What does Psalm 73:5 mean?
ESV: They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
NIV: They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills.
NASB: They are not in trouble like other people, Nor are they tormented together with the rest of mankind.
CSB: They are not in trouble like others; they are not afflicted like most people.
NLT: They don’t have troubles like other people; they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else.
KJV: They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.
NKJV: They are not in trouble as other men, Nor are they plagued like other men.
Verse Commentary:
Asaph continues his heartfelt complaint: some wicked people are happy and healthy, while more moral people seem to be in constant trouble. We do not know what hardships or afflictions Asaph had, but he must have had more than a few. Since he was in a position of leadership in Israel, he must have known many righteous individuals who were suffering. Modern pastors often bear the stress of hearing the burdens of people in the church; Asaph might have felt the same spiritual weight.

Part of the reason for this complaint is a restricted perspective. If all that matters is earthly life, we might be bitter about why evil people fare so well. Asaph's understanding would grow clear, as we will discover later in this psalm (Psalm 73:15–17).

To counter that exact complaint, Jesus told a story about a godless rich man who led a life of luxury (Luke 16:19). This was contrasted with a poor, sickly, God-honoring man who longed to eat what fell from the rich man's table. However, upon death the rich man's fate was horrendous. He ended up in the flames of Hades (Luke 16:23, 25), whereas the righteous man experienced the comforts of paradise (Luke 16:22, 25). What presently seems to us to be an unfair contrast between happy evil people and suffering good people will not be so in eternity.
Verse Context:
Psalm 73:1–9 depicts a struggle which resonates with Christians in many eras of history. Asaph almost abandoned his faith in God because he envied the prosperous wicked. He describes them as healthy, wealthy, proud, violent, and profane. Job 21 includes a similar description of the wicked. The wording here is meant to be somewhat exaggerated, reflecting the painful perspective of godly people who suffer. The following verses discuss how the same problems lead others to question God, and how Asaph ultimately resolves his doubts and confirms his faith.
Chapter Summary:
Seeing godless people thrive, even as they hatefully mock God, while believers suffer, leads many people to a crisis of faith. This was the case for Asaph. Using exaggerated imagery, he complains to the Lord that it seems as if evil people have easy lives, while godly people suffer. Further reflection reminds Asaph that sin does lead to consequences, both in this life and the next. He confesses his sins of bitterness and resolves to trust God more deeply.
Chapter Context:
This psalm is the first in a collection which corresponds to Leviticus and the overall theme of worship. Asaph, who wrote Psalm 73, confesses that seeing prosperity among wicked people brought him bitterness and envy. That nearly caused him to lose trust in God. Carefully considering God and His eternal truth led Asaph to a stronger faith. Job chapter 21, in which trial-laden Job also complains about the success of some wicked people, mentions many of the same ideas as Psalm 73.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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