During worship today, the Lord brought two scriptures to mind, one right after the other. After reading them that afternoon, I found them to fit in with other scriptures God has been showing me about faith under adversity.
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.
They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.
They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills.
Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.
From their callous hearts comes iniquity their evil imaginations have no limits.
They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression.
Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.
Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.
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.
Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence.
All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments.
If I had spoken out like that, I would have betrayed your children.
When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply
till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.
Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin.
How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!
They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord,
you will despise them as fantasies. When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory. 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.
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.
– Psalm 73
The message is clear. God’s ways are not our ways. What we see with our eyes is misleading and we need to remember that He has us by the right hand. As it is with provision, so it is with justice. Therefore, regardless of what it may look like, I will trust in Him.
In the Lord I take refuge.
How then can you say to me:
“Flee like a bird to your mountain.
For look, the wicked bend their bows;
they set their arrows against the strings
to shoot from the shadows
at the upright in heart.
When the foundations are being destroyed,
what can the righteous do?”
The Lord is in his holy temple;
the Lord is on his heavenly throne.
He observes everyone on earth;
his eyes examine them.
The Lord examines the righteous,
but the wicked, those who love violence,
he hates with a passion.
On the wicked he will rain
fiery coals and burning sulfur;
a scorching wind will be their lot.
For the Lord is righteous,
he loves justice;
the upright will see his face.
– Psalm 11
First provision, then justice, now protection. When the foundations are destroyed (so true of modern day America!), the Lord is in His holy temple!
- October 5, 2014