Daily Readings & Thought for January 20th. “BE NOT ENVIOUS OF …”
The world today puts a great lot of effort and money into marketing goods and services. The internet, radio, TV, newspapers magazines and sign boards are full of promotions of one kind of thing or another. A fundamental aim of the majority of this promotion is to make us envious of what other people have or experience – the aim is to make us want it ourselves! Now David’s Psalm (No. 37) today is very special, it is full of spiritual advice to those who aim to live in a godly way in contrast to the attitudes in our world of 2021. David says, “I have been young and now I am old” [v.25] so these are words of reflection at the latter end of his life.
He starts by saying [v.1] “be not envious of wrongdoers” because they, like the grass, have no future. In another Psalm we read, “I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked” [73 v.3] So David had to learn the right attitudes in his life’s experiences, like we do.
But it is not just a matter of avoiding doing wrong, or not being envious of the successful: note what David also says in today’s Psalm, “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way” [v.7] It is a real challenge to “be still” in the sense that is meant here – in a world that is so active in experiencing and doing everything possible – it is a hyperactive society today. How much are you being swept along by it? ! Is it affecting you sub-consciously?
The awareness the Lord gives David, leads him to see a time when “the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace” [v.11] Our Lord Jesus repeats this and applies it to inheriting the entire earth! [Matt. 5 v.5] We need this awareness, if we are to effectively counteract temptations to take part in as much of this world’s spirit of living – without actually engaging in wrongdoing.
David says, “the Lord laughs (mocks) at the wicked for he sees that his day is coming” [v.13]. Now note v.30 & 31, “The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom and his tongue speaks justice. The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip.” An essential foundation for that kind of thinking and living is achieved today by those who regularly read the word of God, and really think about what they read: May that include all who are reading this.