Today’s Bible reading is Psalm 73.
In Psalm 73, Asaph is struggling with some seriously shortsighted perspective.
Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. (Psa 73:1-3)
The more Asaph sees, the more it seems like the wicked are enjoying “the good life”:
No pangs until death. Well-fed, healthy bodies. Not the same troubles as others. They wear pride like a necklace. Violence covers them as a garment, but they seem to always get away with it. Their hearts overflow with follies. They scoff and speak with malice. Arrogant threats of oppression. Mouths set against the heavens. Tongues strutting through the earth. Always at ease, increasing in riches, and free from the consequences of their wicked behavior.
Asaph’s question: WHY? Why does it seem like the wicked are prospering while the righteous are suffering? Are the holy keeping their hearts pure in vain? Have we washed our hands in innocence for nothing (Psa 73:13-15)?
But then Asaph remembers. We’ve been told where the river ends.
When I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. (Psa 73:16-17)
We might not ever be able to answer some of the biggest “Why?” questions during our brief time under the sun. Some bends in the river of life will continue to perplex. Rapids will continue to roar and the righteous, at times, will be caught in the undercurrents.
But God has provided perspective for those who are willing to hear, remember, and trust. The “end” can (and should) be discerned. All streams, rapids, and rivers eventually lead to his holy and awesome throne of righteous judgment. And at that point, will the wicked be in an enviable position?
Maybe you’re struggling to keep your perspective lenses straight and clear today. If so, let the message of Psalm 73 sink in. Even if you don’t know why and exactly where the river of life bends, but you know where it ends, isn’t that what matters most? If you’ve been shown how to save yourself, your loved ones, and anyone else who is willing to submit to the Creator, don’t you have what you need to live life well? And if your Savior and Friend is with you every bump and bend of the way, isn’t that enough?
You hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psa 73:23-26)