Life is not fair. Too often it seems that dishonest, prideful people get all the breaks. They scoff at God, yet he doesn’t immediately strike them down with lightning from heaven. It can be hard sometimes not to envy them when we see their prosperity. I love how the Psalmist so perfectly conveys this struggle in Psalm 73.
He starts by honestly confessing his envy of the arrogant.
“For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills.” (3-5)
He laments about their prideful behavior.
“They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression. Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.” (8-9)
About their utter disdain for the Lord Most High.
“They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?” This is what the wicked are like— always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.” (11-12)
He wonders aloud, “What is the point of living pure?”
“Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence…When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply.” (13, 16)
But as he seeks The Lord, he finds peace. He comes to understand the ultimate fate of the wicked.
“till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.” (17-20)
And that ultimately, he has the Lord always beside him. That God is his strength no matter what he may face.
“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.” (23-28)
And every one of us that trusts in Jesus as our Savior can rest on that same blessed assurance.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16