As I continue my way through the book of Psalms, I can’t help but realize how this book written so long ago, is so relevant to the things we go through today. Have you ever been discouraged when you look around you and see the wicked prospering and the righteous, through Christ, struggling? I have. I have wept at times for those who love Christ yet are battling through some very difficult circumstances. I have also been very angry at seeing wicked, destructive people seemingly get away with murder and more with little to no consequences. Let’s take a look at the following Psalm and see if you can relate….
Psalm 73 (A Psalm of Asaph)
73 Truly God is good to Israel,
To such as are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
My steps had nearly slipped.
3 For I was envious of the boastful,
When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 For there are no pangs in their death,
But their strength is firm.
5 They are not in trouble as other men,
Nor are they plagued like other men.
6 Therefore pride serves as their necklace;
Violence covers them like a garment.
7 Their eyes bulge with abundance;
They have more than heart could wish.
8 They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression;
They speak loftily.
9 They set their mouth against the heavens,
And their tongue walks through the earth.
10 Therefore his people return here,
And waters of a full cup are drained by them.
11 And they say, “How does God know?
And is there knowledge in the Most High?”
12 Behold, these are the ungodly,
Who are always at ease;
They increase in riches.
13 Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain,
And washed my hands in innocence.
14 For all day long I have been plagued,
And chastened every morning.
15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children.
16 When I thought how to understand this,
It was too painful for me—
17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God;
Then I understood their end.
18 Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.
19 Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment!
They are utterly consumed with terrors.
20 As a dream when one awakes,
So, Lord, when You awake,
You shall despise their image.
21 Thus my heart was grieved,
And I was vexed in my mind.
22 I was so foolish and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You hold me by my right hand.
24 You will guide me with Your counsel,
And afterward receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
26 My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish;
You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry.
28 But it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord GOD,
That I may declare all Your works.
When I read Psalm 73 it reminds me, that I am not the first person to have these feelings, neither will I be the last. It has been and will continue to be until the Lord returns, a world where the ungodly appear to prosper. It also reminds me that my God is ever present! That though the wicked appear to prosper, a time will come when God will deal with them. Though many of these people blaspheme God and may even persecute His church, my focus is to be on HIM, the lover of my soul, the ONE who continually holds me by my right hand, who guides me with His counsel and who will receive me afterward to glory! I am not to allow my heart to become bitter when I see this. I am to lean and draw near to God and continue to declare His works in hopes that many will come to know Christ personally as a result. As Asaph said “I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, That I may declare all Your works.
Father God, as we look around and see the injustices of this world and are tempted to harden our hearts in bitterness, forgive us. Please, by the power of your Holy Spirit, keep our hearts tender before You. Give us the love and compassion to reach out to those who don’t know and love You and appear to prosper, with the good news of Jesus Christ. We ask it in the name of Your precious Son, our soon coming King, Jesus. Amen