Psalm 73 - Retribution for Evil and Good




[New International Version] Psalm 73 belongs to Book III of the Book of Psalms. Human behavior results in different paths. Choose whether or not to follow God and trust in your morals.

The PS 73 belong to Book III of the Book of PS composed of a collection of texts 150 arranged by 5 poetry books. The Book of Psalms, for its wisdom and basic principles of human action , is considered the heart of the Old Testament. Book III encompasses Psalms 73 to 89 . The PS 73 is divided into 28 verses.

The Psalms are poems-prayers addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak to Him. These prayers represent human experiences and religious conscience . They portray the common man , with his faults, insecurities, fears and hopes and, even today, we can identify with the Psalmist and draw inspiration from these texts to pray and plead with God when we feel lost and anguished or to express our gratitude for any blessing received.

“There are enemies or friends, there is life or death, health or illness, pain or joy and, most of the time, there are no changes or gradations. Words are like stones and poetry like boulders carved by chisel”; “The Psalms are a bit like mountain paths, simple, especially when walking on snow, but they lead to the peaks; they are paths toward the peaks of meeting the Lord.” - Carlo Maria Martini, Cardinal of Milan

Psalm 73 - Retribution for Evil and Good

1  Psalm. From Asaph  .

How good is God to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart!

2  Alas! My feet were almost slipping,
my stepsal most fell off.

3  For I was envious of the wicked,
seeing the prosperity of evildoers.

4  For them there is no trouble;
your body is healthy and well nourished.

5  Human fatigues
neither have them nor are they tormented like other men.

6  Therefore her necklace is of pride,
and her robe of adornment is violence.

7  From their obese body go forth their iniquity;
through your heart run wild ideas.

8  They mock and speak with malice;
haughtily they make threats of oppression.

9  Against the sky they open their mouths
and their tongues roam the earth.

10  So his people turn to them
and drink their words like water.

11  And they say, “How is it possible for God to know this
and the Most High to have knowledge?”

12  That is how evildoers are,
always calm and hoarding riches.

13  It is useless for me to have a pure heart
and my hands clean and innocent.

14  Will I have to torment myself all day
and feel punished every morning?

15  If I thought: “I will speak like them”, I
would be betraying your children’s generation.

16  I thought better to understand these things,
but it was very painful in my eyes.

17  Until I entered the sanctuary of God;
I now understand the end that awaits them.

18  Verily You place them on a slippery plane;
you made them fall into ruins.

19  In a moment, they are desolate
and end up transfixed with dread!

20  As when you wake up from a dream, Lord,
when you wake up you will despise his image.

21  Formerly my heart was exasperated,
and I was consumed in my bowels.

22  As a fool, I understood nothing;
it was like an animal in your presence.

23  Yet I was always with
You, and You held my right hand.

24 You  guided me with your counsel,
and at last you will receive me in glory.

25  Who else have I in heaven?
And with you I desire nothing more on earth.

26  If my body and my heart fail,
God is the rock for my heart.
God is my heritage forever.

27  Those who are far from you will perish;
You exterminate those who are unfaithful to you.

28  For me, happiness is being close to God.
I have placed my trust in the Lord GOD
to proclaim all your works.

Meaning and interpretation

The PS 73 has the characteristics of a wisdom meditation . It deals with issues associated with human behavior , particularly the issue of reward and punishment , which do not always seem to happen in the most fair way.

The solution lies in strengthening trust in God . He who is faithful to God will be welcomed in his glory. The Psalm 73 refers to what happens to who is near or far from God.

The Sapiential Psalms are books of Sacred Scripture ( Libri Sapientiales ) that contain, above all, moral sentences from ancient Israel - Proverbs, Job, Qohelet (Ecclesiastes), Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Song of Songs, Wisdom. These prayers are filled with ancient inspiration and wisdom, life experiences and the history of peoples. They analyze human behavior , ethical choices and their consequences, and the search for the meaning of life and death for each one of us and as a society.

Various themes are addressed in these Psalms such as justice / injustice; sinful / righteous; wisdom/foolishness; bad / good; fidelity / infidelity; the honor or lack of it, the virtue that exists in prudence in speaking, in being fair, in knowing how to be rich. The existence of God is never questioned. He is Creator, Lord, Judge, Wise.

The Wisdom Psalms are also understood as a guide for everyone to meditate on the issues of their daily lives and the mysteries of life. The Psalmist uses his own and others’ experiences to discern the path to take based on correct moral principles. They are based on the assumption that what we do in this world, we pay in this life. The wisdom style appears in Psalm 1; 14; 34; 36; 37; 39; 49; 53; 73; 74.

The Book of Psalms

The Joy and Happiness of the Righteous in Communion with God

The Psalms are prayer-poems addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak with Him. Depicting the common man , with his failures, insecurities, fears and hopes, we can still identify with the Psalmist and be inspired today in Psalms to make prayers and supplications to God in times of trouble or express our gratitude for some blessing received.

The Psalms, despite being written in Antiquity, still move , sensitize , awaken feelings , inspire and enchant . In them, we can identify anguish and joy , deeply human feelings, praises, supplications, teachings of reflection on spiritual wisdom and prophetic words.

Written for different situations , some Psalms are intimate, revealing the author’s personal relationship with God; others provide guidelines and advice for life, others are compositions for specific liturgical events such as rituals and pilgrimages.

The Book of Psalms is composed of a collection of 150 poetic texts and is divided into five parts, called Psalm Books or Booklets. Each Book closes with short hymns of praise to God . The division into five parts was considered to correspond to the five books of Moses and it is assumed that each passage in the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible, called Torah by the Jews) was read in parallel with the corresponding Psalm. Its main forms are lamentation , supplication , praise, and gratitude .

The Power of Prayer in Dialogue with the Divine

The Psalms elevate our thoughts to the Divine and prayer is the power of the word . Prayer is the language of faith. Any thought, word or image addressed to God is called prayer . It is through it that we come into contact with our God within and, therefore, it is so powerful in transforming life . Prayer can produce miracles , turn dreams into reality, give us hope for change , harmony and peace with ourselves and the world.

Each Psalm has an intention that helps us meditate and walk with our God . For many theologians, the Book of Psalms has a prophetic or messianic tone as its verses refer to the coming of Christ into the world of men to guide them through the uncertainty and doubts of Human existence.

The prayer has the power to call the Spiritual Universe full mode, honest, sincere, conscious, for the purpose of spiritual self-protection, family protection and those who are dear to us, to have peace of mind, spiritual and physical, for prosperity and success, to protect health and relationships, to ward off negative energies and, above all, to connect us to something bigger than ourselves. From this peace , well-being, hope and goodness in front of everyone and everything result.

The faith can change our lives. It gives us tranquility and spiritual strength to face challenges. It helps us to meditate on our mission in life and to create a balanced and healthy environment for ourselves and those we love. When you pray, fill your heart with love and determination . The Psalms will guide you on a path of peace and communion with the higher energy.