Read Psalm 73 today.
What does the psalmist confess?
How does the psalmist speak of God’s presence?
What does the psalmist say is good?
God provides strength and presence, no matter who the people around us are.
As you reflect on this, pray in these ways and any other way the Holy Spirit leads.
For those who are surrounded by arrogant and selfish people, that they would lean in and on the Lord.
That we would defend and speak truth and change into situations and the lives of those that are harsh, destructive, and violent toward others.
For ministries around our city that fight for the vulnerable.
For God’s justice, and for those who seek to oppress and abuse others to be brought down.
1 No one can deny it—God is really good to Israel
and to all those with pure hearts.
But I nearly missed seeing it for myself.
2 Here’s my story: I narrowly missed losing it all.
3 I was stumbling over what I saw the wicked doing.
For when I saw the boasters with such wealth and prosperity,
I became jealous over their smug security.
4-5Indulging in whatever they wanted, going where they wanted,
doing what they wanted, and with no care in the world,
no pain, no problems—they seemed to have it made.
They lived as though life would never end.
6 They didn’t even try to hide their pride and opulence.
Cruelty and violence are parts of their lifestyle.
7 Pampered and pompous, vice oozes from their souls;
they overflow with vanity.
8 They’re such snobs—looking down their noses.
They even scoff at God!
They are nothing but bullies threatening God’s people.
9 They are loudmouths with no fear of God, pretending to know it all--
windbags full of hot air, impressing only themselves.
10Yet the people keep coming back to listen
to more of their nonsense.
11They tell their cohorts, “God will never know.
See, he has no clue of what we’re doing.”
12These are the wicked ones I’m talking about!
They never have to lift a finger,
living a life of ease while their riches multiply.
13Have I been foolish to play by the rules and keep my life pure?
14Here I am suffering under your discipline day after day.
I feel like I’m being punished all day long.
15If I had given in to my pain and spoken of what I was really feeling,
it would have sounded like unfaithfulness to the next generation.
16When I tried to understand it all, I just couldn’t.
It was too puzzling—too much of a riddle to me.
17But then one day I was brought into the sanctuaries of God,
and in the light of glory, my distorted perspective vanished.
Then I understood that the destiny of the wicked was near!
18They’re the ones who are on the slippery path,
and God will suddenly let them slide off into destruction
to be consumed with terrors forever!
19It will be an instant end to all their life of ease;
a blink of the eye and they’re swept away by sudden calamity!
They’re all nothing more than momentary monarchs--
20soon to disappear like a dream when one awakes.
When the rooster crows,
Lord God, you’ll despise their life of fantasies.
21When I saw all of this, what turmoil filled my heart,
piercing my opinions with your truth.
22I was so stupid. I was senseless and ignorant,
acting like a brute beast before you, Lord.
23Yet, in spite of all this, I still belong to you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24You lead me with your secret wisdom.
And following you brings me into your brightness and glory!
25Whom have I in heaven but you? You’re all I want!
No one on earth means as much to me as you.
26Lord, so many times I fail; I fall into disgrace.
But when I trust in you, I have a strong and glorious presence
protecting and anointing me. Forever you’re all I need!
27Those who abandon the worship of God will perish.
The false and unfaithful will be silenced, never heard from again.
28But I’ll keep coming closer and closer to you, Lord Yahweh,
for your name is good to me. I’ll keep telling the world of
your awesome works, my faithful and glorious God!
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Mechanicsville, VA 23111