Scripture: Psalm 73 (NIV)
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 common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills. Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. From their callous hearts comes iniquity ; their evil imaginations have no limits. They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression. Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance. They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?” This is what the wicked are like— always free of care, they go on amassing wealth. Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments. If I had spoken out like that, I would have betrayed your children. When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies. When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; 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 glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 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 to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.
As I mentioned a couple of days ago, there currently is a cartoon show on Disney XD entitled Star Wars: Rebels. Set a few years before the events in Rogue One and the original movie, it follows a group of beings rebelling against the Empire, taking their first small steps to try to strike out against the evil that overshadows their lives.
There had to be a lot of fear in those that first took up the cause of freedom and justice in the Star Wars galaxy. The Empire seemed omnipresent and had no compunction about killing or destroying anyone or anything that stood in its way. They could be prideful and violent, because who was going to stop them? Who was going to make them pay for any of their crimes? Whatever they wanted, whether there was a reason or just basic cruelty, they could do without repercussion. The people that would try to fight this would have to do so from a position of discomfort and hardship. It would seem so unfair to them, I’d think, that they who were doing good would have nothing while those that were espousing evil would do so from the lap of luxury.
The Psalmist saw that in his day as well. What was right was mistreated, what was wrong was celebrated. He didn’t understand what was going on there either. How could a righteous God allow such terrible things to flourish? He finally understood that God was playing the long game, as it were. “Surely you put them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!”
As Luke told the Emperor, “Your overconfidence is your weakness.” Evil in our world is the same way. While evil does tend to hold sway on Earth, we also know that sometimes a small push sends someone down into the depth as their evil catches up with them. Even if it does not come when we see it, judgement day is coming for everyone. One day evil will be swept away. How we long for that day!