“He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a green tree in its native soil, but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found.” (Psalm 37:6, 25, 35-36)
Have you ever said, why do the wicked and evil seem to prosper, yet we have to labor hard for what we have? Sound familiar? The “apparent prosperity” of those who are wicked and evil often perplexes God’s people. The psalmist learned that God would eventually punish those who take gain where they toil not. God’s people should not be angry or envious of these types of people. Instead, we should trust God in His justice.
Trust, faith, perseverance in the ways of God will be rewarded in due time. Only time and experience can validate the claim of this passage, but its advice is valuable in gaining perspective regarding those who have less integrity but apparently gain ground in this life. Just remember, God honors justice and righteousness. The way of the wicked may seem profitable, but eventually fails.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, help us to always remember that our lives are to be lived in honor or our relationship with You and not for some temporary scheme that will not last. It is only human that when we see others who seemingly are getting rich off of one scheme after another, to not question their ill-gotten reward. Let us remember the true reward is our relationship with you and that there is a fleeting gain that will not last. Let us not be envious of those who do not work for their prize, for ours comes when we enter the kingdom of heaven and is an eternal reward that will last forever. Let us also remember our job is to pray for those that deal only in rewards in this life, that they might come to realize that by focusing on the short-term, they will miss out on the grandest reward of all. It is in our Lord and Savior’s name we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Willpower, you give God your will, He gives you the power!”
“Then Absalom would say to him, ‘Look, your claims are valid and proper, but there I no representative of he king to hear you.’ Absalom would add, ‘If only I were appointed judge in the land! Then everyone who has a complaint or case could come to me and I would see that he gets justice.’ Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him. Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the men of Israel.” (2nd Samuel 15:3-6)
Not every appearance of acting justly issued forth in justice as this account of Absalom demonstrates. A nation must not neglect setting up court systems for its people. The people must not too eagerly follow every voice calling for reform.
“As it is written: ‘He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.’ Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.” (2nd Corinthians 9:9-10)
Paul reminded the Corinthians of God’s sufficiency of grace and of his justice. The conclusion shown for believers is that our justice and righteousness are to correspond to God’s. We are to give to the poor. Giving is a part of our righteousness. Righteousness is thus expressed outwardly in meeting the needs of other people. Such acts of righteousness bring a harvest so we can give even more. Justice is thus based on willingness to give to others, not on demand for rights.
Second Thought of the Day:
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:6, 10, 20)
Beloved, the mark of the Spirit within us is a hunger to live out the will of God. Without God’s energizing, sustaining, and closeness our fulfillment in life grows weak. By feeding on His presence and guidance, our lives grow and mature. Seeking the will of God causes us to be religious experts but humble servants of God’s justice.
We will be made fun of, and some will even be martyred for Christ’s sake. Yet, any righteousness we proclaim and the live out is not our own, but that which God’s grace works in us through the redemptive acts of Christ Jesus.