2 CONTRASTING RESPONSES TO THE PROSPERITY OF THE WICKED: PEACEFULLY PERSEVERE VS. FRANTICALLY FRET
Or put more simply:
WAIT VS. WORRY
The middle of a race is no time to stop running and evaluate where you stand!
THE APPARENT PROSPERITY OF THE WICKED SHOULD NEVER
DISTRACT THE RIGHTEOUS FROM:
APPRECIATING THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD IN THE PRESENT
ANTICIPATING THE PROSPERITY OF GOD IN THE FUTURE
(AND HIS JUDGMENT AGAINST THE WICKED)
I. (:1-6) DEAD GRASS VS. SHINING LIGHT
5 Keys to Staying Focused on the Finish Line (not being Distracted):
A. (:1-2) Peaceful Spirit (Song: "It is Well with My Soul")
1. Don’t get eaten up with Worry or Envy
"Do not fret because of evildoers"
"Be not envious toward wrongdoers"
talking primarily about personal attacks of the wicked against you
2. Don’t let the vision of the present blind you to the vision of the future
Dead Grass is Worthless
Spurgeon: "Who envies the fat bullock the ribbons and garlands which decorate him as he is led to the slaughter?"
B. (:3A) Active Faith (Song: "Trust and Obey")
"Trust in the Lord"
Don’t go into a shell and wait for your fortunes to turn; the time to manifest faith is when the pressure is on;
Pressure/trials are not an exemption from sacrificially doing good;
Doing good is a good remedy for worry -- take the focus off your own
situation and concentrate on meeting the needs of others
C. (:3B) Contented Life (Song: "Moment by Moment")."Dwell in the land"
"Cultivate faithfulness" (or feed on faithfulness)
Don’t doubt the ability of the Lord to provide for His flock and to shepherd us;
Discontentment causes us to charge around trying to obtain something we think God is withholding from us
D. (:4) Focused Desire (Song: "Fill all my Vision")
E. (:5-6) Submitted Will (Song: "All the Way my Saviour Leads Me")
personal vindication comes from the Lord, not from us proclaiming our own righteousness;
we can be at peace even when we are under attack
II. (:7-11) FLASH IN THE PAN VS. LASTING INHERITANCE
III. (:12-15) BOOMERANG EFFECT -- the plots of the wicked
The wicked are really digging their own grave
IV. (:16-22) SMOKE VS. SUBSTANCE
TEMPORAL ABUNDANCE VS. ETERNAL ABUNDANCE
V. (:23-26) THE HELPING HAND -- the path of the righteous
"the Lord is the One who holds his hand"
VI. (:27-34) EXECUTION VS. EXALTATION
VII. (:35-40) NO LEGACY VS. PROSPEROUS POSTERITY
* * * * * * * * * *
1) What are all of the things that the psalmist says we SHOULD do and all of the things we are told NOT to do when we are faced with such injustice?
2) Why will those who are striving after godliness face more conflict than those who are running with the crowd? What are some of the special pressures that you face that you would not have to wrestle with if you were unsaved?
3) How can we quiet our hearts to wait upon the Lord when we are tempted to lash out in impatience and complain against the Lord’s providence?
4) How has the Lord enabled us to be generous in our giving to others? How has he used our family and children to be a blessing to others? (cf. vs. 26).
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