Wednesday night’s Bible study was Psalm 73, a reflection of Psalm 37 we’ve recently studied. When we think of life not being fair, that evil abounds and good cannot be found, these two Psalms come to mind. Very similar, they carry the message that these things will happen, they will cease and that God truly is in control.
At times it doesn’t seem that way. A song of Aspah tells us:
For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. (Psalms 73:3 KJV)
Do you know such people? They continue to prosper in spite of what we are certain are lives filled with waste and destruction. Many times we want what they have – fame, fortunes, a flock of following fans.
They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. (Psalms 73:5 KJV)
Today’s headlines provide specific examples of people who seem to shed trouble – or buy their way out of it – and return to the public arena as though problems never touched them. Those who live as if above the law, without a thought for what goes on beneath them.
They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. (Psalms 73:8 KJV)
David, in the earlier Psalm, paints a more vivid picture:
The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. (Psalms 37:12 KJV)
There really is little we can do. We may speak out against specific injustice, we can vote to remove oppressive leadership, we can become actively involved in helping others, but there will always be someone spreading himself like a green bay tree.
What, then keeps our frustration level down? How do we face each day knowing there is evil walking amongst us that we cannot touch?
I do it with the Lord’s promises in my mind and heart, just as these men did.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. (Psalms 37:8-9 KJV)
Both a command and a promise – cease from anger, evildoers shall be cut off.
Even repeating that will offend some who do not see the world in the same light. There are those who would spread themselves as those same green bay trees. They do not see their actions as being against their fellow man.
If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. (Psalms 73:15-17 KJV)
I may not make an impression on others, they will continue in chosen paths that lead away.
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. (Psalms 73:28 KJV)
Both psalmists tell of God’s judgment, and admonish us to leave to Him that which we cannot change.
Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. (Psalms 37:7-8 KJV)