Do Not Envy the Wicked

Psalms 73:1-3 ESV (Also read verses 4 to 12)

“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.”

Under the New Covenant God has with his people, “Israel” is both Jew and Gentile (by physical birth) who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives. We are those who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin and who have been raised with Christ to WALK in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. And we are those who no longer walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the flesh but who walk by faith in Jesus Christ, in the power of God, according to the Spirit, in surrender and in obedience to our Lord.

[Gal 3:16, 26-29; Rom 9:4-8; Gal 4:22-31; Eph 2:14-18; 1 Jn 2:22; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; Eph 4:17-24; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 12:1-2; Heb 12:1-2]

And the description here of the arrogant and the wicked is of those who seem to have no sufferings and no troubles as others have. Therefore they are filled with pride, and they are people who love violence, who are full of lustful desires and whose hearts overflow with all sorts of foolishness. They scoff at purity and they speak with malice and they threaten oppression and they speak loftily against God and against the truth of the gospel. And they seem to always be at ease, and they never seem to be in want of anything.

So, for those who are following Jesus with their lives, and who are facing all kinds of sufferings and persecutions, there may be a temptation to envy the arrogant and the wicked, and so we need to guard against such thinking. For one, we should not envy other people, and secondly, we should be thankful for what we have been given. Then we must know that outward appearance is not necessarily a true sign of what is going on in people’s lives.

And lastly, it is far better to be poor in this world and to be rich in faith, than to be rich in this world and to not have faith. Those who may appear as though all is well with them, if they are not people of faith, they cannot be at true peace, and they are definitely not at peace with God. And many of them are miserable people because they are trying to find peace and security in the things of this world which never satisfy the deep longings of their souls.

Psalms 73:10-11 ESV

“Therefore his people turn back to them,
and find no fault in them.
And they say, ‘How can God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?’”

It appears here that the meaning of verses 10-11 is with regard to God’s people turning back to the wicked and finding no fault in them, and then denying the truths of the Scriptures in order to walk in the ways of the prosperous wicked. And we are seeing this happen in our day and time in abundance, for many professers of faith in Jesus Christ are deserting the way of holiness to adopt a gospel that permits them to sin against God.

Many professers of faith in Jesus are adopting the ways of the world into their lives and are living not much different from those who make no profession of faith in Jesus. Some of them are even being taught in the gatherings of the church to immerse themselves in the culture and to blend in with the world and to not behave righteously and to not talk about Jesus to their friends lest they offend them with the truth of the gospel.

And many are going after feel-good messages which do not tell them that they must forsake their sins, but which coddle them in their sins and which give them carte blanche to continue in their deliberate and habitual sins. And many are also following after the “health, wealth, and prosperity” false doctrine to their detriment, because they are envious of the prosperity of the wicked, and they want what they have more than they want Jesus.

Psalms 73:23-26 ESV (Also read verses 13 to 22)

“Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
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.”

The Psalmist described his struggle here where he was being tossed back and forth in his mind between his own experiences of heartaches and difficulties, because of his walk of faith in the Lord, and his feelings of envy of those who seemed to have no troubles. Yet, appearances can certainly be deceiving, can’t they? Yet, he then took his struggle to the Lord in prayer and there he was able to discern, not only the end of the wicked, but the reality of his own struggle and what that looked like.

Yet, although he had this internal struggle in his mind and heart, he did not desert the truth or his faith to go after the ways of the wicked. And he confessed and he repented of the thoughts he had had. And he acknowledged that his faith was still in the Lord, and that he was still committed to walking in the ways of the Lord and in his truth. And he confessed that it is the Lord who guides him in his counsel, and that one day the Lord is going to receive him to glory.

He realized, too, that the Lord must be his trust and that his desire is to be for the Lord and for him alone, and not to envy the wicked, and not to desire the pleasures of this world. For, although the pleasures of this world can bring temporary happiness, it is shallow, and it is temporary, and it is not lasting and enduring and satisfying eternally. For the pleasures of this world leave us empty, and the allurement of sin definitely leads us down the wrong path which goes nowhere but to hell.

Now, it is true that we humans still live in flesh bodies. Thus, we will still be tempted to sin, and we still have the propensity to sin, and we may still sin, at times, but sin should no longer have mastery over our lives. We are not to be those who live in sin, who make sin our practice. God should always and forever be the strength of our hearts and our portion forever, and our trust should remain in him, which is evidenced by how we live our lives on this earth. So this is definitely not saying we can live in sin. For if sin is what we practice, we will not inherit eternal life with God.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: We’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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