Confession time. Doesn’t it bother you when the wicked prosper? Doesn’t it fill you with indignation when the unbeliever gets the promotion at work, but you who have been faithful to the Lord get turned down? And do you sometimes long to “enjoy” what the Lord prohibits but others freely indulge in? It’s hard to grasp how it seems like those who hate God are blessed and those who love God are cursed.
The psalmist has some encouraging words for we who have struggled with these thoughts:
1 Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers!
2 For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. – Psalm 37:1-2
The psalmist is helping us put things in perspective. Sure they might be flourishing now, but as the Savior would say centuries later, they have their reward in full. This is the closest to heaven that they will ever get. They will soon fade like the grass.
In contrast, here’s what the people of God are called to do:
3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. – Psalm 37:3-5
We are to trust in Him. Be faithful to Him. Delight in Him. And when we delight ourselves in the LORD, our desires will align with His will for us, and He will gladly bestow on us the gifts that we desire. We won’t envy the wicked, but we will desire Christ, and He will give us life in abundance.
Later in the psalm, the psalmist continues,
8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
9 For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.
10 In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
11 But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace. – Psalm 37:8-11
When we envy the wicked, it’s because of our shortsightedness. We need to be eternally minded. Those who forsake Christ and prosper now will be brought low on that day. And those who love Christ and suffer now will be exalted and given an everlasting joy and satisfaction in the Lord. Come, Lord Jesus.