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Watch 2022 online sermons » Beth Moore » Beth Moore - My Feet Almost Slipped - Part 1

Beth Moore - My Feet Almost Slipped - Part 1


Beth Moore - My Feet Almost Slipped - Part 1

Glance on the page of Scripture with me at the 73rd Psalm and look just above it. In most of your Bibles, I know for certain any of your formal translations, it's going to have a little partition that is setting it apart right before the Psalm where you know you are going into a new section. Can anybody tell me what you see right above it? Not the caption for the Psalm, but just above that. What does it say? You've got a new section coming, what is it? You see "Book 3".

Now, just to give you a little bit of information in case this is new to you, the Psalms, there are 150 Psalms, were divided many, many, many years ago into 5 books. So, 150 Psalms and there is book 1, book 2, book 3, book 4, book 5. This is the beginning of book 3 and it goes from 73 all the way to 89. Now we're not certain, scholars don't know, why for sure the Psalms were ever put into five sections like that. There is some thought that maybe it goes with the five books of the Pentateuch, this is Genesis through Deuteronomy, that maybe for liturgical reasons, for reasons for reading in the gatherings and in the temple, whatever it might have been, it might be why there are five and five. So that could be. But nevertheless, I want you to know it begins a new section of the Psalms and that becomes important to us as we gather. What also becomes important to us is that it is a Psalm of Asaph, so I wanna show you a couple of things, just so you have in your mind who is Asaph.

Let's see if we can get down to who wrote the Psalm or what family line it was written in and by and that will have a little color on how we look at the Psalm. So, 1 Chronicles 15. You're gonna notice at the beginning of that chapter it probably says something to the effect of that this is when David is bringing the ark into Jerusalem and then he's wanting to do it right this time, because the last time he tried this and he had it carried in on the back of a beast, it began to topple and someone reached out to touch it and it killed him.

And so he's like, "We better go back to the book, and we better find out how it's supposed to be done and he does find out". He says it at the very beginning in verse 2: "Then David said, 'No one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, because the Lord has chosen them to carry the ark of the Lord and to minister to him forever.' Then David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their relatives as singers and to have them raise their voices with joy accompanied by musical instruments: harps, lyres, and cymbals. So the Levites appointed Heman son of Joel; from his relatives, and Asaph son of Berechiah". Asaph son of Berechiah. So he was part of this ministering team, this worship team, of leaders put together to lead them as musicians and singers when the ark was being brought into Jerusalem and then it would be henceforth.

Look with me in the next chapter, 1 Chronicles 16 in verse 4. It says: "David appointed some of the Levites to be ministers before the ark of the Lord, to celebrate the Lord God of Israel, and to give thanks and praise to him. And Asaph was chief". It also tells us at the end of verse 5 that he played the cymbals. And so if that does anything for you, as you look at what he's going to have penned for us, this is either this one or it's someone in his family line that carries that name "Asaph" as a Psalmist and as a worship leader. So picture that with me because it becomes very important to have that in mind, someone set up for worship in the midst of the ark of the covenant that there, as they gathered together with that behind that heavy veil, in that tent, that is where they would lead the people in worship. Keeping that in mind, turn back with me to Psalm 73. Psalm 73.

Now, the Psalms of Asaph begin right here in the book of Psalms. Many, many Psalms by David. Some Psalms by Solomon, some Psalms by Moses. Some Psalms are not identified by anyone in particular, but we have this one, a Psalm of Asaph and it's the beginning of a collection of 11 Psalms of Asaph right here in a row. And they've got a little bit of a common theme in that most of them are about faith in crisis, but I wanna tell you a couple of really spectacular things about Psalm 73 before we ever get into it. It's right about the midpoint of the Psalms: 150, that would put 75 at the midpoint. But what is really spectacular about it is that we are going to go on this journey of faith, this crisis, with Asaph and we are going to see him personalize it in every way.

This is an "I, you," kind of psalm. And we are going to see right in the middle of it, he is gonna make a turn. We are gonna see a turnaround and so what I'm asking you to do with me, is let's go through it, let's feel it with him. Get into the page with him. Sense the crisis with him. Let's not put too quickly toward relief. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Let's let the tension hang in the air because we know what it's like, many of us, to go through this kind of tension with the things of faith.

So listen up, verse 1: "God is indeed good to Israel, to the pure in heart. But as for me, my feet almost slipped; my steps nearly went astray. For I envied the arrogant; I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have an easy time until they die, their bodies are well fed. They're not in trouble like others; they're not afflicted like most people. Therefore, pride is their necklace, and violence covers them like a garment. Their eyes bulge out from fatness; the imaginations of their hearts run wild. They mock, they speak maliciously; they arrogantly threaten oppression. They set their mouths against heaven, and their tongues strut across the earth. Therefore his people turn to them and drink in their overflowing words. The wicked say, 'How can God know? Does the Most High know everything?' Look at them, the wicked! They are always at ease, and they increase their wealth. Did I purify my heart and wash my hands in innocence for nothing? For I am afflicted all day long, punished every morning. If I had decided to say these things aloud, I would have betrayed your people".

