"This is what the wicked are like - always carefree, they increase in wealth. Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure; in vain hae I washed my hands in innocense."
Why does it seem that the wicked people prosper? One of the greatest spiritual questions that concerns many of us is why good people sometimes suffer, while so many bad people live life with ease. This question reaches its hand back to antiquity by a man named Asaph. He was one of King David's musicians, who wrote this psalm after struggling with the same concern.
Earlier in the psalm, Asaph tells us that he found himself envying the prosperity of those he identifies as "the wicked." He is looking at what appears to be the lack of fairness in the world, so he becomes discouraged about trying to live a righteous life.
His prospective depicts those that do not follow God's guidance - "evil conceits their minds to know no limits." Furthermore he observes, "they are always carefree, and increase in wealth." Due to this, he reaches the conclusion that "surely in vain I have kept my heart pure." How many of us have felt the same way? We follow the right path until it hurts, and we see the very same wicked people in front of our own eyes harboring all the wealth!
But Asaph realizes he must get his head on straight once more. This type of delusion can lead us down an unruly path setting all types of stones to laden our journey. He steps back and looks at the "bigger" picture. He steps into church again. There, as he sits quietly contemplating, he is reminded of all the good things that he can't see in this visible world. He knows he is blessed with many who love him. He knows that God is always with him directing his path. He knows he gives him strength. He knows when his life is ended; God will take him directly into his presence. He knows that although he can count his riches quickly, he is blessed with happiness each day. As a result he understands, "In this life, I don't need anything more than to be with you, Lord!"
When we try to live in a way that is pleasing to God, it is not in vain. It may seem as though the "bad guys" get the best cut from life, but we do have a limited perspective. What we see on the outside may conflict with inner turmoil they experience on the inside. Like Asaph, we need to get ourselves to a place where we can get the right perspective. It can change disappointment to joy!
Dear Lord, help me to remember that living
in the way you guide us is never in vain.
Help me to have a better perspective on life. Thank you
for always being there whenever I need you. Amen.