1 Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts are pure.Psalm 73; from the New Living Translation
2 But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. 3 For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. 4 They seem to live such painless lives; their bodies are so healthy and strong. 5 They don’t have troubles like other people; they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else.
6 They wear pride like a jeweled necklace and clothe themselves with cruelty. 7 These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for! 8 They scoff and speak only evil; in their pride they seek to crush others. 9 They boast against the very heavens, and their words strut throughout the earth.
10 And so the people are dismayed and confused, drinking in all their words.
11 “What does God know?” they ask. “Does the Most High even know what’s happening?”
12 Look at these wicked people—enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply. 13 Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Did I keep myself innocent for no reason? 14 I get nothing but trouble all day long; every morning brings me pain. 15 If I had really spoken this way to others, I would have been a traitor to your people. 16 So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. But what a difficult task it is!
17 Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked. 18 Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction. 19 In an instant they are destroyed, completely swept away by terrors.
20 When you arise, O Lord, you will laugh at their silly ideas as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.
21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. 22 I was so foolish and ignorant—I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. 23 Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. 26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.
27 Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you. 28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,
and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.
Have you ever felt like David did here? How can those who do wrong get by with it? They even seem to prosper while doing what is absolutely wrong! Maybe it’s your boss. Your neighbor. Some family member. Or the politicians in Washington D.C. Perhaps these thoughts are your thoughts about the United Methodist Institution. When things just ain’t right there are a number of ways to react to them. I’ve seen them all. But worst of all, I’ve done them all.
We could just ignore it and go on. You know, “Out of sight, out of mind!” But this rarely work for any length of time. Sooner or later, and usually sooner, it comes back into our minds with a vengeance. And we get even madder. We could scold the ones perpetrating this just ain’t right thing. It may make us feel better for a while–but nothing rarely changes. We would blame the ones promoting that just ain’t right thing! You know, like United Methodist Bishops. Placing blame at the feet of someone else nearly always fails to change the outcomes. We could scream and rant about that just ain’t right thing. We might even gain a few fellow like-minded screamers and ranters who will join in with us. We’d have a choir, but again–no resolving the just ain’t right thing! And we might even wish that the fleas of a thousand camels infest their armpits and various body orifices.
David understood these desires we have when things just ain’t right! But listen again to him in Verse 21: “Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside.“ Bitterness, vengeance, and even the desire for justice doesn’t change anything–except out heart, mind, and soul. All of this erodes the calm confidence we had in the beginning with God. So, what can we do when things just ain’t right????
Remember! That’s right! Remember! Not the just ain’t right part! Remember what David wrote in Verse 28: “But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.“ Stay near to The Father. Make Him your shelter. And then tell everyone about the wonderful things that God has done, is doing, and will continue to do. Don’t slip and by all means, don’t lose your footing! Stay and stand on The Rock!