Psalm 73 (Click the link to read the whole chapter)
As I was reading my Bible this morning, I found myself agreeing and disagreeing with what may be the wrong areas. But then I came full circle in the end understanding, and seeing where and what I need to change and fix in my heart and thoughts.
Psalm 73 begins nicely....God is good to those whose heart are pure. Ahhh, sounds encouraging.
But then the psalmist starts in right after that on how his heart is maybe not pure, by how much he is envious of others and the things they have. So here I'd have a agree....and maybe that's not so great. He says, "I envied the proud when I saw them prosper." (vs3), and "They have everything their hearts could wish for." (vs7) I feel that way a lot. It always seems like the grass is greener on the other side doesn't it? We see it for what we want it to be, not always for what it is really worth.
A little further on he asks a question, that I'm sure we have all thought about at some time concerning someone or something. "Does God even know what's going on here?" (vs 11) These people are enjoying a life of ease, while I who keep/kept my heart pure and from wrong, am getting trouble all day long, and every morning brings me pain. (vs. 13-14) Maybe not every day....but it sure can feel like it sometimes. And when we are in that pit, those are the words we tend to use. EVERY, ALL, TOTAL, these are 100% words. :) I'm almost sure not every day brings him pain, or that all day long he feels trouble. It's just that when are you in the midst of it, those 100% words seem to make you feel better (although not really). We must think that at the time(even for a split second), or we wouldn't choose to say them if it wasn't true would we?
Now verse 15 gets me..."If I had really spoken that way...." Huh...this whole time I was believing him. I thought he really was speaking this way. But I guess he was just being transparent in his thinking....here's what I could have thought or done...but I will choose not too. Instead in the next few verses, he says the right way to handle this instead of everything he just said, is to seek to understand the truth of the matter. I need to do this more, instead of looking only on the surface and coming to those conclusions, like he alluded to in the beginning of the chapter. The truth of the next few verses (16-20) is kind like a wake-up call. Here's what is really going on. Not all the things I said before, which were my lies to myself about these others having it "good'. But their real fate, and it's not as pretty as before.
"Then I realized how bitter I had become, how pained I had been by all I had seen. I was so foolish and ignorant..." (vs 21-22) I unfortunately might have to agree with this part too. How foolish I am to believe some of these lies. To look at the surface and see what I want to see, instead of digging for the truth.
But the best part yet to come vs 23-24. Through this all, the bad thoughts, the foolishness, the bitterness in my heart.... "Yet, I still belong to you; you are holding my right hand." What a great comfort it is to realize that through all that "stupidity" we choose to do, God is not walking away. He is still right there holding our hand, holding on to us. Wow. I'm so grateful. Because I make a lot of stupid mistakes, and to be more honest, a lot of stupid choices. (Which would imply not an accident, but a thought out process.)
And we're not done yet....there's then, what I think is a challenge in verse 25. He states, " Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth." Can you say that? Do you desire nothing more than God? What about, wealth, health, happiness, children, healed hurts, reunification....and the list could go on. I might have to admit to something in my list there, that I may be desiring more than God. And the reality for me is; that needs to change. God needs to have that first place spot.
(Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Psalm 37:4)
vs 28 "But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do."
I hope you enjoy reading Psalm 73, like I did.