Monday, June 23, 2014
June 23 – Do not envy evildoers!
Do not fret when wicked men seem to succeed! Do not envy evildoers! For they will quickly dry up like grass, and wither away like plants…. Commit your future to the Lord! Trust in him, and he will act on your behalf. (Psalm 37:1,2,5 NET)
Psalm 37 is an acrostic poem, meaning that the first word of each verse spells out the Hebrew alphabet. A lot of thought was put into the message of this psalm, but also into making it beautiful and clever, a sign of God’s attention to detail and His wisdom. One of the messages of this psalm is for people of God to remain strong in times of trouble. They can only do this when they are certain that God will do what He has promised, both here on earth and in heaven after we die.
Learning to resist the temptation to get bent out of shape over the seeming success of evildoers is an extremely important weapon in our arsenal. The more we react to evil, the more we envy evil people, the more we allow the “success” of the ungodly to make us depressed, the more we empower the devil. He and his demons are nothing; they’ve been defeated; we have authority over them. They don’t act defeated, and want to trick us into believing that they are strong, but we need to keep in mind that whatever they seem to have will quickly be taken away. Not even Satan stays faithful to his own. He turns on them after a while and destroys them because he is incapable of love, faithfulness, and loyalty.
But our God is different. If we commit our future to Him He promises to act on our behalf! The word “commit” in ancient Hebrew, translated literally would be “to roll it over on.” When we “roll over” our future onto the Lord like a giant boulder, when we place our plans in His hands and trust Him to help us accomplish it, God will act. Throughout the Bible, both Old and New Testaments we see God acting on the behalf of His people. Hebrews 11 puts it this way: And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets. Through faith they conquered kingdoms, administered justice, gained what was promised, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength in weakness, became mighty in battle, put foreign armies to flight, and women received back their dead raised to life.
Our lives CANNOT be different than theirs. We need to expect the same things that happened to the great heroes of the Bible; we need to expect God to act on our behalf because we commit our future to Him.