A psalm of Asaph.
Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills. Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. From their callous hearts comes iniquity; their evil imaginations have no limits. They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression. Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance. They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything.
OK, I’ll admit it. I look around at those I consider arrogant and prideful (yes, that’s judgmental) and say, “Come on, God, why do you let those kinds of people prosper?! Some say they are on Your side, but they promote a watered-down message that elevates them and produces wealth. Call them into account for goodness sakes!”
That is Asaph’s complaint in this psalm. As a leader of one of David’s choirs he was doing ministry…the right way. Then he looked around at the arrogant and their prosperity. They had record deals, book deals, nice homes, vacations, thousands of friends on social media, and all kinds of money. Asaph wrote, “my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant….”
Here’s the lesson I learn from these verses: Envy makes me lose my spiritual footing. It makes my heart cynical and calloused. It clouds the focus I need in order to work on my own heart. Envy wastes my time and energy expending the precious moments of my life and giving no return on investment.
Father, forgive me. Like Asaph, my feet almost slipped. Lord, redirect my focus to see the things in my life that need attention. Take envy far from my heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.