By Louis Smith
Today's Scripture: Psalm 73:1-28
Central Thought: Don't be forlorn when you see the wicked prosper.
'Why do the wicked prosper?” This question, asked by Jeremiah (12:1), has long plagued believers. It's discouraging to try to live for God, and sometimes struggle materially, all the while seeing others who seem to ignore God do quite well.
The Psalmist Asaph struggled with this question as well. In fact, he almost lost his spiritual footing over the matter (Psalm 73:1,2). The wicked, as he saw it, had few problems, and seemed to enjoy good physical health (v. 4). They even seemed less troubled than other people (v. 5).
But Asaph pointed out problems arising from the prosperity of the wicked—the chief ones being pride (verse 6), which comes before destruction (Proverbs 16:18), and an arrogance about spiritual matters (vv. 7-11). In spite of this, Asaph still wondered if his faithfulness to God had been in vain (v. 13).
But as Asaph looked away from this life and into eternity, he realized that while the wicked prospered now, destruction awaited them (vv. 18-20). He, on the other hand, could look forward to eternity with confidence (vv. 23-26). In the final analysis, Aspah knew that the faithful had more going for them than the godless (vv. 27-28).
That's still true today. Do not envy the wicked (Proverbs 24:19). Do not let their present prosperity cause you to feel that somehow you have 'missed it.” You have missed nothing, faithful believer. Those who turn away from God are the eternal losers!
Devotional Prayer: Lord, help me not to envy the prosperity of the wicked, but rather help me to remember that eternal prosperity belongs to the faithful.
Today's Bible Reading: Isaiah 62:6-65:25; Philippians 2:19-3:4a; Psalm 73:1-28; Proverbs 24:13-14