Bible Reading: Psalm 73:1-11
My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. Psalm 73:2-3
Not only is Tabitha the sneakiest girl in the sixth grade, she’s also the biggest—a head taller than everyone else in her class. Everyone knows she bullies kids on the playground. But everyone is way too scared to speak up. They know that the last kid who told on her wound up bumped and bruised at the bottom of a staircase.
Talk about it: Take turns filling in the blanks in this sentence: “I, [your name], watch [someone else’s name] get away with [something wrong] all the time, and nothing ever happens.”
Psalm 73 doesn’t say exactly what was bugging Asaph when he wrote this sad song. It’s clear, however, that he and a horde of other people were watching some bad dudes get away with monstrous evil. As Asaph and the rest of the crowds witnessed these events, they uttered some stomach-turning words: “Does God realize what is going on?” They might as well have yelled, “Get a clue, God! Where are you?”
If you’ve ever watched someone get away with evil—and you have—you can guess how Asaph ended up feeling. Right after the verses you read, he asked himself, “Was it for nothing that I kept my heart pure and kept myself from doing wrong? All I get is trouble all day long” (verses 13-14).
Asaph figured he did right—and got squat for his efforts. But that’s when God came to his rescue, doing two vital things:
God helped Asaph understand where evildoers wind up. Evildoers won’t do evil forever. “You put them on a slippery path,” Asaph said, “and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction. In an instant they are destroyed” (verses 18-19).
God pulled Asaph tight. When Asaph recognized God’s awesome power and protection, he said, “You are holding my right hand…. My spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever—-How good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter” (verses 23, 26, 28).
Those are points repeated throughout the Bible. The next time you watch someone get away with what seems like unstoppable evil, try this New Testament promise. “So the Lord knows how to save those who serve him when troubles come. He will hold evil people and punish them, while waiting for the Judgment Day” (2 Peter 2:9, NCV).
How do you like them apples?
TALK: How would you answer someone who says people always get away with their sins?
PRAY: God, help us know how we can stop evil. Help us to know you are with us even when we feel helpless against it.
ACT: Read all of Psalm 73 to get more of God’s great words on this subject!