Asaph knows God is “good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.” So what went wrong? Why did he look to the arrogant jock who’s in good health, the businessman successful and wealthy through ill-gotten gain, the chic, carefree, malicious young woman with all the men – those whose lives are prosperous – as the source of meaning and satisfaction in life? Why did he call that “good?”
The Father of all Lies has many means. He loves to take threads of truth and twist them into his entangling tapestries. He loves to play with concepts and alter them here and there and totally change them into something else. Asaph is seeing “good” that does NOT come from a heart kept pure. Health, no struggles, wealth. He cries, “Surely in VAIN have I kept my heart pure!” He feels, “Plagued; I have been punished every morning.” What seems to be and in many cases is GOOD he doesn’t have! Shouldn’t GOOD be the reward of the righteous, those who are pure in heart?
Then the tapestry was ripped apart by God’s almighty hand, and the truth was laid bare. Asaph “entered the sanctuary of God” and saw the final destiny of the wicked. Before, he couldn’t understand; these thoughts were “oppressive” until he entered the presence of God. (“What the heck, God! I’m keeping my heart pure, being obedient to you – shouldn’t I be the one being repaid with nice things? Why do arrogant jerks get all the nice things out of life?!”) Only God could make things clear. And what was made clear is that although good health, a carefree life, wealth – all “good” things – come to people with arrogant, impure hearts that do not serve God… the TRUTH is that God will bring them to sudden destruction, and they will be “completely swept away by terrors!”
What does this have to do with God’s love? It is unfailing and always faithful. See here: “My flesh and my heart may fail,” Asaph confesses about this experience, “but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” God is the one keeping your heart pure, not you. Yes you have an active part in that, but it is Him – He is the strength of your heart. He will not – nay, CANNOT be unfaithful to His work in you. You will not have kept your heart, the wellspring of your love, pure in vain. God will be FAITHFUL and reward that in the end. Faithfulness is a quality of love. God’s unfailing faithfulness displays his UNFAILING LOVE.