If God is so good, then why is there so much suffering in the world? Where is the justice in allowing the wicked and unrighteous to thrive while the righteous endure hardship?
These are common questions we hear all to often and they are valid questions to raise. If based on the fact that God is all loving and that God promises those who are faithful and obedient to His Word: peace, joy, security any many more blessings, it seems like a huge contradiction has been made.
Psalm 73, is a perfect epitome of this. The psalmist, here is called Asaph. He is one of the leaders of the temple choirs and he is grieved and embittered by the apparent success of the unfaithful whilst those who are faithful and obedient to God seem to be plagued by ‘human ills’.
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 common human burdens; they are not plagued by human illsPsalm 73: 3-5
This is all too apparent today, many are confused and feel embittered by the promises the Bible says it will give to those who are faithful and the apparent lack of it thereof. Many Christians will pray and strive to lead a faithful, obedient life, all for it to seemingly come to void. But those who don’t believe in God on the other hand seem to be moving on up. Success to success . It makes you want to trade places and its tempting to abandon God all together as verse 2 alludes to.
But this is not true. I love how Asaph realises that this is not true. It was until he entered the sanctuary of God
When I tried to understand all of this, it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.~ Psalm 73: 16-17
What does the sanctuary of God mean?
- The area around the altar of a church for the clergy and choir; often enclosed by a lattice of railing
2. A place of peace where you can retreat to.
I’m sure Asaph, the psalmist and leader of the temple choir would have entered the temple many a times, still with these unfair injustices weighing on his mind for him to have not merely have meant that as he entered the specific architectural section of the temple that he experienced this changed perspective in thought. Albeit, that not to say that coming into a church building cannot have this effect.
Rather, I believe it was when Asaph drew close to God and entered into a stillness of God’s presence and found his retreat in him that he was able to gain a changed perspective on the fate of the righteous and unrighteous. We need to do as the 2nd definition of sanctuary defines.
It is only when you draw close to God and have that one to one personal relationship with him. That is when you gain clarity and feel at peace with what God has done and the promises given. A clear outlook on life and the apparent injustices that seem arife is seen with a proper perspective.
Now the psalmist came to the realisation that the so called success and wealth of the unrighteous is actually fleeting. It is but a dream and will perish.
But those who draw near to God will discover that nothing is greater and is of more value than God and entering into his glory. That is where true success lies and that is what needs to be told.
Read Psalm 73