Psalm 73 was written by somebody I can relate to—an inspired writer named Asaph, who suffered with the same problem that attacks me when I least expect it. Envy.
My Merriam Webster app defines envy as a painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another and/or a desire to possess that same advantage.
Envy’s pretty big in our world. It sells cars and clothes and just about anything you can imagine.
And envy loves to creep into my heart, stir up my discontent, and steal my peace.
That’s what happened to Asaph in Psalm 73. After looking around at a culture filled with folks who had forgotten God, Asaph came away with a full-blown awareness that everyone else was enjoying advantages denied to him. He wrote . . .
“They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.
They say, ‘How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?’
This is what the wicked are like—always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.”
He began to wonder if following God was worth it. “Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence.”
I can imagine how he lived each day . . .
Trying to silence his own wants long enough to hear the voice of God
Feeling the sharp prick of conviction and weeping tears of repentance
Knowing himself unequal to the task of representing God before his coworkers and friends and children
Asking God to work miracles in his own heart and in the lives of others
Accepting the times when God allowed pain and suffering and even death
And calling out for comfort with groans and prayers that cannot be uttered.
It hardly seemed fair. He wanted what everyone else had.
Until he entered the sanctuary of God.
That’s when Asaph realized that he possessed something far more amazing than any earthly treasure or benefit . . .
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the one true God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth
Knew him by name
Numbered the hairs of his head
Held him by the hand
Watched over him while he slept
And promised to be with him forever . . .
“Yet I am always with You;
You hold me by my right hand.
Whom have I in heaven but You?
And earth has nothing I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Can’t you hear the rejoicing in those verses? Soak it in, friends. Lift your voice with Asaph’s. And leave no room for envy in your life!
Lord, help me silence my own wants so I can hear your voice. (Click to Tweet)
My flesh & my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart & my portion forever. (Click to Tweet)
Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. (Click to Tweet)
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