Who hasn’t had the experience where we look around and painfully realize that life’s not fair? Maybe when you were little and thought your brother got better toys or your sister got preferential treatment? Maybe the light came on in Middle School when you saw that girls liked bad boys and you were trying to be good. Or, maybe this became clear recently when you got passed over for a promotion at work for a co-worker who doesn’t work as hard as you do, but is a great schmoozer. Whatever the timing, we’ve all had the experience…and it’s not fun.
The reality is that we live in a world that is not fair. Bad things happen to “good” people while “bad” people seem to get the good stuff. We play by the rules and never seem to win. We live our life following Jesus and, seemingly, all we have to show for it is suffering and hardship.
Into this experience, steps Psalm 73.
In this song, we are faced with the very real experience of a man just like us. A guy who looks around and sees those who cheat getting ahead. He sees proud, arrogant people have a better life than he. His heart is struck by this…almost to the point of slipping away from following the Lord.
But, the beauty of this psalm is not the beginning, but the brutal journey. We get to see the writer wrestle with his own heart…he wants what the arrogant have. Our eyes can watch as his heart is confronted and comforted by the truth…the end of the arrogant is a slippery place. And we get to join him in the confession of v. 28 – for me, it is good to be near God.
The truth is that Life’s not fair…but the greater truth is that even in the world we live in…that God is both good and better…even than all the things we could ever think we want.
A few resources for your study…
Faith on Trial – M. Lloyd Jones