Psalm Seventy Three
In First Person
by Polly Gwinn, Lesson 213, July 2007
Asaph, chief musician appointed by David, knew how to praise and worship the Lord; yet in this psalm he mulls over the age old problem in the thoughts of the righteous.
I too, am mulling over this problem as to why the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer. Why do the ones that never gather together in the Assembly of God’s people (Hebrews 10:24) bear no consequences and have a care-free life with no shame. Day to day and trial for trial, my life is much more troubled and laden with debt than the ones that are not serving God and I envy their prosperity. They say to God; “Leave us alone! We have no desire to know your ways” (Job 21:14)! And it appears that He does just that as the wicked walk around with prideful heads held high and calloused hearts, their well being having no limits. Their wealth increases as mine diminishes and I am drawn to them and their carefree ways. I think that keeping my heart pure and following daily in the steps of Jesus Christ is in vain but I dare not speak of these things aloud lest others around me are made to stumble (1 Corinthians 8:9). Seeing the favors bestowed upon those who oppose God outnumbering by far the favors that come into my life and the lives of those trusting God makes me sometimes wonder if my faith is so weak that God has forgotten me. Will I see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13)?
I have noticed that the wicked do not suffer as much sickness or disease; their speech is scornful, malicious and arrogant as if they owned the earth; having self-confidence that God does not know of their sin. I am sometimes confused over the value of my salvation. I have been washed in the Blood, but since trusting in the Lord I have been plagued and chastened like many saints before me and I, like they, am puzzled. Throughout the scripture I read that God is good to His children but as for me, I am on the edge of a fall. God does not seem to be good to me, His child. I compare my life to the lives of those who live in the world and theirs look better making me want to seek their ways that I too, might prosper. The wicked have no fear of death and many die with no suffering. They climb the ladder of success, stepping on others on their way to the top of material riches and worldly satisfaction. They have even more than they have asked for or expected when my basic needs cannot be met and the wicked prosperous laugh at my poverty. This brings anger which is added to my envy making me senseless and ignorant, as a foolish beast before the Lord.
Ah! I have spoken as a fool and erred greatly (1 Samuel 26:21b), and a chattering fool will come to ruin (Proverbs 10:10). Out of my mouth comes both praise and cursing (James 3:9-12) and I have come dangerously close to giving the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:27). As with Job, I have spoken of things I do not understand (Job 42:3), and I ask God now to “teach me and I will be quiet; show me where I have been wrong” (Job 6:24). I have assumed that God is good to the righteous and punishes the wicked but have forgotten that God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). I have let my doubts cloud the facts of the scripture; the wicked unsaved will be cast down to ruin and be destroyed (Revelation 20:15). The reason they have no fear of physical death is because they do not realize that judgment is coming since they have hardened their hearts (Hebrews 3:15, Romans 2:5).
Instead of envy and jealousy I should be showing anger at the wicked because they blaspheme my Lord and Savior (1 Timothy 1:20)! If my mind had stayed on God then my heart would not have become bitter and my eyes would not have strayed from the path of righteousness. I know God is always with me and will receive me into glory having guarded that which I have entrusted to Him for that Day (2 Timothy 1:12). He is my portion and my strength (1 Thessalonians 3:13) and I have not fallen beyond recovery (Romans 11:11)! Bring me into your dwelling place, Father that I might have a glimpse of the eternal wealth that you have in store for me (Revelation 22:1-6). Allow me a vision of your face lest I again forget that you are good to me all the time, in sickness and in health; in good times and in bad; keeping me secure that I might maintain a balanced perspective on material things and the ungodly. I will wait upon the Lord (Psalm 27:14), knowing that “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Like Asaph, until I entered the sanctuary of God I could not fully understand the final destiny of the righteous and the wicked. God will give to each person according to what he has done. As for me, I will strive to do good, seek glory, honor and immortality and keep my eyes and thoughts on my eternal home (Romans 2:7).