Be still and wait patiently for God. Do not fret over the wicked who prosper in their way, who carry out evil schemes (Psalm 37.7)
I don’t “fret over the wicked.” Those who exercise their powers, influential and material, to gratify mostly (solely?) their self-serving desires. Those who care nothing for the needy and little for anyone, save for what economic, social, or political benefit they can extract from those seeking their favor.
No. I don’t fret over (although I do pray for the contrition and conversion of) the wicked. Yet, from time to time, I worry or, better said, wonder about God.
The principle of righteousness, manifested in justice, both in recompense for right and retribution for wrong, permeates the Bible. This Divine fairness is a defined element of the historical and legal, prophetic and parabolic traditions of the scriptures.
However, from time immemorial one of the indisputable ways of the world is this: The good or godly (at least, some of them, some of time) suffer and the wicked (at least, some of them, some of the time) prosper.
This demonstrable distinction between the biblical ethic and human experience is enough for me, again, from time to time, to wonder about God’s benevolence and, when I wrestle with the loss of hope, God’s existence.
In my consternation, I find comfort in the psalmist’s advocacy of “be(ing) still and wait(ing) patiently for God.” For in the light, verily, the shadow of the inscrutable mechanics of the universe and the ever-present evidences of human sin, I choose to place my confidence in the God of my understanding; One whose eternal promise of love and justice is greater than any present reality of hatred and inequity.
© 2023 PRA
Illustration: Patientia, Cornelis Anthonisz (1505-1553). Patience is depicted as a woman who, by faith, standing on Christ and, with her head held high, looking to God’s Name (the Hebraic sacred tetragrammaton), resists the lure of Satan and the pull of death.
#Godsexistenceandbenevolence #loveandjustice #hatredandinequity #faithandhope #godlinessandwickedness
2 thoughts on “Psalmic Assurance”
Thank you so much for this Paul! I love that you model for us that it’s ok to doubt at times, even if that doubt includes the existence of God when people who do bad acts seem to get away with it and sometimes are even rewarded for the bad behavior!
Injustices happen day in and day out…and as they pile up it can be easy to give up all hope, but you let us know that God wins in the end!!
Yes, I’m counting on God and, in my confidence of God’s victory already won in the life and ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus, I seek to carry on in love and justice sometimes because of (and sometimes in spite of) the way things are.