Judges 9-12 Psalm 73

“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.”

The author admits to not being pure of heart. He admits to being envious, or being tired, of wanting the luxury and ease of earthly success, of nearly allowing this to trip him up.

The psalm goes on to explain the remedy.

“But 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.”

The solution is simple. Draw closer to God. In God’s presence, it’s clear that those with other pursuits have found their reward, and it is as temporary as their lives in this world. When you seek God, God is your reward.

I don’t know that I can adequately explain why that is more desirable. We live here and now. What comes next is pretty difficult to fathom. The best we can achieve is a vague notion. So, yes, it’s very easy to get distracted by the things that make life easy here. That make life comfortable here. Now. How can that be a bad thing? Isn’t that natural? Reasonable?

And yes, it really is. It is definitely natural, and I believe it’s reasonable. I believe God understands our desire to be comfortable, happy. It just isn’t the highest priority.

The highest priority is eternity. The highest priority is everything that come when this earth has finally run its course. And while we may not really understand what that will look like, I do know that God will be there. I know that God is there. God defines there. Then? There? Which word is better…

God created us. God knows us. God has authority over us whether we like it or not. God defines, determines, encompasses eternity. Drawing close to him is the only success that matters. He is the source of all that is good; he is all the reward of value in and of himself. And he is so much bigger than this life in this world. He is eternal, and his reward is eternal.

But sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees. Sometimes you can’t tell your on a mountain because you can’t see the horizon. Sometimes you’re standing too close to the work of art to appreciate how it all comes together. An ant traveling along a single thread has no concept of the tapestry.

So yes, we get tired and jealous, and it can threaten to trip us up. In those times, draw close to God and trust in him, lean in to his promise. Be still, and know that he is God. And if it helps? Remember that their prosperity will vanish like a dream.

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