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Psalm 73; Matthew 6:22-33

Psalm 73; Matthew 6:22-33

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In verse 1 and in verse 28 form the inclusion. “Israel” of verse 1 is replaced with “me.” The word is repeated in vv. 7, 13, 21, & 26.

1. The psalmist probably was not firm about God’s goodness toward him (vv. 1-2)

(a) He thought that God was good only to “Israel” collectively, not necessarily personally (verse 1)
(b) He thought that God loved only those who are pure in heart (verse 1)
(c) The weaker you are in the grasp of the essentials of your faith, the greater are chances for your doubts to win you over
(d) For a period of time, the psalmist went through crisis of his faith “slipped” “lost foothold” (verse 2)
(e) If doubt is unchecked, it can/will result in disbelief

2. What the psalmist focused passionately influenced his thoughts and actions (vv. 4-16)

(a) The Psalmist developed an unhealthy passion for money, materials, and social prominence of others (vv. 3-12)
(b) When you focus on the things of this world more than the things of God, the thoughts about the world will take you captive (vv. 4-12)
(c) Looking at the wrong people and place put the psalmist on a slippery slope (vv. 13-16)
(d) Dissatisfaction (verse 13)
(e) Bitterness (verse 14)
(f) Distress (verse 16)

3. The psalmist came to his senses when he went to the Temple—in other words, when he had a real meeting with God (verse 17-28)

(a) He understood that the people he admired are in slippery slope, which was his experience a little while ago (vv. 18-20)—God’s goodness is not always worldly blessings
(b) God’s presence throws light on the psalmist’s flaws (vv. 21-22)
(c) The psalmist understands that he needed God more than money, materials, and social significance which he admired a few minutes ago (23-28) —verse 28 “But as for me, God’s presence is all I need”

4. Jesus cautioned His disciples/followers about the struggles they would face with regard to their loyalty to Him and their love for the materials of the world (Matthew 6:22-33)

(a) If not careful, they will have an obsession for accumulation of wealth and money (vv. 22-24)

(b) If not careful, they will be preoccupied with material and physical needs (25-32)

(b1) Jesus is not teaching against cloth, food, and drink, but He appears to teach against the preoccupation (spending all their energy) for them
(b2) This is highlighted by the repetition of the word “worry” (vv. 25, 27, 28, 31)
(b3) God will take care of their physical and material needs because He is their Father (vv. 8, 18, 26, 30, 32)
(b4) Jesus promotes healing from obsession from wealth and money, and preoccupation with physical and material needs

5. According to Jesus, healing from obsession for materials and wealth, and preoccupation with physical and materials is not instant but ongoing (verse 33)

(a) They must seek God’s kingdom and righteousness (“Seek” is contrasted with “worry”; a shift must take place)
(b) They must seek God and His interest as the most prominent goal of their life (The word “first” is not sequel, but it refers “priority”)

6. Take Away

Surround yourself with people who seek God’s Kingdom as their priority

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at wjsubash@crossroadbangalore.org