When the psalmist entered the sanctuary of God and God opened his eyes to the destiny of the wicked, he also had a new appreciation of what it meant to be a believer. He understand better what the goodness of God also meant for him.
23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
In many of the psalms and the OT, we see the expectation that the righteous will be blessed and the wicked will be judged and sometimes this is stated in material terms. This psalmist though, learns another lesson which we also need to learn. And that is that the reward for the believer is God himself and the chief value of living a godly life is a right relationship with him. While God may give evidence of his goodness in material terms, the only guarantee we have as believers is that he will evidence that goodness in personal spiritual terms.
Craig Boyles says:
“Psalm 73 is extraordinary among the psalms in that a resolution is won, but it does not consist in a deliverance from troubling circumstances but a new understanding of God’s ultimate design…it opens up for us … a divine reality that transcends the immediate reality around us.” (see references # 4)
So Asaph, in coming to a new understanding of the goodness of God realises that there is no other like him, “and earth has nothing” that is worth desiring other than him. He is then able to say with a new confidence, that even though:
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, … God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Both now and for all eternity.
So, having worked his way through the dilemma, he is able to conclude:
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.
If you are having trouble with doubt, then hopefully this Psalm will be helpful to you. Read the psalm, pray the psalm to God asking him to give you insight and understanding and may you discover in a new and deeper way that “God is good.”
But we, as Christians, have a huge advantage over Asaph. We are living post the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The ultimate proof that God is good. Let me just give you a few examples from the NT.
Paul in Colossians 1 says that God “has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins…[ This son being Jesus, the One who] is the image of the invisible God… [the One who] is before all things, and in him all things hold together… and through him [he has] reconciled to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.”
Such is the goodness of God towards us.
And in fact, there is much more, for as Peter says in 2 Peter 1:3-4,
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
Not only has God sent Jesus to reconcile us to the Father, to forgive our sin, to save us from the corruption of the world around us, but He has sent his Holy Spirit to indwell us, so that we may be partakers of the very life of God. A life that is real, an abundant life, life eternal.
So, God is good, and there is no doubt about it! But if you ever do doubt it, you now know where to go – Psalm 73!