Psalm 73:14

ESV For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning.
NIV All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments.
NASB For I have been stricken all day long, And punished every morning.
CSB For I am afflicted all day long and punished every morning.
NLT I get nothing but trouble all day long; every morning brings me pain.
KJV For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.

What does Psalm 73:14 mean?

Those who abandoned obedience to God in favor of worldliness (Psalm 73:1–3, 10–11) excused their decision by pointing to their struggles. Earlier verses used deliberate exaggeration to highlight this complaint. The wicked are depicted as eating until their eyes bulge out (Psalm 73:7) and living lives free of any cares (Psalm 73:5), gaining wealth without much effort (Psalm 73:12). Here, the opposite is presented, with the same level of melodrama. The purpose of this vivid complaint is to voice what many of God's people feel: frustration when it seems that godless people benefit from evil, while those who obey the Lord are suffering.

"Stricken," here, uses the same Hebrew root word as verse 5 and directly contrasts that statement. The word literally means "touched," and in this context means an affliction sent from God as judgment. Similarly, to be "rebuked" is to be harshly corrected or chastened.

Yet another common human mistake is to assume that all hardship, such as illness, is God's judgment on some sin that person has committed (John 9:1–3). The disciples mistakenly thought a man blind from birth must have been guilty of some sin. Jesus squelched their reasoning. He explained the purpose of that specific man's affliction was to display the power of God. Similarly, the purpose of a believer's sickness or disability may be to glorify God. That's not an easy thing to accept, but it's part of having an eternal perspective (Hebrews 11:13–16).

Although sin certainly can lead to sickness and death (Proverbs 9:13–18), that does not mean all pain is a direct result of the suffering person's own mistakes. Often, hardship in this life is meant to draw us closer to God and to reveal His sustaining grace. If everything went smoothly for us all the time, how often would we pray? How earnestly would we pray?

In the final section of this psalm, Asaph will explain how despairing attitudes make no sense (Psalm 73:15–17).
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