Sunday, September 21, 2014

Psalm 73

Are you weary?

Does your life seem to be getting harder?

Do you see all these people who look like they get to live it up while your burdens grow greater and greater?

This is the psalm for you....

1 Truly God is good to Israel,
even to such as are of a clean heart.
2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone;
my steps had well-nigh slipped.
3 For I was envious at the foolish,
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Despair in this world and envy of the wicked can be a snare to catch the Christian. It is a dangerous one. I have struggled with it at times. This world is getting tougher and tougher, people crushed by endless bills that never seem to end, a world that seems to be growing colder, tougher, meaner and scarier. I have felt a change in the last few years, where the demands, expectations and conformity of society seem higher and higher. Add in feeling like in this world you'll never measure up and it can bring one too quickly into the wrong spiritual thoughts.

This psalm warns of those who will "slip" or have their feet gone and/or slipped, from the envy of the wicked. The warnings about the prosperity of the wicked hit home for me. Our household as I have admitted before is of humble means [God has blessed me with computer access] but seems to teeter on the edge never ending. A few years of this is one thing but multiple years of it wears one down like a grindstone. For the poor the judgments and demands can be never ending too.  Remember the biblical warnings about the saints being worn out.

I had the thought the other day, while we think we could all measure up to the big stuff, the grand moments of tests for God--such as potential martyrship and more, to be honest there exists the grindstone of life to wear away too like Chinese water-torture. How does one cope? Many a Christian probably has thought, "Look at those other [lost] people, they have more than their heart could wish!"

5 They are not in trouble as other men;
neither are they plagued like other men.
6 Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain;
violence covereth them as a garment.
7 Their eyes stand out with fatness:
they have more than heart could wish

The line "They are not in trouble as other men" describes life on this earth. The sharks of our society seem to swim with a straight line with ease as the regular fish are scattered and bobbing and weaving to survive. We see the wicked who are proud and who inside violence lies against their enemies. Here is a truth, the ungodly do often prosper in this world. They can buy more pleasures, opportunities and what this world has to offer. This does not mean every wealthy or upper class person is wicked, there are rich Christians, but wickedness in our society often times will be used to bring prosperity.

One thing I struggle with as a Christian is anger at the wicked. Some is righteous anger, but I think of wicked people in my personal life who caused me intense hardships. Many of you may relate. One danger however is seeing them live in prosperity while you suffer poverty or other hardships. This opens the door right for ENVY of the wicked and their prosperity. In the face of this one can enter dangerous thought patterns and territory that will take one further away from God. The psalmist warns us how this was painful for him. Sin always brings misery.

16 When I thought to know this,
it was too painful for me;
17 until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then understood I their end.

He retreats to the "sanctuary" of God where he is reminded of God's promises and the ENDING of the wicked and their final destiny. Why envy people [unless they are saved and then repent] who are on their way to hell? "I understood their end" says it all. Where will they end up? This life is short term and nothing compared to eternity. Are our thoughts with God for eternity or stuck in this life and it's troubles? We must ponder our end in this world and where we will be.

 One thing here the world will do a number on people's minds too with the "succeed" formulas and the rest. The measuring sticks of the world often will knock a good Christian about as one as judged on career, money, status and  popularity. The wicked will demand that you measure up, and that all your choices are wrong and reflect badly on you as a person. Satan is a accuser of the brethren and so are many of his workers. The false churches will tell you that world prosperity is a FRUIT that makes you a good person.

Perhaps you have been like me, looking down on yourself thinking "Why don't I have my life together?" Be careful where that one can go. Test yourself to make sure it is not sin derailing your life and being out of God's will but also remember God has promised to meet a Christian's needs but this doesn't mean escaping suffering in this world. In American society especially goodness and wealth are intertwined into a toxic stew. Poor equals bad. This is not true in God's eyes.

We are reminded of our relationship with God and that is the most important and our dependence on Him. God shall guide us and keep us no matter what. We are to put our trust in Him. We are not to forget Him as this life on this earth batters us about. God is to be our all. Draw near to Him. The things of this world are temporary.  To me where it says God literally holds my hand [and that of other Christians too] is a very beautiful part.

23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.
24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.
26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
27 For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.
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 thy works.


Anonymous said...

Needed to hear this today . Thanks


Ruth said...

Great faith lifting post!

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

The comments on many of the blogs I have visited today are insightful to my soul, calling out the Scripture verses that I needed to hear today as well. I am in agreement with Faith, Alleluia.

This Psalm also reminds me of the very first Psalm. I was led to believe the "counsel of the wicked" was all of those outside of the institutional church system. Since coming out of what I label as an "abusive church" where people go about meddling in the affairs of others while not having their own houses (their literal houses as well as their wicked hearts)in order, I have come to trust in Jesus more now than when I was churched.

The manipulation with the "tithes and offerings issue" build more buildings, upgrade the landscaping, tar the parking lots, add more air conditioning units for summer sweat, purchase fancy digital signs for promotional purposes......the money for more and more "things" the 501c. 3 spends on itself, rather than investing in the souls of those brothers and sisters who need our the lady who just had surgery and needs help with her medical bills and pitching in with hand delivered meals and an encouraging words while she is recuperating, or the man who has been laid off of work and needs assistance with paying bills until he lands another job to provide for his family, or that teenager who is struggling with not fitting in at church youth "accept" those the public school children scorn....or do churched children look and act just like the rest of the world.....

I often thought it odd that our churches push people into the governmental social service programs all the while spending God's money on the outside of the cup, which in the end will burn up anyway.


Anonymous said...

Case in point, and this may be slightly off topic, but is a valid point. In the last abusive church I attended, I made the mistake of trusting in what I thought was a friend, a sister in Christ so to speak. When I discovered she was a meddling busy body and a gossip, my heart was broken, for I took the Bible at His Word, and shared some of my sins and burdens with this women, only to discover the heartbreak of her sharing it with the other ecclesiastical church gossips. Now, I can see why a so called Christian psychologist visits that institution once a week (charging big monies, at least $110 an hour)for the hurting to confide in, because the "churched" do not possess the character to Scripturally bear one another's burdens and pray for them. Frankly, I have discovered more Biblical character with those believers outside of the churched system than those within, for they can rightly handle God's Word in bearing a confidence....and these people actually pray for me, call to see how I am doing, and offer help where help is desperately needed....anotherwords, they have my back and I have theirs as believers in Christ.

Unfortunately, to "walk in the counsel of the wicked" happens frequently in western churches and therefore, we would be all the wiser to choose carefully who we break bread with for the I seen the destruction of the churched....the break-up of marriages, families, friendships, reputations, businesses, charities and the like.

"Therefore the wicked shall not stand in the judgment of the righteous, for the way of the wicked shall perish." Psalm 1

Oh, how the Psalms bring encouragement to my soul all the while the world is perishing. Thank-you Bible Believer for these reminders and the way in you witness for our LORD. Blessings.

Gwen said...

Thank you for this post!