Do you feel the crisis? This is our segment for our present session. We're gonna try to climb in these words with him and I wanna begin it by asking you this: Anybody presently in this season having a hard time understanding something you thought you had understood for years? Anybody know what I'm talking about? Anybody just certain you had some things figured out that, all of a sudden in a present season, do not seem nearly as clean cut and dry as they did? It's a very interesting thing because in verse 3, notice where he says: "For I envied the arrogant and I saw the prosperity of the wicked". That word "prosperity" in Hebrew would be a form of the word "shalom". And so you've got to understand something. When he's saying this, he's saying, wait a second, shalom is what was promised to us as the people of God and so his point is it looks like they've got our blessing.

Have you ever thought, have you ever been able to really let the thought settle in your mind, it looks to be like people that are not in Christ are more blessed than people who are in Christ? Have you ever just let yourself think through the implications of "How come it looks like they've got our blessing"? And look around at things when it seems like stuff's not fair. I wonder if anybody in the room in recent weeks, in recent months, has just had the thought run through your head, "I don't think stuff is fair". I mean, I just need to see somebody's hand. "I just don't think stuff's fair". Then we meet him right in the middle of the scroll in Psalm 73 because these are exactly the kinds of things he is going through. This Psalm is about disorientation. Disorientation.

Anybody really lock into that word with anything that resonates right now? Because these last couple of years have been a season for me that I would define if I'd had to just pick out one word, just like "disorientation". It's a kind of thing when you're just like, one day you feel like you went to sleep on planet Earth and the next day you wake up on Mars. Anybody? Anybody? Where you think, like, "What happened here? What happened here? What is going on"? And what's the last time you just wanted to scream, "What is going on here? I mean, where am I? And which way is up? And which way is down"? It may be what seems like, it's not always this, but it may be what seems like in your value system, that there has been a reversal in good and evil. Does this make sense to anybody?

That what is good is now somehow evil, and what is evil, I mean, this has been your value system all this time, all of a sudden, it's good. And it's like you're looking around you, going, "Does anybody else feel like we have awakened in a dream? What is happening here"? Could be on a global level. It could be on a national level. But it can also be in any community of people, be it your church, your family, a social circle of people who have been friends for many, many years, for whatever reason, everything has turned over and you recognize almost nothing. And sometimes you'll look around you and you'll think to yourself, "Does anybody else notice this or is it just me"?

I can tell you some times in the last year, you know when you just look in the mirror and go, "Have you lost your mind? Have you lost your mind"? Because either everyone else is crazy or you are, or you're just all crazy but you're just all a different kind of crazy. Anybody? Like, I mean, like, you're the big nut. It's like you're the brazil nut. I mean, it's just like, that's it. That's it. Where it's a bit like, "I don't even recognize, I don't recognize my life. I don't recognize my environment. I no longer recognize my church. I don't recognize my community. I don't recognize our world on the news. I don't know what's happened here".

But here's the big one, and here's where I really, really want you to lean in to it, because listen to the crisis in verse 13. This is where it says he starts talking about where he has seen all of this, people just getting away with all sorts of things, and they're so happy and he's so miserable. I mean, they're just like in peace and prosperity and he's all afflicted. And he's looking around him and then the crisis comes in this wording, verse 13: "Did I purify my heart and wash my hands in innocence for nothing"? Let me put it to you this way. This is where you ask the question, "Does this even pay off"?

According to the value system that you understand, believe is right, does it even pay off? Did you make some hard decisions that you've yet to even see any benefit come from? Anybody just keep waiting for it to have a good kind of consequence after you made a really hard decision? I mean, somebody who made a hard decision because you believed it to be the will of God, according to the Scriptures, and I mean, you've been wondering or maybe way past wondering, all the way into resenting, that you might have done that for nothing. Let me just throw out a couple of examples, how this can get created in our mindset. Maybe you let go of a relationship because you knew that it was wrong and now it's been some amount of years and you're still alone. And I mean, you're thinking to yourself, "I'ma tell you something, any lover is better than no lover," right?

And I can tell you with absolute certainty that the answer to that question is a resounding No. I promise you that a bad romantic entanglement is not better than no romantic entanglement. I promise you that in Jesus's name. But it can get very confusing. Could somebody say "Amen" to that? When you think, "I did the right thing, and dude is living happily ever after with the neighbor in the next subdivision and, like, they're going to my same church and I'm 67 and in the singles department". You're seeing what I'm saying to you? Doesn't seem fair, doesn't seem right. Maybe you forewent an opportunity that you knew was gonna put you right back into an environment that has been really, really triggering to defeat in your past, and so you were, like, "I'm not gonna do it. I'm not gonna do it because, man, I know that kind of thing sets me up, so I'm not gonna take that opportunity".

