Psalm 73 is about someone who struggles with the question of what is good. The psalmist looks at others -- at people who don't care for God -- and determines that they have what is good and he doesn’t. This realization brings him to the brink of despair. We end up in the same place when our lives are not centered on worship to God. The psalmist is particularly discouraged by the prosperity of the wicked (vs. 3). Psalm 1:3-4 says it is the righteous who should prosper and wicked are the ones that should suffer. So the psalmist trusts his own understanding and begins to doubt. That doubt turns into envy and bitterness. You can almost hear his cry of anguish:
Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence. All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning. (Psalm 73:13-14)
Sometimes Christians feel this way. Why are my kids the ones with issues? I try harder than almost everyone else yet I can't seem to get anywhere. It is so easy for them. Why is it so hard for me? And then the focus turns to those who are in the world and really aren’t concerned with God. They appear to prosper. The thoughts come -- it is not fair. It is not supposed to be this way. Why does good come to others and not to me?