Life can look bleak, then dark, then better, brighter, dark again. But through the changes, ups, and downs, the promise stands. The best is yet to come.
A psalm of Asaph.
1 Surely God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
[To all pure in ❤ who love and trust God]
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.
[I took my eyes off God and His goodness to me when I saw the wicked prosper and grow fat and rich. They even lived a long life in prosperity]
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.
[They live as they think God is busy elsewhere and doesn’t care they prosper while rolling in evil doings]
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.
[Everything God says He hates they enrobe themselves in as though being rewarded for their wickedness]
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?”
[They attend church, pay tithes, sing hymns, but their hearts are far from God as they continue becoming richer. Therefore, God must pay no attention to what they do. They have no fear of God, as though God doesn’t exist to hinder them]
12 This is what the wicked are like—
always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
[So, then this is the state of affairs of life as I have seen them]
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.
[Everything appears turned around and up-side-down. Where is the justice of God?]
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
[I kept quiet publicly, but pondered these things privately and was growing bitter]
17 till I entered the sanctuary of God;
then I understood their final destiny.
[When I came near to You and discussed these things you reminded me of your longsuffering grace in giving them much time to repent. When they don’t, Hell will be their portion, and well earned as they rejected You to the end]
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.
[When the fulness of their wickedness reaches Your allotted limit, you will strike suddenly without further warning, requiring of them their soul in judgement]
21 When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
[When my anger and doubt toward you plagued my heart, I must have resembled a brute beast before you, senseless and ignorant. I deserved your chastisement. But you extended to me your tender mercy full of grace.]
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.
[Your Goodness and tender mercies toward those who love you is everlasting. Great is your faithfulness!]
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.
[Your love is perfect to those who are upright in heart toward You. Your judgement is swift and final to those who scoff, who reject God to the bitter end. I will warn the evil doers toward repentance, and preach your love to those who fear and love God. Amen]