Above the Fray

sandcastle-washed-awayFor I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the “wicked.” (Psalm 73:3)

The Psalm writer admitted he had a problem: Every where around him he observed the ungodly getting away with murder (so to speak). They were strong and not troubled like others. They wore pride like radiant jewelry and were fat with abundance. They pushed other people around physically and especially verbally. They either scoffed at God or worse ignored Him. And the consequences? Nothing! They just reveled in their ease and increased in riches. Sound familiar? Remember, there is nothing new under the sun.

Then our writer said: “Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocence. For all day long I have been plagued, and chastened every morning.” (vs. 13,14) His pursuit of godliness seemed to be a road to nowhere in comparison to the fast track of the ungodly. These facts of this ‘nothing new under the sun’ life sure can be frustrating at times.

Then…then, he went into the sanctuary of God. Then, in the presence of the things of God, in the light of His truth, he recalled the end game. “Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction.” (v. 18) All the pushing and pulling, all the clutching and grabbing to gather the most toys will come to desolation for those supposed ‘at ease’ folks. All their sand collecting to build earthly kingdoms are doomed to be smashed by the coming perfect storm of death.

“I was so foolish and ignorant…” (v. 22) admitted our scribe. He had lost his focus on the eternal realities of our existence. Instead, his attention was diverted to the worldly fray taking place around him. How easy it is to lose focus and get caught up in the fray. But revisiting the Lord’s revelations, he declares, “Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel. And afterward receive me to glory.” (vs. 23,24)

How do we stay above the fray? Our psalmist concludes with the answer: “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 Your works.” (v. 28)

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