Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Short End of the Stick (02/20/14)
TITLE: What We Can Learn from Asaph
By Frana Hamilton
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Asaph was shocked to find himself envious, but he couldn’t seem to help it. It's just not fair, Asaph told himself. He began to think his walk with God was in vain. These wicked people are healthy and strong and everything seems to go their way. Perhaps my walk with God has been in vain, he thought. It looked like the bad guys were running the asylum, whereas the good guys (he and his friends) were getting the short end of the stick. At this point Asaph was descending into self-pity.
To make matters worse, Asaph was afraid to talk to his godly friends because maybe they hadn't noticed how bad things were. He didn't want to discourage them; he didn't want to be a stumbling block to them. That meant he had no one to talk to but himself – just, “me, myself, and I." All these thoughts were running around in his head and he didn't know what to do; he just knew the whole situation was making him miserable.
Finally, though, he came to his senses. He went to the sanctuary and laid his problem before God. Ahhh…the light-bulb turned on. As he prayed his heart was eased. Asaph suddenly realized that God knew what He was about. God had it all under control.
Suddenly Asaph felt dumb, and "foolish…and ignorant" to use his own words in verse 22. Asaph now knew he could trust his God completely and he rebuked himself for not just trusting that God knew what He was about.
It is like that for us, too. Life seems so unfair sometimes. It is only when we “go to the sanctuary” that we understand that God is always behind the scenes making sure that “all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28) for His children.
We can feel Asaph's relief as he breaks forth into praise in the last verse (Psalm 73:28). “But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all my work.” That's mighty good advice for anyone who worries that he has gotten “the short end of the stick.”
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