Friday, October 10, 2014

October 10 – Appearances can be deceiving

Do not be agitated by evildoers; do not envy those who do wrong.  For they wither quickly like grass and wilt like tender green plants. (Psalm 37:1 HCSB)

This may seem like a negative promise, but in fact it is very comforting.  God knows what it feels like to see people full of selfishness and greed hurting others with no remorse, who continue to shame the people of God and then appear to get off scot-free.  God wants us to know that He is a God of justice, and no, they are absolutely not getting off scot-free.  God doesn’t ever turn a blind eye to evil.  We know from many other promises that it is against God’s nature to tolerate evil.  

This verse is not meant for us to rub our hands in glee, just waiting for the demise of someone who has hurt us.  Victims of crimes who say they can’t wait for their attacker to “rot in hell,” displease God and are actually undoing the justice that He wants to mete out.  God strongly warns us against gloating over the downfall of someone else, even if we believe they deserved it.  Proverbs 24:17, says that God will even take His anger away from our enemies if we rejoice when they fall. 

God is teaching us here, not to fret or be discouraged.  Our enemies may try to strut around and appear as if they were untouchable, but that isn’t the case.  If we remain in faith, they will wither away just as fast as they sprouted up.  Appearances can be very deceiving, and what God is doing in each one who has hurt us is according to His perfect will.  Justice is always done by God when we trust in Him and don’t try to interfere by bringing about our own version through hatred or personal vengeance.  So how should we react when evil people appear to succeed in what they do?  Relax, and know that God is doing what He needs to do in the right way and at the right time.  The more we let God work freely through a trusting faith, the faster He can bring about the results.

As a side note, this verse does not mean that we cannot seek out legal justice when someone has violated the law.  Of course we must be wise and defend our rights if we are being robbed or harmed.  But the true justice of God’s blessings or wrath, is a promise of God that we have no need to be anxious about. 

We’ll be covering the rest of the promises in Psalm 37 in the days to come.

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