Today is Monday, September 17th, 2012; Karen's Korner #2401

Due to a short-term illness in our family......we didn't go on our much anticipated bus tour.
So we are here!
In light of all the turmoil in the world, economies and what may or may not be happening in our individual lives, I liked this particular Psalm #73 (LB). The theme is, quote: 'temporary prosperity of the wicked and the lasting rewards of the righteous. We are to live holy lives and trust God for our future rewards'.
"How good God is Israel--
to those whose hearts are pure.
But as for me,
I came so close to the edge of the cliff!
My feet were slipping and I was almost gone.
For I was envious of the prosperity of the proud and wicked.
Yes, all through life their road is smooth!
They grow sleek and fat.
They aren't always in trouble and plagues with problems like everyone else,
so their pride sparkles like a jeweled necklace,
and their clothing is woven in cruelty!
These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for!
They scoff at God and threaten his people.
How proudly they speak!
They boast against the very heavens,
and their words strut through the earth.
And so God's people are dismayed and confused,
and drink it all in.
'Does God realize what is going on?'
they ask.
'Look at these men of arrogance;
they never have to lift a finger---
theirs is a life of ease;
and all the time their riches multiply.'
Have I been wasting my time?
Why take the trouble to be pure?
All I get out of it is trouble and woe---
every day and all day long!
If I had really said that,
I would have been a traitor to your people.
Yet it is so hard to explain it---
this prosperity of those who hate the Lord.
Then on day I went into God's sanctuary to meditate,
and thought about the future of these evil men.
What a slippery path they are on---
suddenly God will send them sliding over the edge of the cliff
and down to their destruction;
an instant end to all their happiness,
an eternity of terror.
Their present life is only a dream!
They will awaken to the truth as one awakens from a dream of things that never really were!
When I saw this,
what turmoil filled my heart!
I saw myself so stupid and so ignorant;
I must seem like an animal to you, O God.
But even so, you love me!
You are holding my right hand!
You will keep on guiding me all my life with your wisdom and counsel;
and afterwards receive me into the glories of heaven!
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And I desire no one on earth as much as you!
My health fails;
my spirits droop,
yet God remains!
He is the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever!
But those refusing to worship God will perish,
for he destroys those serving other gods.
But as for me,
I get as close to him as I can!
I have chosen him
and I will tell everyone about the wonderful ways he rescues me.
Bible Commentary:
There are two themes winding through these verses:
the wicked prosperous, leaving faithful people wondering why they bother to be good;
the wealth of the wicked looks so inviting that faithful people may wish they could trade places.
But these two themes come to unexpected ends, for the wealth of the wicked suddenly stops at that great gulf separating this life and the next, and the rewards of the good suddenly take on eternal value.
What seemed like wealth is not waste,
and what seemed worthless now lasts forever.
Don't be tempted to wish you could trade places with evil people to get wealth.
One day they will wish they could trade places with you and have your eternal wealth.
Don't let your life's goals be as unreal as a dream and awaken too late
to the fact that you missed the reality of God's truth:
Happiness and hope can be a reality,
but only when they are based on God, not on riches.
Because the reality is in God, we should get as close to him as we can
in order to be realistic about life.