Or maybe you turned down a job because you knew, you were already on to it, you could already see the handwriting on the wall, that it was gonna be compromising, but you know who took that job and, like, they're prospering and God has not even opened up the ground and swallowed them up in it. I mean, they're doing great, you're all afflicted. Is this sounding familiar to anyone? Does anyone in the house? This is not about them. All those people we look around at, this is gonna come down to us. This is about me and my God. This is about you and your God, or if you don't know him yet, you and your maker. This is where we struggle the thing through. This is really not about them. This, Lord, is about the two of us.

I remember so clearly, you know, we think to ourselves that he does not have somehow the creativity to be able to raise his children in very, very individual, not by a different set of rules, but certainly by their individual bents and leanings and the things that he wants to birth in them, the experiences he wants his children to have. We don't give him the credit to know what is his best route for me, for you, and the uniqueness that you are, and the uniqueness that I have before him. And so here's what we think we're doing. We think that we are looking at one another's report cards and seeing how they're doing. I make this point because I raised two daughters, but I never let them look at the other one's report card, because it just was none of their business.

Just was none of their business. They didn't get to know how the other one was doing. It was not their business. But we think we're all... We got their report card out here and we're just going, like, "Lord, look how they're doing. Look how they're doing". He goes, "You know what? You think you're looking at something you cannot see. I hold my cards close," I think he would say to us. "You're not seeing what you think you're seeing".

Do you remember at the end of John's Gospel in John 21, there's just this amazing moment where Jesus has told Peter a little bit about, just a glimpse into some suffering that he has ahead, and some hardship that he has ahead, and, of course, he turns around, he sees John, and goes, "But, Lord, what about him"? And he goes, "What is that to you? You follow me". We'll get so wrapped up in comparison of what God is doing with them and what it appears to us God is doing with us, that it becomes a stronghold to us and we can't get over it. We just keep turning around like this.

See, the Psalmist is talking in Psalm 73 about the wicked prospering and I think there's that, but I wanna throw something else into the scenario, because I don't know that I get jealous of the world. I think I have a pretty clear distinction in my mind that there are the people that are followers of Jesus and then there's the world. "And God so loved the world," but I don't think to myself that any of the same rules apply about how he's raising his own kid. Does that make sense to somebody? But I tell you where I can get tripped up. No, it's people that also are in the faith that are making some of us in this room mad. Because you're thinking, like, "I mean, they got the same belief system I do, and they are doing a whole lot better than I am doing. And I have made," if this is, just only step in the shoe if it fits.

"I have made better decisions than they have. I mean, they're living happily ever after and they haven't even had to do some of this hard stuff". Maybe that has never been you, but I tell you, that comparison, I mean, it can grab hold of us, and it can cause us so much resentment when it seems that God is blessing someone else more than he is blessing us, because when it comes right down to it, I mean, here's how we feel about it. Listen, "The better I am, God, the better you ought to be to me".

Do you all see what I'm saying? Man, it's just good math, Lord. If I'm good, you ought to be better. Come to this page and we're reminded again this week, that, no, no, no, he's interested in you. Not you as compared to the person sitting next to you. You, you. He's got his own thing going with them. But you and I enter into the Psalm and this thing is about you and your God, and me and my God, and working some of this through that has got hold of us and to know that he loves us and knows what he's doing with us. We'll start with three points tonight. Number one, GOD IS INDEED GOOD. But then here comes this second one: BUT AS FOR ME, MY FEET ALMOST SLIPPED.

This brings us to number three, just doing one right after another so that we can get the feel of it. Number three is this: DID I DO ALL THIS FOR NOTHING? These words that we are studying in Psalm 73 are every bit as God-breathed as the opening of Matthew, as the opening of Romans, as the opening of Revelation. The Word of God, given by the Holy Spirit, through the one identified as Asaph, the chief worshiper, the cymbal player. Listen, there's nothing like the cymbal player losing his enthusiasm. I mean, this is not how this is supposed to go down. I mean, what if you're that person? Like, you're in charge of stuff and you just, like, lost your passion for it because something has turned the inside out and you no longer recognize your life anymore.

God is indeed good, but as for me, my feet almost slipped. Did I do all this for nothing? You know, I've got to tell you the wildest thing. So, earlier today, I get word for the first time in going on 22 years of LPL, and I don't remember there being another time at any other event that this particular word came to me: "Just want you to know that because of the weather outside and it being a little bit balmier with it just being warmer, it's causing a lot of humidity in the arena and the floor is over ice. It's put over ice because of, you know, hockey, and so it's sort of wanting to melt and the condensation is coming up from the floor and the floor is really slippery, y'all".

And you would plan for us in such a way that all over the place what you're gonna see is "Caution, wet floor," because, let me tell you something, there is a slippery floor on this globe that you and I are living in. I need somebody to say if that's true or not. There is a slippery floor here, and we're trying to walk on it.
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