God is in Control

Psalm 73- 1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. 3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. 5 They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. 7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity; their evil imaginations have no limits. 8 They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression. 9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. 10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance. 11 They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?” 12 This is what the wicked are like—always free of care, they go on amassing wealth. 13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. 14 All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments. 15 If I had spoken out like that, I would have betrayed your children. 16 When I tried to understand all this it troubled me deeply 17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. 18 Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. 19 How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! 20 They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies. 21 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, 22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. 23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. 28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.
Why does it seem that all too often the unjust get away with it or have it easy while those who act justly get the short end of the stick (have it rough)? Well, if you ever thought this, you aren’t the first; in fact there is a Psalm about this. In Psalm 73, the psalmist admits to almost falling in the trap of being envious of those doing wrong because when he compares his circumstances to those doing evil, it looks like they are carefree and his life is not. So, what should we do when we face injustice in the world and in our lives?
First, the Psalmist is too focused on this inequality between him and evil doers until he comes into the sanctuary of God. He remembers that God is in control and that God’s perfect justice will be fulfilled in the end. Justice is God’s in the end, He judges with a perfect wisdom and will not allow anything to go unaccounted for. We must place our trust in God and allow God to avenge for us rather than us take revenge.
Along with that thought of God and justice, we must not forget that God is a God of love and patience. God does not want to see anyone perish and is patient in allowing those who do evil the opportunity to come to Him and His grace. Remember we too at one time did what was not pleasing to the Lord and deserving of punishment, yet the Lord was patient with us and forgave us our sins.
Second, talking about forgiveness, we must be willing to forgive even the hardest, heinous injustice. We all remember that Jesus on the Cross, suffering the most heinous of injustices said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Jesus was thinking of His persecutors as He suffered a painful and gruesome death. Our Lord knows what is to forgive those who hurt Him, aren’t we to follow in His footsteps?
One way to help us with forgiveness is a word called empathy. We put ourselves in their shoes. We look at their life, their upbringing, their culture (if applicable) and their fallenness with a desire to understand (not justify) them. It’s through this process that we gain empathy.
Finally, stand up for those who are being oppressed. One of the offenses of the Israelites in the days of the prophets was that they acted unjustly to those that were in the margins of society (the poor, the foreigners, widows, orphans, etc.). God wanted the leaders of Israel and the wealth to care for all, yet they did not follow God’s wishes and often took advantage and oppressed those who lived at the bottom of the social ranks. God still wants His people to stand up and help those in need. He wants to help stop injustices and for us to care for our fellow man.
We must always remember, even when evil in the world around us seems so strong, God is in control. God is redeeming this world and us as well. We must rest in the hope that one day this world will be restored to as it was before the fall. Even more, we must do our part as effective agents of God’s grace to combat the evil so prevalent in the world around us.

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