"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
~Isaiah 6:8 NIV
"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
~Micah 6:8 NASB

Monday, August 6, 2012

Psalm 73: Why does it seem like the wicked prosper?

Why do bad things seem to happen to good people and the wicked prosper?  It doesn't seem fair.  All around us we see people living in sin that seem to have such an easier time at life than us.  As Christians we are called to be "set apart from the world", but why does it seems like the blessings always go to those living "in the world."  It's so easy to let anger and bitterness determine our next step.  It reminds me of Job.  He was considered the richest man in the land. He had everything and in one day lost it all.  He could have got angry and cursed God.  He had every right to, right?  He didn't have the Bible to read the story about himself and see that God didn't cause his suffering or that God was going to bless him in the end.  No, Job sat down, tore his clothes, and worshiped.  I think knew something that we don't know. 
Romans 5:3-4: "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Sufferings are how we get hope? It doesn't very pleasant does it?  Sometimes things don't make sense and we don't understand.  What do you do when you experience a loss so heartbreaking that you can't imagine life going on?  God has a plan.  Do I believe it?  I have to hold on hope, because some days that is all I have left.  It's really easy to look at others getting the blessings that you want so badly and get angry because you did every thing "right" and they didn't.  Why do they get blessed and not you?  It's easy for us to miss the big picture.  What bigger and better blessing does God have in store for us?  God promised in His word that He gives His children the desires of their heart.  It just might not look like what you think it will or come when you want it to.

Psalm 73 (The Message)

An Asaph Psalm
 1-5 No doubt about it! God is good— good to good people, good to the good-hearted.
   But I nearly missed it, missed seeing his goodness.
   I was looking the other way, looking up to the people
   At the top, envying the wicked who have it made,
   Who have nothing to worry about, not a care in the whole wide world. 

6-10 Pretentious with arrogance, they wear the latest fashions in violence,
   Pampered and overfed, decked out in silk bows of silliness.
   They jeer, using words to kill; they bully their way with words.
   They're full of hot air, loudmouths disturbing the peace.
   People actually listen to them—can you believe it?
      Like thirsty puppies, they lap up their words.

 11-14 What's going on here? Is God out to lunch?
      Nobody's tending the store.
   The wicked get by with everything;
      they have it made, piling up riches.
   I've been stupid to play by the rules;
      what has it gotten me?
   A long run of bad luck, that's what—
      a slap in the face every time I walk out the door.

 15-20 If I'd have given in and talked like this,
      I would have betrayed your dear children.
   Still, when I tried to figure it out,
      all I got was a splitting headache . . .
   Until I entered the sanctuary of God.

      Then I saw the whole picture:
   The slippery road you've put them on,
      with a final crash in a ditch of delusions.
   In the blink of an eye, disaster!
      A blind curve in the dark, and—nightmare!
   We wake up and rub our eyes....Nothing.
      There's nothing to them. And there never was.

 21-24 When I was beleaguered and bitter,
      totally consumed by envy,
   I was totally ignorant, a dumb ox
      in your very presence.
   I'm still in your presence,
      but you've taken my hand.
   You wisely and tenderly lead me,
      and then you bless me.

 25-28 You're all I want in heaven!
      You're all I want on earth!
   When my skin sags and my bones get brittle,
      God is rock-firm and faithful.
   Look! Those who left you are falling apart!
      Deserters, they'll never be heard from again.
   But I'm in the very presence of God
      oh, how refreshing it is!
   I've made Lord God my home.
      God, I'm telling the world what you do!

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