Monday, September 23, 2013

Proverbs 23:17-18 Why do they get away with it?

Today’s verses are a timely reminder that our vision here is limited and so influenced by the world:

Let not your heart envy sinners,

    but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day. 
Surely there is a future,

    and your hope will not be cut off. (Proverbs 23:17-18)

Last night was the broadcast of the Emmy Awards, when the world tunes in to see the parade of beautiful people gather their rewards. The next People magazine cover will display the best and worst of the red carpet fashions, and many of us will have our envy meters jump off the charts! How our culture celebrates the rich and famous among us! Surely we are tempted to covet their grand homes, fancy cars, exquisite clothes, and their V.I.P. lifestyles that come with the fame. Yet, the majority of these folks scoff at the mention of Jesus’ name. They regularly mock Christians and their values through their work and with their platforms. So why do we hold them up to be envied?

David struggled with the idea that so often it seems that the mockers and evildoers prosper:

Truly God is good to Israel,

    to those who are pure in heart. 
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,

    my steps had nearly slipped. 
For I was envious of the arrogant

    when I saw the prosperity of the wicked... 
...They set their mouths against the heavens,

    and their tongue struts through the earth. 
Therefore his people turn back to them,

    and find no fault in them. 
And they say, “How can God know?

    Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
Behold, these are the wicked;

    always at ease, they increase in riches. (Psalm 73:1-3,9-12)

David found himself wondering why he bothered to keep himself pure before God, when apparently it wasn’t gaining him anything - at least not the “blessings” that he perceived to be with the wicked around him. They appeared to be getting away with their evil deeds - in fact they were prospering! David was filled with envy - until he went into the sanctuary of God and gained some godly perspective:

But when I thought how to understand this,

    it seemed to me a wearisome task, 
until I went into the sanctuary of God;

    then I discerned their end.  
Truly you set them in slippery places;

    you make them fall to ruin. 
How they are destroyed in a moment,

    swept away utterly by terrors! (Psalm 73:16-19)

Seeing things from God’s point of view, David realized that their is justice in the end. God deals with the wicked and He holds onto His own. He was able to praise God with confidence in his own future: 

Nevertheless, I am continually with you;

    you hold my right hand. 
You guide me with your counsel,

    and afterward you will receive me to glory. 
Whom have I in heaven but you?

    And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 
My flesh and my heart may fail,

    but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:23-26)

Thank you, LORD, that our hope is secure in You. You have blessed us beyond measure with your love, your grace, your mercy, your joy, and your presence. Rewards like an Emmy statue, which tarnish and are quickly forgotten, are nothing compared the the rewards and crowns that await those who love you. Keep our eyes on You and on the prize you have waiting for us! 

Update on the twins: Cole and Ramona are both breathing on their own and appear to be thriving! Thank you, LORD!

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