Psalm 73:4

ESV For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek.
NIV They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.
NASB For there are no pains in their death, And their belly is fat.
CSB They have an easy time until they die, and their bodies are well fed.
NLT They seem to live such painless lives; their bodies are so healthy and strong.
KJV For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm.

What does Psalm 73:4 mean?

Even today, faithful believers sometimes struggle to understand why godless people prosper (Psalm 73:1–3). It's difficult to avoid feelings of jealousy in those situations. In Asaph's view, some living in his era defied God and yet were healthy and happy. The word "pangs" signifies pain and suffering: such people are free from disease and pain. In the context of this complaint, these were not necessarily all wicked people, at all times, but certainly enough to test Asaph's resolve.

Of course, many prosperous wicked people experience trials, and some suffer pain. Even the most successful person—wicked or not—is not immune from cancer or other painful afflictions. More than a few well-to-do people are unhealthy, often due to their own lifestyle choices. It's also true that rejecting God's wisdom puts a person at risk of consequences (Proverbs 9:13–18). Still, from Asaph's point of view, these godless ones seemed free of disease and perfectly healthy.

Perhaps Asaph's health was poor and he experienced physical pain. In that case, he would be even more tempted to envy sinful people whose health was good. Job, too, saw quite a contrast between his physical distress and the good health of the wicked. He said, "When I remember, I am dismayed, and shuddering seizes my flesh. Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power? (Job 21:6–7). It is the mark of a humble worshiper of God to accept what God brings into his life without envying those who seem to have no trouble.
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