In The Word
Read: Psalm 73
The End of the Wicked Contrasted with That of the Righteous.
A Psalm of Asaph.
73 Surely God is good to Israel,
To those who are pure in heart!
2 But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,
My steps had almost slipped.
3 For I was envious of the arrogant
As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 For there are no pains in their death,
And their body is fat.
5 They are not in trouble as other men,
Nor are they plagued like mankind.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace;
The garment of violence covers them.
7 Their eye bulges from fatness;
The imaginations of their heart run riot.
8 They mock and wickedly speak of oppression;
They speak from on high.
9 They have set their mouth against the heavens,
And their tongue parades through the earth.
10 Therefore his people return to this place,
And waters of abundance are drunk by them.
11 They say, “How does God know?
And is there knowledge with the Most High?”
12 Behold, these are the wicked;
And always at ease, they have increased in wealth.
13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
And washed my hands in innocence;
14 For I have been stricken all day long
And chastened every morning.
15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
Behold, I would have betrayed the generation of Your children.
16 When I pondered to understand this,
It was troublesome in my sight
17 Until I came into the sanctuary of God;
Then I perceived their end.
18 Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.
19 How they are destroyed in a moment!
They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!
20 Like a dream when one awakes,
O Lord, when aroused, You will despise their form.
21 When my heart was embittered
And I was pierced within,
22 Then I was senseless and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
24 With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.
28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
In our reading today, the writer began with the acknowledgement that he knew that God had been good to Israel. He then confessed one of the problems he had with God’s choices: the prosperity of the unbeliever. From verses 4 through 16, he listed all he perceived to be favor bestowed on the wicked. He didn’t understand how God could stand by and let this injustice prevail. That is until he said in verse 17, “When I perceived their end.”
I’m always astonished at those who claim to have no interest in the Old Testament because they believe it’s not relevant in today’s society. How wrong they are! We read today that a trap we Christians have found ourselves in many times is being envious of those we believe to be ungodly. I, myself, in the past have found myself wondering why people who flaunt their unbelief seem to prosper beyond measure, while true believers struggle to make a living in this world. My own children have approached me with the same questions. I’ve always told them that you see the outward riches that could be perceived as blessings, but you have no idea what their inner-man is dealing with. You have no idea of the worry that could come with that responsibility, no idea of what they may be dealing with physically, and no idea of what they are like with their family. The next time you find yourself being envious of someone, take the time to pray for them. You have no idea what they may be going through; ask God to open the door to conversation. Who knows, you could be their doorway to a happier ending.