On the morning of July 7th I was reading Psalm 73 and then later in the day I was alerted to the violent eruption in Dallas. Here again was yet another report depicting a world hemorrhaging with pain and violence. I went back to Psalm 73 that evening and thought about the Psalmists honest struggle with the injustice and evil that seemed to flourish while the followers of God floundered,
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, (Psalm 73: 2-3).
And the more the author thinks about the apparent prevailing of the wicked the more depressed he becomes:
All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning…When I tried to understand all this it was oppressive to me, (Psalm 73:14,16).
Can you identify with this uneasy tension that feels like nausea in the gut? When you reflect on Isis, Paris, Nice, racial unrest, Orlando, religious persecution, our political situation, and on and on, how is your faith? I’ve just returned to the states after spending a month in Africa and I hear about Von Miller, a talented Denver Bronco football player paid 114 million dollars to play 6 years of football while my friends in Lesotho Africa can’t find a job or eat a single meal a day, and I ask myself, “Where is the justice?” Yes, I’m a true blue Bronco fan but it is getting harder for me to swallow as the disparity is beyond extreme.
All that is going on in our shaky world can cause the strongest of faith to shatter just like Asaph, the writer of this song. But praise God for where his search into all of this evil and injustice brings him:
“till I entered the sanctuary of God…,” (Psalm 73:17).
Right there is the Psalm 73 Answer! The answer to the problem of evil and injustice will not be found in a political solution, military action, or more education. It can only be understood in the presence of a Sovereign God. Yes, the world will say that is ignorant and simplistic, but those who have followed the Psalmist into the House of the Lord to turn their eyes to King Jesus who is at the right hand of the Good Father know. They will join in and sing out the truth found in the glorious ending found in Psalm73.
Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. 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.