Psalm 73: The Deceitfulness of Wealth

Whenever I have a hard time praying (which is a frustratingly common occurrence) I like to pray the Psalms. My common practice is to read the Psalm out loud, think about what the writer is trying to get across, and then pray the Psalm back in my own words. My brain thinks better when I write than when I speak, so I often journal these prayers. Here is my prayer from this morning. It really benefitted me to remember these truths and I hope it blesses you too.

Psalm 73: The Deceitfulness of Wealth (Ben’s Paraphrase)

I know God is Good to those whose hearts are pure, but I’m not one of them. I know this because my heart was recently captured by the things of this world – the love of money and envy for those who had it. Can you blame me?

Look around you! God says that those who love money and those who do as they please with no regard for Him and His ways are wicked, but I don’t see it. What I see are men and women living untroubled lives of luxury and elegance. They don’t have the worries of the poor. They stand outside of God’s Law, happy and content. I smell pride on them like strong cologne and the way they treat others is full of disdainful superiority. Everything about them speaks of wealth, luxury, power. They speak condescendingly to their “lessers” and threaten those under them with financial oppression. They speak arrogantly — even blasphemously! — against God and what does he do? Nothing.

Maybe they are right — maybe there is no God to dispense Justice or care for the oppressed. Maybe this is all there is. The ones who believe this are certainly doing well.

I’m beginning to think my devotion to God has been in vain, that I’ve read His Word and followed His commands for nothing. Every day I hear how foolish it is to serve Him, how foolish I am to believe in myths. But deep down I know the Truth.

I don’t understand why the wicked prosper or why God lets them go unpunished. Those mysteries are too great for me. But what I do know is that when I quiet my heart and come into Your Presence I’m reminded of what is Really Real.

Those well dressed men and high heeled women – they are walking uphill on a sheet of ice. Any moment now they will trip and fall. Everything they have trusted in will be stripped away and they will never recover. Everyone who sets themselves against God will be swept away. They will be forgotten faster than a dream upon waking.

Lord, I’m sorry… When my heart was lost in the love of money I grew bitter against you and I called your Way foolish. Thank you for never leaving me. Thank you for holding my hand throughout my temper tantrums – you are a Good and Loving Father. Thank you, too, for steadying me with your Word and reminding me of what is True by your Spirit. This world will soon fade away and when it does, I will be taken into Glory.

God, You are my sole desire. You are my greatest reward. I know I am frequently distracted from loving You, but I always return because, deep down, I know that there is no Life apart from You. 

So let the wicked revel in their wealth and the comfort it provides. I just wish they knew how fleeting it is and how much their pride will cost them in Eternity. It is better by far to have You, the Comforter Himself, than all the riches of this world. I have set my heart to know You and love You. You carry me through my doubt, You steady my through the storms. I will proclaim Your marvelous deeds forever!

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