Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Feet Almost Slipped

Do you ever have those days where things just don't make sense?  Sure!  We all have them.  Also, have you ever wondered why God allows times where it seems only the godless triumph?  Be honest!  We all have those thoughts too.  Even Holy Spirit inspired Bible writers had those days.

Earlier, I was writing a note to another blogger about Psalm 73.  It seemed a fitting response to her circumstances.  Yet, as usual, it spoke right back at me too!  God has a way of doing that.  When you go to help another, he often answers your questions too.  Let me explain.

My mom called me to tell me the news about the decision of the Department of Justice's (or injustice) and the President's decision not support the Defense of Marriage Act.  Anger!!!  He is not asked to interpret the law according to the constitution but to uphold it!    Obama Administration Drops Defense of Anti-Gay Marriage Law -  I really became angry about this.  Honestly, I had just been praying for the President as commanded in 1 Timothy 2:1-5 just before that too.  How dare he do something so blatantly ungodly?  How is it that godlessness seems to be flourishing so much while Christians can't get justice anywhere in the land?  Notice this article also posted today.  Obamacare violates religious freedom lawsuit thrown out | Pat Robertson | The Daily Caller - Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment

Asaph, Israel's great worship leader, also questioned God about this.  He was so upset that he even felt that he would backslide over God's apparent inactivity.  Notice Psalm 73:2-3 "But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked."  Wow!  That explains most of our feelings when we see the ungodly advance. Asaph got so angry that he even felt as if his attempts to live right and holy were in vain (v13).  He said, "For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning."  In essence, they prosper in wickedness while I feel plagued and punished as God's servant.  

How would you feel if your worship team had such a crisis of faith?  What did Asaph do?  How did he turn these doubtful thoughts around?  He stayed faithful and took it to the sanctuary.  Not only was this the place of worship, but also the primary place of prayer.  The change of heart about the flourishing wicked was almost immediate.  Look at verse 17, "Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end."  Somehow God reminded Asaph of an eternal perspective in prayer.  He realized that these people were in slippery places and that the day of their demise was quick and sudden.  He was building in Asaph the heart of an intercessor.  Rather than question God, he began to realize that they are only going to advance in wickedness for a short time.  If there is no repentance, they will be cut down quickly and sent to judgment and that is an eternal loss.  

Asaph realizes that God is on his side and that He has God here to comfort him and a promise of eternal bliss to come (verses 23-26).  He also realizes that without Christ they are doomed (verse 27).  Rather than give up, Asaph concluded that serving the Lord even when things don't make sense is always the right thing to do.

God drew a great preacher to this Psalm.  Verse 18 caught that intercessor's eye, "Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction."  Along with his text verse of Deuteronomy 32:35, Jonathon Edwards shared the great sermon "Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God" to an America as easily as backslidden as we are today.  It drove the nation back to prayer as they realized that no one ever, EVER prospers in sin.

"But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works."  Psalm 73:28    

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1 comment:

  1. Hi John,
    When I see the wicked winning I think of Malachi 3. To me, this just says it all.
    Just reading this, shows me Gods justice and how wonderful it will be for us.The wicked will really lose a lot in the long run, but we ourselves are called to suffering right now.

    This is all the wicked will get of the "happy day", so the Lord is kind and tries to allow them to be as happy as they can be, because He knows that for the rest of eternity they are doomed.
    We know it all works out in the end, thats where our faith and trust comes in.
    God Bless you John, I hope your knees are feeling better.

    (Malachi 3:14)
    Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?
    15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.
    16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
    17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
    18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.