Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.
For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.
They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human
Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with
From their callous hearts come iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds
know no limits.
They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten
Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the
Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.
They say, "How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?"
This is what the wicked are like - always carefree, they increase in
Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in
All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every
If I had said, "I will speak thus," I would have betrayed your
When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me
till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final
Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin.
How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!
As a dream when one awakes, so when you arise, O Lord, you will despise
When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and
I was a brute beast before you.
Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and
my portion forever.
Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful
But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my
I will tell of all your deeds.
I have read this passage before. In fact, much of it is underlined in my Bible. In the past I have looked at it sort of from the angle that eventually God would take revenge on the wicked. ("I was a brute beast before you".) But here is the new perspective my Bible Study leader brought to me: God wants to bless the "wicked" (anyone who hasn't accepted Jesus as Saviour) while they are here. He loves them SO MUCH, and He knows that when they die they will be separated from Him forever, so He says "I just want to give them all the good things I can while they are on earth." Now I know this runs the risk of sounding a bit heretical. I am not putting this forth as a new teaching or an interpretation that says "you were wrong before, this is what is really means". But just think about it a bit. We know that God does love EVERYONE. John 3:16: "For God so loved THE WORLD" - everyone. Romans 5:8: "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." God doesn't just love us after we accept the gift of salvation, He loves us BEFORE we accept the gift. He loves the people who NEVER accept the gift. He knows they will not accept His gift and will, therefore, be apart from Him forever. So what if He wants to show them a bit of His goodness while they are here? Think of it as God saying to you "Rest assured, you are going to be with Me forever and I will give you blessings throughout eternity. But now, for this small, finite period of time, I want to give blessing to the others whom I also love but who do not love Me and will not be with Me in eternity."
For me, this thought process does two things. 1) It shows me in a new way the breadth of God's love; and, 2) It helps me to be less envious of the material things others have. "The wicked" may have lots of things I wish I had, but I have this:
"Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. "
In Christ's love,