The Grass is Always Greener
1Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. 2But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. 3For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. —Psalm 73:1-3
Contentment with what the Lord gives to us is fleeting, like a bird in our hands; there one moment and gone the next. How easy it is for both new believers and more mature ones to forget all the Lord has done for us.
Asaph, the writer of this Psalm, struggles with envying the “prosperity of the wicked.” He looks at how prosperous the wicked were and it caused him to wonder, Why am I not doing as well as they are? This isn’t fair. How did this attitude grow to the worship leader of Israel? And how does this happen to you and me?
First, we so easily forget the goodness of God. We doubt His loving kindness, grace, and faithfulness. Asaph is trying to convince himself of God’s goodness when he says, “Truly [or surely] God is good to Israel.” This is more of a question than it is a declaration of truth. Can you hear the wavering in his voice or the doubt creeping in? He can feel his heart changing towards God. Like Asaph, when we see bad people prosper, we begin to think God is no longer good to Israel (or us) and He withholds blessings.
Second, it is so easy to look at the ease and prosperity of the unbelieving world and begin to wonder if we could do what they do and get what they have. Questions begin to creep in like, Does it really matter if I lie to get ahead? or Is it sinful to take from those who aren’t going to miss it? We start to think God won’t mind if we sin to gain an advantage.
Third, we begin to walk down the wrong path. Our feet get pointed in the wrong direction. No longer is our gaze vertical, it is horizontal. We forget the path leading to destruction is easy and littered with the bodies of people who look good on the surface. Then we look around and wonder, How did I get here? How can I get outta here?
Asaph was on that path, but thankfully he turned around. Actually, God turned him around with a fresh sense of who He was! He says later in the Psalm, “Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end” (Psalms 73:17).Asaph was reminded of who God was. —Hayden Norris
Prayer - Heavenly Father, it is so easy to lose sight of who You are. I focus on the things around me and forget my life is much more than what I see. You are working in ways I cannot understand and I praise You for Your work. Help me to keep my eyes focused upward and not get distracted by the shiny trinkets and bobbles that fill my life. I want more of You so the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of Your glory and grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.