Friday 5 January, 2018

Psalm 73

A psalm of Asaph. 1 God is truly good to Israel. He is good to those who have pure hearts. 2 But my feet had almost slipped. I had almost tripped and fallen. 3 I saw that proud and sinful people were doing well. And I began to long for what they had. 4 They don’t have any troubles. Their bodies are healthy and strong. 5 They don’t have the problems most people have. They don’t suffer as other people do. 6 Their pride is like a necklace. They put on meanness as if it were their clothes. 7 Many sins come out of their hard and stubborn hearts. There is no limit to the evil things they can think up. 8 They laugh at others and speak words of hatred. They are proud. They warn others about the harm they can do to them. 9 They brag as if they owned heaven itself. They talk as if they controlled the earth. 10 So people listen to them. They lap up their words like water. 11 They say, “How would God know what we’re doing? Does the Most High God know anything?” 12 Here is what sinful people are like. They don’t have a care in the world. They keep getting richer and richer. 13 It seems as if I have kept my heart pure for no reason. It didn’t do me any good to wash my hands to show that I wasn’t guilty of doing anything wrong. 14 Day after day I’ve been in pain. God has punished me in a new way every morning. 15 What if I had talked like that? Then I wouldn’t have been faithful to God’s children. 16 I tried to understand it all. But it was more than I could handle. 17 It troubled me until I entered God’s temple. Then I understood what will finally happen to bad people. 18 God, I’m sure you will make them slip and fall. You will throw them down and destroy them. 19 It will happen very suddenly. A terrible death will take them away completely. 20 A dream goes away when a person wakes up. Lord, it will be like that when you rise up. It will be as if those people were only a dream. 21 At one time my heart was sad and my spirit was bitter. 22 I didn’t have any sense. I didn’t know anything. I acted like a wild animal toward you. 23 But I am always with you. You hold me by my right hand. 24 You give me wise advice to guide me. And when I die, you will take me away into the glory of heaven. 25 I don’t have anyone in heaven but you. I don’t want anything on earth besides you. 26 My body and my heart may grow weak. God, you give strength to my heart. You are everything I will ever need. 27 Those who don’t want anything to do with you will die. You destroy all those who aren’t faithful to you. 28 But I am close to you. And that’s good. Lord and King, I have made you my place of safety. I will talk about everything you have done.

I could talk about the perceived injustice of the prosperity of the wicked, or the importance of getting your priorities right ( which it is!). But what struck me most in this Psalm are verses 23-28. Regardless of my social status, my financial position, my health, my age, my job, it is all worth nothing without relationship with God. God is the source of my strength not what I have or who I am thought to be. Any thing I have on earth can be lost in a moment but my security and assurance in God lasts forever.

If I use the world and those around me as a measure of my own success I will likely feel disillusioned and disappointed. If I stand with God then I am always successful.

Heavenly Father I thank you for your endless love and care of me. I thank you that your plans for my life are constant and trustworthy. Help me to love those around me and not compare myself to others. Help me to share your love and Greatness. In Jesus name. Amen

Written by Christine Knight

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