Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I almost fell

Surely God is good to Israel,
    to those who are pure in heart.
 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
    I had nearly lost my foothold.
For I envied the arrogant
    when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 
Psalm 73:1-3

The psalmist confesses, in these verses, to coming close to losing his footing of standing on the truth of God.  He further explains his near failure was because he was envious of the arrogant when he saw all the prosperity of the wicked. 

Even though I am old, I still revert back to my middle school thinking at times, especially when I learn of bad people prospering, while good people are suffering.  My thinking then leads me to ask the universal question, "Why does God let things happen like this?"

Snapping back to the principles of faith and the faithful, I do know that God loves us all and as a Christian claim God as my source, knowing he is a providing God that has promised to take care of my needs.  However, the danger still exists, as confessed by the writer of this psalm, that we can become so obsessed just by seeing the success and prosperity of the wicked, causing us to slip and fall.
Believe me, when it comes to slipping and falling, I am the expert. Following my hip replacement surgery during the summer, then intense physical therapy, I felt blessed and very fortunate to have a quick and successful recovery.  Then it happened.  I fell and landed on my new artificial hip causing  cracks in three places on my femur.  That has called for me to keep weight off the leg for over 5 weeks, while weekly having x rays to watch the bone heal.  I am getting close to recovery again, and can now put partial weight on the leg.  I have said all that to testify to everyone our bodies do wear out and we suffer from disease and accidents.  The hardest part is the recovery, and it takes a long, long time.

I am glad the psalmist didn't actually slip and lose his foothold.  That leads to spiritual disaster and sometimes the hardest part is recovery, and it often takes a long time.  And instead of mentioning only the outcome of those who do fall, the psalmist also mentions the success and blessings which result in standing firmly on the promises of God. Verses 4-22 of this psalm give us more information about the wicked and their dealings, and even tells us more about how our thinking can become muddied if we stay focused on them.  But look at the closing verses of this psalm. They give the true, clear and accurate picture of our relationship with the Heavenly Father.  From talking about slipping and losing his foothold, the psalm wants us to see there is nothing in heaven or on earth that can compare to the goodness of God. 

Those who are far from you will perish;
    you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
    I will tell of all your deeds.
 verses 27-28


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