But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well near slipped.
I. WHEN WAS THE FAITH OF THE PSALMIST ENDANGERED?
1. When he "saw the prosperity of the wicked."
2. When he observed the apparent desertion of the righteous. The adversity of the saints was more mysterious than the prosperity of the wicked.
II. WHY WAS THE FAITH OF ASAPH IMPERILLED? Faith is designed for times of darkness, distress, etc. Job declared, "Though He slay me, yet," etc.
1. The psalmist has a wrong spirit. "I was envious," etc. Our opinions are affected by our moods. Envy impaired the judgement and blurred the spiritual vision of Asaph.
2. The psalmist had narrow views. We are apt to express our opinions as if we understood all events and could compass all time.
III. THE RESCUE OF FAITH.
1. Through holy influences. "I went into the sanctuary" — the place nearest God.
2. Through clearer views, "Then understood I their end." As we trace, on the other hand, the closing chapters in the lives of Joseph, Daniel and others, apparent discrepancies fade away.
3. Faith becomes more vigorous than before. He not only was satisfied but jubilant: "Whom have I in heaven but Thee," etc.Lessons:
1. Guard against judging by appearances, or from imperfect data.
2. Trust where it is difficult to trace infinite love.
3. Faith rests, questionings are silenced, when the soul is nearer to God.
Parallel VersesKJV: But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.