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Reading:                                        Psalm 73

Verses 12-20
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 (NIV).

Reflection
Psalm 73 is all about the envy that we often experience when we look at the lives of the rich and famous. We live in a world of glitz and glamour. Glitz and glamour are pumped at us relentlessly through various forms of media. The common man or woman is just an insignificant nobody in light of the celebrity culture that pervades our society.

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Landestreu Road Sunrise — photo courtesy of Donald Adam

I find it fascinating that a psalm written more than 2,500 years ago is so relevant for us who live in the twenty-first century. The psalmist laments, “This is what the wicked are like—always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.”

But there is a turning point in this psalm. The light of understanding comes on for the psalmist. The truth dawns on him. When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.

Understanding comes in God’s sanctuary. When we enter that holy place, the Lord is able to give us His perspective. We can see as He sees. A man’s arrogant boasting is exposed for what it is—a breath of hot air. There is no permanence to human wealth or achievement. In the eons of time, all is swept away. Only what is built on Christ the solid rock will endure for eternity. True value, true worth and permanence are found in our union with God in His sanctuary—in His sacred place. I pray you and I will be found there.

Response: LORD God, bring me to your sanctuary. Help me to enter into communion with you. Help me discern what is of real value in a world filled with idols and shams. Give me your understanding. Amen.

Your Turn: How do you enter God’s sanctuary? Does your heart need to be prepared?