Today’s attached devotional gives important clues to some of the great
mysteries of life. Think on it carefully and don’t let appearances
deceive you. God bless you.
Because of Calvary,
Psalm 73:1-28 (ESV)
1 Truly God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,
my steps had nearly slipped.
3 For I was envious of the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 For they have no pangs until death;
their bodies are fat and sleek.
5 They are not in trouble as others are;
they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace;
violence covers them as a garment.
7 Their eyes swell out through fatness;
their hearts overflow with follies.
8 They scoff and speak with malice;
loftily they threaten oppression.
9 They set their mouths against the heavens,
and their tongue struts through the earth.
10 Therefore his people turn back to them,
and find no fault in them.
11 And they say, “How can God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
12 Behold, these are the wicked;
always at ease, they increase in riches.
13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean
and washed my hands in innocence.
14 For all the day long I have been stricken
and rebuked every morning.
15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
I would have betrayed the generation of your children.
16 But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to me a wearisome task,
17 until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I discerned their end.
18 Truly you set them in slippery places;
you make them fall to ruin.
19 How they are destroyed in a moment,
swept away utterly by terrors!
20 Like a dream when one awakes,
O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.
21 When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,
22 I was brutish and ignorant;
I was like a beast toward you.
23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that 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 For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
28 But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.
“The story is told of a farming community in which most of the farmers were godly men who gathered to worship the Lord on Sunday instead of working in the fields. One exception was a farmer who was an atheist. He considered himself a freethinker and often chided his neighbors, saying, ‘Hands that work are better than hands that pray.’ Part of his land bordered the church, and he would make a point of driving his tractor by the worship services. When one year his land produces more than anyone else’s in the county,, he submitted a lengthy letter to the editor of the local paper, boasting of what a man can do on his own without God. The editor printed the man’s letter, then added this pithy comment: ‘God doesn’t settle all His accounts in the month of October.’” [John MacArthur, Our Awesome God, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001), p. 92]
“We must not look at things in their confused state, but in the outcome. Look at Joseph in prison and here is a horrible scandal. Where is God’s providence watching over the poor young man? O but now look at him next to Pharaoh! Consider Lazarus at the rich man’s door, and there is a scandal, but then look at him in Abraham’s bosom. Consider Christ arraigned before Pilate and crucified; here is a great scandal, but stay a while. See him at the right hand of God ruling, and all principalities and powers subjected under his feet (Eph. 1:21). Thus the Word teaches us not to look upon things only in the present, but to see the outcome when God directs all things to a sweet end.” [Richard Sibbes quoted in Voices From The Past: Puritan Devotional Readings edited by Richard Rushing, (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2009), p. 333]