Why do I worry about those who are getting away with it?
Maybe I forget that the LORD is holding my hand!
Reading out of Psalm 37 this week, I read in verse one, “Fret not yourself because of the evildoers, be not envious of wrong-doers.” Last night at a CR meeting, someone admitted how angry they were at someone whose punishment did not do justice for a horrific crime they had committed. Then, I read this morning about a woman sentenced to fifteen years (off after five) for failure to stop a boyfriend from abusing and then murdering her four year old daughter. When allowed to confront the woman, the husband and grandfather both screamed in rage at the mother who had robbed them of their precious daughter/granddaughter. They were furious that she was getting off so easily in her apparently unrepentant state.
How common are these feelings, “It’s not fair, they should not be allowed to get away with it.” I know they are for me. “I have always worked hard. I was obedient. I kept the law. I went to church. I was faithful to my wife. I always showed up. I paid my taxes. etc. And what happens? Those who don’t do these things seem to prosper and we the obedient ones don’t get ahead.”
Reminds me how the elder son might have felt in the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15.
The younger son took off for his big adventure and the elder son was the one who had to pay the price. To give him half of the inheritance, the father must have had to liquidate some of his assets and things might have been tight following the departure of the younger son. Just so the younger one could go off and do what he wanted.
And then, the younger son came back and was treated like a returning hero. How unfair is that? I can imagine the elder son thinking, “Where is my day off? My reward? My fun? You know I have dreams too–there are things that I have wanted to do. In his anger, the elder son failed to see the pain, shame, humiliation and horror that the younger son had been experiencing.
How he must have looked at the younger son with disgust and revulsion. Perhaps he was thinking, “He got what he deserved. I am better than him. I am not about to come to any celebration for his return. No way I am sharing any of the remaining inheritance with him.
The elder son failed to understand the father’s heart. He does not understand grace. In fact, he shows his father disrespect by rejecting his brother.
In reading 1 Peter 2, Jesus is our model for enduring unfair treatment, direct attacks and mocking. He committed no sin, no deceit came out of his mouth. When rebuked, he did not revile in return. When sufferring he did not threaten. He kept entrusting himself to him who judges justly.
Back to Psalm 37, verses 13-15 “The LORD laughs at the wicked. he sees their day coming. . . Their sword shall enter their own heart.”
16 Better is the little of the righteous than the abundance of the wicked.
21 The righteous is generous and gives
24 When he falls he shall not be cast headlong for the LORD holds his hand
Yes, Yahweh, the LORD holds my hand
And so, I can
Be ever lending, be generous 26
Turn away from evil, 27
Do good 27
Speak justice 30
WAIT, WAIT, WAIT for Yahweh 5, 7, 34