7/3/16 ~ False Prosperity of the Wicked

From the Preacher’s Pen…

RacineBuildingWe always enjoy getting away, going somewhere else for a change. And yet, once we are gone we begin to realize what we’ve left behind. We miss and long for being back home. Hopefully, we retain that same attitude in our spiritual lives and always remember, always long to be back home with our Heavenly Father!

We always enjoy getting away, going somewhere else for a change. And yet, once we are gone we begin to realize what we’ve left behind. We miss and long for being back home. Hopefully, we retain that same attitude in our spiritual lives and always remember, always long to be back home with our Heavenly Father!

Consider how the Psalmist reflected on that same lesson:

False Prosperity of the Wicked

This life is full of challenges to the children of God and one of those challenges is the seeming prosperity of the ungodly. Does it not seem tempting many times to give up following God? It is especially tempting when we look around us and see the seeming blessings that they have.

If you have felt this challenge, don’t be ashamed, for many of God’s people before you have noticed it, too. In fact, David wrote about this very subject in Psalm 73. Let’s see what he learned (this is from the NIV 2011 translation):

Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills. Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. From their callous hearts comes iniquity; their evil imaginations have no limits. They scoff and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression. Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.

Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance. They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?” This is what the wicked are like — always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.

Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments.

Do you feel that pain? It is real. Just look around you and see how much better off the wicked seem to be… but be careful, there is more to the story than meets the eye.

If I had spoken out like that, I would have betrayed your children.

Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Don’t betray all your faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. Look closer!

When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.

Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.

When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.

Remember who is really God and how He controls not only the here and now but the eternal destiny of us all. And remember where you belong:

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.

Never forget the God who loved you so much that He gave Himself in the form of Jesus to die for you. Never forget the eternal home Jesus left this earth to prepare (John 14:1-4).

Who 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.

Whatever you do, don’t give in to the temptation to be like the world! Remember who really cares for you and blesses you and promises you all the greatest things that your Heavenly Father has to offer.

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.

Live calmly, confidently in Him this week… and share the Good News of the Savior with others!

— Lester P. Bagley

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