BOOK THREE (Psalms 73–89)
A psalm of Asaph.
1Truly God is good to Israel,
to those whose hearts are pure.
2But as for me, I almost lost my footing.
My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.
3For I envied the proud
when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.
4They seem to live such painless lives;
their bodies are so healthy and strong.
5They don’t have troubles like other people;
they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else.
6They wear pride like a jeweled necklace
and clothe themselves with cruelty.
7These fat cats have everything
their hearts could ever wish for!
8They scoff and speak only evil;
in their pride they seek to crush others.
9They boast against the very heavens,
and their words strut throughout the earth.
10And so the people are dismayed and confused,
drinking in all their words.
11“What does God know?” they ask.
“Does the Most High even know what’s happening?”
12Look at these wicked people—
enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply.
13Did I keep my heart pure for nothing?
Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?
14I get nothing but trouble all day long;
every morning brings me pain.
15If I had really spoken this way to others,
I would have been a traitor to your people.
16So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper.
But what a difficult task it is!
17Then I went into your sanctuary, O God,
and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.
18Truly, you put them on a slippery path
and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction.
19In an instant they are destroyed,
completely swept away by terrors.
20When you arise, O Lord,
you will laugh at their silly ideas
as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.
21Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
and I was all torn up inside.
22I was so foolish and ignorant—
I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
23Yet I still belong to you;
you hold my right hand.
24You guide me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.
25Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
26My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.
27Those who desert him will perish,
for you destroy those who abandon you.
28But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
I have made the Sovereign lord my shelter,
and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.