Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts are pure. But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. They seem to live such painless lives; their bodies are so healthy and strong. They don’t have troubles like other people; they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else. (NLT)
Some people seem to get all the breaks in life. They get the good jobs; they have the happiest families; they don’t get chronic illnesses; they get ahead while we flounder. This sort of feeling can curdle into envy if we are not careful.
The Psalmist addresses this issue in regards to the prospering of the wicked. He recognises this has caused him to stumble in his faith. His faith, like our own, is based on the good and just character of God. But the reality he sees around him is anything but good and just. How does he, how do we, trust in a God who lets the bad guys get away with things while the good guys struggle?
We have to conclude that while God is good and just, the world is not good and just. The state of the world is not to be blamed on God. He made us and gave us freedom to do good or evil. He desires justice and peace but doesn’t get it. We live in a world where God’s will is not done on earth. It is important to believe that God is good and just. Don’t expect the world we live in to be likewise.
And one more thing: our perceptions of others may be wrong. Are those families really that happy? Do those who are relatively free of chronic illness also find freedom from other forms of stress and struggle? Are appearances deceiving? Are they really getting the breaks?