Thursday, November 5, 2009


Psalm 73 tells a familiar story.

Asaph prays to God and says "my foot had almost slipped...for I envied the arrogant. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from the burdens of common man. This is what the wicked are like--always carefree, they increase in wealth."

Envy sometimes comes in mild forms. The neighbor gets a new car. A friend gets a raise. That family hasn't had to deal with a young death.

But always the end result is "Why don't I receive all the blessings that everyone else gets?" This is entitlement. This is evil and Asaph knows it...but sometimes his foot starts to slip and he sees that people who are "more wicked" than he are getting outrageous good fortune.

He goes so far to say this "Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure; in vain I have washed my hands in innocence." **

How is he able to combat such a force of pride and envy? Like this:

When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,

I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.

Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.

You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.

Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.

But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.

The answer is bound up in the hope of glory through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This earth will be full of trials and tribulations but we have a better hope and an abiding one. Behold the weight of glory and envy not your neighbor.


**Despite his doubts and fears, he keeps quiet when his heart cries out with this haughty declaration saying "If I had said, "I will speak thus," I would have betrayed your children."

He knows that speaking such things without an answer would lead many to abandon the faith. So, don't let these few verses give you permission to declare all kinds of terrible things and call it "being honest" about your doubts. If you have not found the reason for your hope then it is best to confess these things to close friends and to God, not to a public audience who may be led astray without the hope of Christ.

No comments: