God is truly good to Israel, to those whose lives are pure.
But my feet had almost stumbled. They had almost slipped because I was envious of arrogant people when I saw the prosperity that wicked people enjoy.
They suffer no pain. Their bodies are healthy. They have no drudgery in their lives like ordinary people. They are not plagued ⌊with problems⌋ like others. [vss 1-5]
That is why they wear arrogance like a necklace and acts of violence like clothing.
Their eyes peer out from their fat faces, and their imaginations run wild. They ridicule. They speak maliciously. They speak arrogantly about oppression.
They verbally attack heaven, and they order people around on earth. That is why God’s people turn to wickedness and swallow their words.
Then wicked people ask, “What does God know?” “Does the Most High know anything?”
Look how wicked they are! They never have a worry. They grow more and more wealthy. [vss 6-12]
I’ve received no reward for keeping my life pure and washing my hands of any blame.
I’m plagued ⌊with problems⌋ all day long, and every morning my punishment ⌊begins again⌋.
If I had said, “I will continue to talk like that,” I would have betrayed God’s people. But when I tried to understand this, it was too difficult for me.
Only when I came into God’s holy place did I ⌊finally⌋ understand what would happen to them.
You put them in slippery places and make them fall into ruin. They are suddenly destroyed. They are completely swept away by terror!
As ⌊someone⌋ gets rid of a dream when he wakes up, so you, O Lord, get rid of the thought of them when you wake up. [vss 13-20]
When my heart was filled with bitterness and my mind was seized ⌊with envy⌋, I was stupid, and I did not understand. I was like a dumb animal in your presence.
Yet, I am always with you. You hold on to my right hand. With your advice you guide me, and in the end you will take me to glory.
As long as I have you, I don’t need anyone else in heaven or on earth. My body and mind may waste away, but God remains the foundation of my life and my inheritance forever.
Without a doubt, those who are far from you will die. You destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
Being united with God is my highest good. I have made the Almighty Lord my refuge so that I may report everything that he has done. [vss 21-28]
A psalm by Asaph. (Psalms 73:1-28 GW)
Jealousy is called "the green-eyed monster." The expression was coined by Shakespeare but the emotion has existed since the first humans on earth.
Jealousy or envy includes a range of emotions, all of which bring a sickness of the soul. Left unchecked it breeds greed and lust that are akin to idolatry (Eph 5:5; Col 3:5).
It is a destructive feeling and has no upside. Adam and Eve believed the serpent's lie because they thought God was holding back something good (Gen 3:4-6). Today we characterize it as FOMO—the fear of missing out.
The resulting effect of envy, jealousy, greed, or FOMO is bitterness and discontent that can never be satisfied. That's the nature of lust and greed, what the Bible calls covetousness. It distorts reality and truth and leads us to a dark path and an abyss.
Left unchecked, @@a little jealousy or envy becomes a slippery slope that puts us in slippery places@@. The only antidote for this sickness of the soul is trust. A personal confidence in the Lord.
When we see things from the world's perspective and what our culture enshrines as desirable, we'll find no footing in those slippery places.
But when our view of life, our self, and others is seen through the light of God's eyes, we'll stand on solid ground.
Do you ever find yourself envying people who have power and status?
Don't be envious of those who are great in their own eyes. Be content with God's faithfulness and kindness.
Would you like a free study guide for your study of Psalms?
I won't cover all 150 Psalms, but do selective devotionals through the rest of Psalms.
So if I skip one that you like... let me know and I'll try to cover it!