2But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling; my steps had almost slipped.
3 For I was envious of the arrogant as I saw the prosperity of the wicked. (Psalm 73)
How many of us can relate to what the psalmist said here? Does it appear the wicked continue to have good things, get fat, and receive no punishment for their rebellion against God? Does it appear your following God’s ways brings no positive benefit to your life?
The psalmist in this psalm speaks to the heart of each child of God who strives to obey God and follow Him alone. The people who do not follow Jesus Christ get wealthier and have no remorse for the way they attained their wealth. They have privilege and receive rewards now for their hard work and we appear to struggle and slough through days without recognition or reward for obedience.
This situation may make you bitter or frustrated as it did the psalmist (vs. 21). This bitterness can make you senseless and ignorant to the truth of God, like a beast who rants and rampages only wanting what it wants (vs. 22). This situation may make you want to give up and enjoy a life like the rebellious people.
Before you take that drastic step, do what the psalmist did; enter the sanctuary of God (vs. 17) and stay continually with Him (vs. 23). That sanctuary can be the physical place where you worship God with a family of believers. It can be the closet where you commune with God in quiet. The sanctuary can be wherever you worship the Lord in prayer, song, and Bible reading. The important thing is to enter the sanctuary of God when you feel down. Go to Him and speak your heart to Him.
When the psalmist with overwhelmed feelings of bitterness went into God’s sanctuary, he received balm and reminders for his heart, mind, and soul. What did he receive?
Ø God’s counsel to calm and guide him (vs. 24)
Ø Honor and glory from God because of continuing to follow Him (vs. 24)
Ø Assurance he had the best on earth and in heaven, the Lord God (vs 25)
Ø Reminders he wanted nothing on earth anyway (unlike the wicked rich) (vs. 25)
Ø God’s strength to fortify his heart and life forever (vs 26)
Ø God’s reminder the wicked will perish eternally because of their unfaithfulness to Him (vs. 27)
Remembering and knowing God continued to care for and guide him and would reward him with honor, calm, and eternal life for his faithfulness calmed the embittered psalmist. His realization that he had the best already with the LORD God as his God - a God who is stronger than any created thing, is a fortress in times of trouble, and the giver of eternal life - reminded him he could trust in the Lord.
Does your life seem like it is sinking in quicksand with no rescue in sight? Remember, if you are a Christian, God is your source of strength and power. He is your refuge. From Him you will receive honor and reward. He gives judgment and eternal punishment to the wicked in His time.
You can have hope today remembering and knowing as a child of God, He will never leave you or forsake you. You can stand strong remembering what Paul wrote in Romans 8:31, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” The answer is no one because God’s might is greater than anything the wicked one can throw against us.
Draw near to God.
Enter His sanctuary.
Receive His counsel, honor, and peace.