Today, lets look at Psalm 73. This is probably my favorite psalm!
Have you ever looked around at people who are not believers in Jesus, or people who are just straight up wicked and blatantly sinful, prideful, greedy and thought “how can they be like this, live so wickedly, and yet seem to get everything they want! And suffer NO consequences for how they live?”
And then have you ever thought “Here I am, trying to walk in obedience and faithfulness to God, and struggling through life, or almost suffering at times for it?”
Have you ever done that before? If I am being honest, I have. There are times in my life where I have questioned how people can live with no regard for God, and or even a hatred for God sometimes, and yet still be successful, seemingly happy, wealthy, and really suffer no consequences for their lives. And yet I try to walk in faithfulness and obedience to God and struggle at times.
Well, the psalmist of Psalm 73 goes through the same thing! And he tells us what changed his perspective!
First off, he says he ALMOST stumbled and slipped and this seeming irony of the wicked prospering, in verses 2-3. Then in verses 4-12 he explains what he perceives of the wicked and how they suffer no consequences for their lives of no regard for God. Look at these verses and see what he says about the wicked and their prosperity! In verses 13-15, he says how he has kept his heart clean “in vain” and washed his hands in innocence in vain. So the psalmist is contemplating, in his heart, what seems to be an upside down economy of life, where the wicked prosper and the faithful suffer. So what changes? What keeps the psalmist from abandoning his faithfulness and jumping in with the wicked and “prospering along with them?”
He says in verse 17, “until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.” You see the sanctuary of God was the place where the presence of the Lord was. So this psalmist went to the Lord and it is as if he remembers that there is an end to all of this. This life and the “pleasures” of this life are fleeting, they will all fade away, but our God is eternal!
It is as if the psalmist goes into the presence of God and is reminded that he is living for something so much greater than this life, here and now! And there is so much more!
You see, we sacrifice faithfulness to an eternal God for moments of pleasure that are fleeting. If we would just do as this psalmist did, and before jumping into what it is we think we want, and if we would run into the presence of God, we would remember that the wicked may prosper, but we are living for a life after this! Not this life!
Look what the psalmist says in verse 25-26. He says, “whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on this earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is my strength and my portion forever.” The psalmist is saying, where else would I go? What on earth could be better than you, God? Although my flesh and heart may fail, God is bigger, God is stronger, God is what truly satisfies my heart!
O brothers and sisters, the next time you are tempted to think that there is more pleasure in life living like those who do not have faith in Jesus, I want you to run into the presence of God and pray. Read His word and see that there is no greater satisfaction than in His presence! What is better than God? What on earth can be better than a relationship with Him?!