Who is God? – Day 19
These words bring to mind the memory of a recent dog walking session on a wet afternoon. After having been cooped up because of rain, the dogs were extremely energetic and were more than ready to run me around in circles. It was slippery and my shoes lost their grip at times and more than once I nearly lost my footing, but by God’s grace managed to right myself to continue the chase!
When we read the whole Psalm 73, we see that it has nothing to do with physical slipping, as I experienced, but a spiritual slipping. Asaph, the psalmist, has fallen into the sin of envy, and is allowing it to trouble him so much that it is affecting his life. It is eating away at him like cancer and he cannot stop comparing his life of simple devotion to God, with the lives of the violent, callous oppressors who mock Him. What is troubling him is that they appear to be blessed by God with much wealth, power and healthy, care-free lives, and he torments himself with this, constantly questioning why they should be so successful when he is not.
It’s amazing how we can often only see things from our own perspective, and it is very humbling when we realise that we are wrong. Regardless of what the other person is or does, it is we who took our eyes off God and His plan for our life and focused on some unsuspecting person on whom to vent our resentment, and often disappointment in ourselves. How often when this happens do we look back and see external factors playing a part in it. We actually had nothing to envy in the other person or in their situation; but they happened to come into focus at our weak point and had become the victim of our judgement.
In his favour, Asaph sees his fault when he goes to worship in the temple. He learns what destiny awaits the wicked, then recognises his own sin and confesses it to God. He realises that he had almost slipped from the path of truth because he had envied the arrogant. He recognises that what he possesses is far more valuable than any earthly riches and speaks these beautiful words of childlike faith to God:
“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” (Psalm 73:23-26).