Envying Prosperity

Scripture: Psalm 73:2-3, ‘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.’


Observations: The Psalmist starts with ‘Surely God is good to those who are pure in heart, (v1)’ but unfortunately, he wasn’t pure in heart, his feet ‘had almost slipped,’ he had ‘nearly lost my foothold.’ The Psalmist confesses that he had been tempted to doubt God’s goodness. And the thing that tempted him was ‘the prosperity of the wicked.’ He had come to ‘envy the arrogant.’ For a moment all he saw was that they had ‘no struggles,’ they were ‘healthy and strong, (v4)’ they were ‘free from burdens, (v5)’ they ‘increase in wealth. (v12)’ On the other hand the psalmist felt as though he had ‘been punished every morning. (v14)’ He could not understand why the wicked had a life of ease while his life was difficult. But it all changed when he ‘entered the sanctuary of God and understood their final destiny. (v17)’ It was the wicked who were on a slippery slope to destruction (v18-20), but God held him by the hand and would take him into glory (v23-24). Despite his temptation to envy the arrogant the Psalmist remembered that God is good, that even though ‘my flesh and my heart may fail, God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (v26)’


Application: So often we can think that what we see is all that matters. What use is faith when the faithful suffer and the faithless are blessed? What really matters is not what we see, but what God sees. God sees our trust in him and he will honour it. God sees their faithless heart and he will reject them in the end. We must remember that God is good and that he will redeem us. Don’t let yourself be tempted by the prosperity of those who reject God they are on a slippery slope to destruction.


Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, You are indeed good to those who trust in You. Lord, You have promised to always hold me in Your right hand, to guide me with Your counsel, and to take me into glory. But I also see Your blessings in this life, and I thank You for Your goodness to me. But Lord, I also confess that I am tempted to envy others and want what they have, when what I have in Christ is so much better. Lord, remind me of their fate, help me proclaim your remedy, that You may receive the glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


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