Word for You

Wednesday 23 August

‘I came so close to the edge.’ Psalm 73:2 TLB

When bad people win

If you’d met Asaph, who wrote some of the psalms, you’d probably have thought he hadn’t a care in the world. But you’d have been wrong: ‘I came so close to the edge of the cliff! My feet were slipping and I was almost gone.’ Why? Because he saw bad people winning everywhere, and he was tempted to take their path. Asaph saw arrogant people doing well and bullies getting richer and richer. His envy took him close to the edge. But then he did a 180: ‘My health may fail, and my spirit grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever’ (v. 26 NLT). Despite what he saw in front of him, he chose to take heaven’s perspective over the evil in front of him. He spoke words of courage to himself: from God’s Point of view, evil wouldn’t last forever, and to do the right thing mattered more than caving into envy. Think about the Lord of the Rings. How much of that story is about people summoning up courage to do good in the face of huge and growing evil? King Theoden rides out with all the armies of Rohan to face the much larger armies of Mordor, knowing they’ll be crushed. But he does it anyway. Asaph saw the weight of evil on the earth, threatening to pull it down beyond help forever. But he knew that God had a much bigger end in sight. In the end, evil would never win, and right now, envy couldn’t help him. So he preached to himself: even if the bad people win, even if they get to me, God is my strength, now and forever.

What now?

How did Asaph figure this all out? Verses 16-17 tell you he got into the quiet place with God, and his confusion left. If you’re confused about evil, get into the quiet place. Fight to get heaven’s perspective.