am with thee:
Thou dost me hold by my right hand,
and still upholdest me.

24 Thou, with thy counsel, while I live,
wilt me conduct and guide;
And to thy glory afterward
receive me to abide.

25 Whom have I in the heavens high
but thee, O Lord, alone?
And in the earth whom I desire
besides thee there is none.

26 My flesh and heart doth faint and fail,
but God doth fail me never:
For of my heart God is the strength
and portion for ever.

27 For, lo, they that are far from thee
for ever perish shall;
Them that a whoring from thee go
thou hast destroyed all.

28 But surely it is good for me
that I draw near to God:
In God I trust, that all thy works
I may declare abroad.