Birthdays and Anniversaries:
None this week
Paul Tyler has a bad sort Parkinson’s. Please pray for him. His granddaughter, Michelle, scheduled for surgery
Abby Garza recovering from her surgery
Darlyne Stewart, Karl’s sister, having some breathing problems due to treatments.
Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, is not well.
Sharon Best, Steven’s mom, finished chemo, declared in remission.
Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care
Robert and Sue Waller, health issues.
Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, doing fairly well
Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.
Tammy Jones, Weeks’ neighbor, kidney failure/dialysis
“LORD, you have always been fair whenever I have complained to you. However, I would like to speak with you about the disposition of justice. Why are wicked people successful? Why do all dishonest people have such easy lives? You plant them like trees and they put down their roots. They grow prosperous and are very fruitful. They always talk about you, but they really care nothing about you.” (Jeremiah 12:1, 2 NET).
Perhaps you have asked the same questions as Jeremiah. Why are the wicked successful? Why do liars have such easy lives? These people speak of God but care nothing for him. Why does it appear that justice eludes them?
Habakkuk had similar concerns:
“Why do you force me to witness injustice? Why do you put up with wrongdoing? Destruction and violence confront me; conflict is present and one must endure strife. For this reason the law lacks power, and justice is never carried out. Indeed, the wicked intimidate the innocent. For this reason justice is perverted” (Habakkuk 1:3, 4).
Do your eyes visit the same images as Habakkuk? Do you see violence, wrongdoing, conflict, and strife, but not justice?
God answered his beloved prophets, but the answer was not a pleasant one. He gave his servants divine perspective that those who transgressed God would be punished.
The Psalmist admits that, as he looked upon the wicked, he was tempted.
“But as for me, my feet almost slipped; my feet almost slid out from under me. For In envied those who are proud, as I observed the prosperity of the wicked. For they suffer no pain; their bodies are strong and well-fed. They are immune to the trouble common to men; they do not suffer as other men do” (Psalm 73:2-5).
Asaph views the path of the wicked as a smooth and prosperous one. They are arrogant and violent, their thoughts are sinful, they mock and threaten violence, they speak as though they own heaven and earth, yet they flourish.
These thoughts would make anyone ponder why they have devoted themselves to Jehovah. As Jeremiah suffered for the Most High, so Asaph claims to “suffer all day long” (Psalm 73:14). His pure lifestyle was lived “in vain,” he reasoned (Psalm 73:13). He was understandably troubled.
While God spoke to his prophets and gave them insight into his plans for his wicked people, Asaph finds perspective in another more relatable way. Asaph “entered the precincts of God’s temple” (Psalm 73:17). In other words, Asaph went to worship. His mind was focused on the physical, but when he drew near to God, his perspective changed. Now he “understood the destiny of the wicked,” or as the ESV translates it, “I discerned their end” (Psalm 73:17).
In the present we are only viewing a sliver of reality. God, who dwells in eternity, and who discerns the beginning from the end, reminds us that eternal judgment awaits all. The wicked may prosper in this life, but they live in a spiritual wasteland.
Asaph admits to being “ignorant,” lacking “insight,” and being “senseless” (Psalm 73:22). It is not easy to admit to ignorance, but when we are reminded of God’s greatness, his goodness, and his glory, we can confess to our sin of shortsightedness.
Worship was spiritually centering for Asaph. It reminded him of what was eternally important. When we praise God, we take our minds off of the physical and focus our hearts on the spiritual.
“Whom do I have in heaven but you? I desire no one but you on earth. My flesh and my heart may grow weak, but God always protects my heart and gives me stability. Yes, look! Those far from you die; you destroy everyone who is unfaithful to you. But as for me, God’s presence is all I need. I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter, as I declare all the things you have done” (Psalm 73:25-28).
When life has you confused, when your faith is being tested, when you are at the end of your rope, go to God. Worship him in humility, pray to him with honesty, read his Word with discernment, remind yourself of who he is and what he wants you to become. In worship your heart can be settled and your perspective refined.
Lee Parish, link to original article