Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of July 8, 2007

Psalm 73:2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.
Psalm 73:3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
Psalm 73:17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.
Psalm 73:22 So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.

Asaph simply didn’t understand. The wicked seemed to have it good and the righteous seemed to have it bad. This was about to destroy his faith in God. But when he considered “the end” of the wicked and their ultimate destruction, then and only then did he get his thinking straightened out. David had the same problem in Psalm 37, and it was in considering “the end” of the righteous that he was able to justify God.

We walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). As a result there are circumstances in life that don’t make sense to us that we have to believe make sense to God. Sometimes, like Job, we don’t know the whole story. We don’t realize that our faithfulness is being used to demonstrate to Satan that some people will worship God and be loyal to Him even when they don’t understand the path that God has taken them down. Even though Job was upright and did nothing for which he needed to be “punished,” Job suffered. However, even though he willingly submitted to the trial (Job 2:10) Job justified himself rather than God, and that is the tendency in all of us. I have a friend who has experienced Job-like trials who recently said, “We are quick to blame Him when bad things happen and slow to praise Him when good happens. I think it is part of our responsibility to stand up for Him and defend Him when he is maligned.” That is the true walk of faith.

Someday when life is over and we have perfect understanding, many of us will be saying, “So foolish was I, and ignorant.” I am well aware that life does not make sense at times. But those of us who are saved know that the Gospel doesn’t make sense. Why should God love us and send His Son to die for our sins? God knows that there is no earthly person that does good, no not one (Romans 3:12). But the Lord who is good willingly died for those who do not do good. Does that make sense? Does being offered salvation as a free gift (Romans 6:23) rather than paying a dear price for it make sense?

I know that we can criticize God and his ways. Most of us have murmured and complained like the Israelites of old. Instead of remembering their great deliverance from the bondage of Egypt and their miraculous victory over the Egyptians at the Red Sea, they chose to complain about the miraculous manna that God had used to sustain them. Instead of rejoicing in their adventure with God and instead of being thankful that they were part of a miracle, they got tired of the journey. I need to be reminded from time to time that the Lord who deserved to have it good had it bad; and I, who deserve to have it bad, have it pretty good. And even if life doesn’t turn out the way I would have liked, I know that eternity will be heavenly.

Asaph reminds us at the end of his Psalm, “But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.” Instead of grumbling and complaining when life doesn’t make sense, let us stand up for God our Savior and defend Him.

Bruce Collins

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