Something happens… it’s grossly unfair… a wicked and vile person takes advantage of a good, righteous, generous and kind person and gets by with it! Worse yet, they’re exonerated! Righteous indignation rises in our hearts (at least it starts out as “righteous”)… Why would God allow that “scumbag” to get by with it! Worse yet, the evil perpetrator, is honored and, in spite of their evil deeds, prospers; while the good person suffers, their case against the wicked is ignored or marginalized, and they have to live in pain and poverty. It becomes a huge obstacle for us and we inwardly scream, “God, I don’t get it! Why didn’t You do something?!” Questions become disillusionment and disappointment – then bitterness – ultimately an impenetrable wall to our faith. We just can’t get over it! … And unless something dramatic happens we take our disillusionment with us to the grave!
How tragic! But this sad story has happened thousands of times in the experience of people of faith!
I’m convinced that’s why Psalm 73 is in the Bible! When we struggle with issues like that we need to read the psalmist’s account and allow the Holy Spirit that inspired Scripture to make the truth of the passage real to us!
Here’s what happened – this is what the psalmist said…
“My feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked… They have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek. They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind. Pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment. Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies. They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression. They set their mouths against the heavens and their tongue struts through the earth… Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.”
And our response? “All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence!”
“But when I thought how to understand this it seemed to me a wearisome task, UNTIL I WENT INTO THE SANCTUARY OF GOD! Then I discerned their end… When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was brutish and ignorant I was like a beast toward you. Nevertheless, I am continually with You – You hold my right hand! You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory! Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing n earth that I desire besides You! My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever! For behold those who are far from You shall perish – You put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to You! But for me it is good to be near You – I have made the Lord God my refuge that I may tell of all Your works!” (From Psalm 73)
I admit it… I don’t understand why it happens! It’s unfair! But I’m going to put it in the hands of God, and for my part, seek what is just and right, and trust the Lord to work it out and ultimately vindicate the righteous! I believe He will! I’m trusting Him!!!