Thursday, June 07, 2007

Poverty, Prosperity, and Psalm 73

Watch this first:

HT: DG Blog

I didn't put this video up to be controversial but primarily because of the reference to Psalm 73 in the midst of the clip. I've been working on memorizing this psalm over the past couple of days, so it's been on my mind often. I read the psalm in my daily Bible reading a couple weeks ago and I have been longing to get more of the truth of it into my heart since I read it. Memorizing seems to be a good way to do that.

Psalm 73 has a lot of negative thoughts in it, almost to the point of being depressing- except for the last 10 verses. Asaph (the author) spends much of his time lamenting the abundance of injustice in his life and in the world around him. He complains about the wicked, the ones who openly defy justice and in so doing, defy the God of justice. He talks about how easy they have it; pain-free, wealthy, and without the cares of the world.

In many places in the world, this is much more evident than we see in our Western context. It is often the wicked who are the ones with the most money and the most power, but with the least regard for justice. As I was memorizing verses 8 and 9 of Psalm 73 this morning, I thought these probably mean much more to an African family than it does to my family, because we are not in constant fear of rape, mutilation, and disease.

But to some degree, injustice finds its way into our life. And far too often for me, it comes out of my own heart. And that's why I long to see the truth of the words "
...there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You" (v 25) stamp themselves into those unjust places.

Dr. Piper's statements in the video clip above remind me that to withhold the good news of the Gospel of Jesus and replace them with a cheap counterfeit is a form of injustice.

May God help me to live in a way that proclaims that God is truly the "strength of my heart and my portion forever." (v 26).

Text of Psalm 73

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