Journal Ps 73-75 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “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…they are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind…
They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression. They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth.”
(I said to myself) “Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning…
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.
When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you…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 (nothing!!) on earth that I desire besides you.” (Excerpts from Ps 73:2-25)
Observation: You see? You see? The Psalmist could be me! These words could be my words. These thoughts could be my thoughts. These groanings and wailings could be mine. But could I recite that last line with conviction? Would those words be mine…?
Analysis: I identify with weariness. There are many times where I am just…plain…tired.
I struggle with depression. By the Grace of God, he gave scientific minded guys the idea of medicine and I am very grateful. But crawling into a hole and pulling the hole over my head isn’t my only response to weariness.
There are many times where bitterness grabs me around the throat. I get like a brute: angry, fierce, arrogant in the ways of “I know better that what the wicked are showing”, and, guess what, I join the ranks of the wicked without even knowing what I did; without batting an eye.
These are the lessons to be learned from the Gospel: the Gospel is Good News, and….it is replete with bad news for man.
In a way of perception, the wicked are to be pitied, but, without celebration the wicked are doing what they are appointed to do (Romans 9). This is the lesson of John 3:16: Jesus died that I may be redeemed. But my humble question before Him is, “Thank you, Lord, but why me? Why did you die…for me?”
Prayer: Lord God, my God: I can cry out “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing, NOTHING, on earth that I desire besides you.” Help me to make this my oft cry; what sings in my mind, what resounds in my heart. I want to wear that on my skin, in my eyes, sounding off my tongue all my days left on earth. AMEN.