Prayer Focus: China, PRC

Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 25-27, Psalms 17, 73

Scripture

For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.(Psalm 73:3)

How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!  Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms. (Psalm 73:19-20)

But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works. (Psalm 73:28)

Observation

These verses are an inadequate summary of Psalm 73, but I think it gets a good point across.  It’s a theme in the psalms to talk about how we envy the wicked because they prosper where the faithful don’t.  If you look at the Forbes 100 list of the richest people in the world the startling reality is that many of them are not Christians.  I’m not trying to judge anyone’s heart, but in most case they’ve said they aren’t Christians.  While they continue enjoying the best this life has to offer we struggle to pay the bills, we work hard and hope we don’t get laid off, and just generally fight for everything we get.  Maybe I’m being dramatic.  It doesn’t always feel like that, but when we are at our worst, or at our weakest, that’s how we see things.  That’s how Asaph, the writer of this Psalm felt.  But, in the end, we have to remember one simple thing: we have Jesus and because we have Jesus no matter what this life throws at us we will live forever in the presence of the Lord.

Application

This past Sunday, Easter Sunday, Pastor Kirk reminded us that we are celebrating the risen Lord.  Jesus Christ is RISEN!  He’s risen indeed!  He’s alive!  That means our sins are forgiven.  That means we can live forever in glory with the Lord.  That’s something worth getting excited about and not for just one, or two days a year.  Our celebration shouldn’t end Sunday night, it should continue on for days.  So what if the wicked prosper.  Ultimately they have nothing to look forward to.  Which means………they need us.  Whoa.  The wicked need us to tell them about Jesus so they can be forgiven and celebrate with us.  Maybe we should celebrate so much that the wicked start writing psalms like : “they have nothing and yet they sing.  Oh great eternal force, how can this be when I’ve worked so hard myself for everything I have that they should rejoice in what they don’t have!”  Ha!  The irony!

Prayer

Lord, I understand why the Psalmists would lament over the wicked prospering.  You didn’t begrudge them lamenting.  But in the end you want us to remember what’s really important.  Eternity.  I may not have much here, but I know I’ll be “rich” beyond measure with You in heaven.  Open my lips to show forth your praise so that others can share in this celebration!  Amen, Lord Jesus, thank you for keeping your promise to pay for my sin, to rise again and to give me new life.

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