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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


Asaph, a godly Israelite who wrote about a dozen of the Psalms, found himself in a serious dilemma. He actually wrote Psalm 73 to explain his frustration. As he looked around him, he could not help but notice that wicked people were prospering. The troubles that he and his friends (the righteous followers of God) were plagued with in their daily lives did not seem to touch those men who were violent and corrupt.

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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This article has been read 184 times
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Brenda Rice 02/27/14
Your devotional is well written and has good use of the scriptures. You cover the subject well and it fits the topic.

thanks for sharing.
C D Swanson 02/28/14
A beautiful devotional that touches the topic deeply and will touch hearts as well.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/01/14
I really enjoyed this. I didn't remember this Psalm but you brought it to life for me. I could easily relate. It does seem sometimes that it doesn't pay to be godly--oh, but the rewards we will reap in Heaven.

The one thing I might encourage you to do is put his thoughts in italics so you don't need the taglines he thought. Then add some body language. For example : It's not fair! " He looked up and motioned with his arms.
Though not perfect I hope it helps.

You really did a splendid job on this piece. You nailed the topic and used a story or Bible verses that not everyone would recognize. I know the Upper Room is often looking for Old Testament devotions. With a tiny bit of tweaking, and add a prayer and thought for the day, and I think you should consider submitting it to them.
Dusty Fontaine03/03/14
I enjoyed this piece. It is another reminder that we are pilgrims and strangers in this place. Our citizenship is in the Kingdom of God.

I can't count the number of times I felt like Asaph did in this Psalm and verbalized it to God. Thankfully, we have a merciful and longsuffering Creator who is patient with us.

He has used Asaph's and your writing to show us our error and where to go to overcome it.

Thank you.
C D Swanson 03/06/14

God bless~
Frana Hamilton03/06/14
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/06/14
Congratulations on ranking 3rd in your level and 22 overall. The highest rankings can be found on the message boards.