Prosperity, possessions, and position often "pad the nests" of the wealthy and prevent them from experiencing the struggles faced by those without such advantages. The writer of Psalm 73 finds himself struggling with envy as he compares his circumstances with those of the wicked who prosper, "But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no pangs in their death" (Ps. 73:2-4a).
The wealth of the wicked seem to ensure a better life than those who are righteous without similar wealth. The wealth of the wicked:
After assessing the wicked and their wealth, the Psalmist nearly gives up in his own quest of pursuing purity, "Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocence" (73:13). Only after entering the sanctuary of God does he regain perspective, "Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end" (73:17). He sees the "slippery slope" of the wicked wealthy and the ruin of a life lived outside of God's presence.
The Psalmist's struggle to live righteously in a world where the lives of the rich and powerful appear trouble-free reveals two life lessons:
What does Psalm 50 teach about God and His relationship with His people?
Psalm 74 may have been written after Solomon's death and the division of Israel into two nations. If so, what does this psalm reveal about the brokenness of God's people and the writer's prayer for them?
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