Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 73:11

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

They say, How doth God know? - My people are so stumbled with the prosperity of the wicked, that they are ready in their temptation to say, "Surely, God cannot know these things, or he would never dispense his favors thus." Others consider these words as the saying of the wicked: "We may oppress these people as we please, and live as we list; God knows nothing about it."

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And they say - His people say. The connection demands this interpretation. The meaning is, that his people, as they return again and again to this subject Psalm 73:10, are constrained to put this question. They are compelled by these facts to start such painful inquiries about God; and distressing as the inquiries are, and as are the doubts which they involve, these thoughts will pass through their mind, even though to avoid giving needless pain to those who have no such perplexities and difficulties they keep these thoughts to themselves, Psalm 73:15.

How doth God know? - That is, How can these facts be reconciled with God‘s omniscience? How can it be that he sees all this, and yet suffers it to occur, or that he does not interpose to prevent it? Is it not a fair inference from these facts that God does “not” see them, and that he is “not” an Omniscient Being? Can it be explained, can it be believed, that God sees all this, and that he calmly looks on, and does nothing to prevent it? If he sees it, why does he not interpose and put an end to it? These perplexities were not confined to the psalmist. They are such as have been felt by good people in all ages; and no one yet has been able to furnish a solution of them that is wholly free from difficulty.

And is there knowledge in the Most High? - Can there be in God a knowledge of these facts? Are we not driven to the conclusion that he must be ignorant of them? for, if he knew them, would he not interpose to prevent them? How “can” it be consistent with the idea that he “knows” them, and “sees” them, that he does “not” interpose, and that he suffers these things to take place without any attempt to check such evils? Who, even now, can answer these questions?

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The psalmist was strongly tempted to envy the prosperity of the wicked; a common temptation, which has tried the graces of many saints. But he lays down the great principle by which he resolved to abide. It is the goodness of God. This is a truth which cannot be shaken. Good thoughts of God will fortify against Satan's temptations. The faith even of strong believers may be sorely shaken, and ready to fail. There are storms that will try the firmest anchors. Foolish and wicked people have sometimes a great share of outward prosperity. They seem to have the least share of the troubles of this life; and they seem to have the greatest share of its comforts. They live without the fear of God, yet they prosper, and get on in the world. Wicked men often spend their lives without much sickness, and end them without great pain; while many godly persons scarcely know what health is, and die with great sufferings. Often the wicked are not frightened, either by the remembrance of their sins, or the prospect of their misery, but they die without terror. We cannot judge men's state beyond death, by what passes at their death. He looked abroad, and saw many of God's people greatly at a loss. Because the wicked are so very daring, therefore his people return hither; they know not what to say to it, and the rather, because they drink deep of the bitter cup of affliction. He spoke feelingly when he spoke of his own troubles; there is no disputing against sense, except by faith. From all this arose a strong temptation to cast off religion. But let us learn that the true course of sanctification consists in cleansing a man from all pollution both of soul and body. The heart is cleansed by the blood of Christ laid hold upon by faith; and by the begun works of the Lord's Spirit, manifested in the hearty resolution, purpose, and study of holiness, and a blameless course of life and actions, the hands are cleansed. It is not in vain to serve God and keep his ordinances.
Ellen G. White
Education, 144

The accounts of every business, the details of every transaction, pass the scrutiny of unseen auditors, agents of Him who never compromises with injustice, never overlooks evil, never palliates wrong. Ed 144.1

“If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice, ... marvel not at the matter: for He that is higher than the highest regardeth.” “There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.” Ecclesiastes 5:8; Job 34:22. Ed 144.2

“They set their mouth against the heavens.... And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the Most High?” “These things hast thou done,” God says, “and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes,” Psalm 73:9-11; 50:21. Ed 144.3

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Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 177

By these angel messengers a faithful record is kept of the words and deeds of the children of men. Every act of cruelty or injustice toward God's people, all they are caused to suffer through the power of evil workers, is registered in heaven. COL 177.1

“Shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.” COL 177.2

“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” Hebrews 10:35-37. “Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” James 5:7, 8. COL 177.3

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 274

The fear of God was said to be so far from the beginning of wisdom that it was the beginning of folly. All religious worship was prohibited, except that of liberty and the country. The “constitutional bishop of Paris was brought forward to play the principal part in the most impudent and scandalous farce ever acted in the face of a national representation.... He was brought forward in full procession, to declare to the Convention that the religion which he had taught so many years was, in every respect, a piece of priestcraft, which had no foundation either in history or sacred truth. He disowned, in solemn and explicit terms, the existence of the Deity to whose worship he had been consecrated, and devoted himself in future to the homage of liberty, equality, virtue, and morality. He then laid on the table his episcopal decorations, and received a fraternal embrace from the president of the Convention. Several apostate priests followed the example of this prelate.”—Scott, vol. 1, ch. 17. GC 274.1

“And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.” Infidel France had silenced the reproving voice of God's two witnesses. The word of truth lay dead in her streets, and those who hated the restrictions and requirements of God's law were jubilant. Men publicly defied the King of heaven. Like the sinners of old, they cried: “How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the Most High?” Psalm 73:11. GC 274.2

With blasphemous boldness almost beyond belief, one of the priests of the new order said: “God, if You exist, avenge Your injured name. I bid You defiance! You remain silent; You dare not launch Your thunders. Who after this will believe in Your existence?”—Lacretelle, History 11:309; in Sir Archibald Alison, History of Europe, vol. 1, ch. 10. What an echo is this of the Pharaoh's demand: “Who is Jehovah, that I should obey His voice?” “I know not Jehovah!” GC 274.3

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