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Psalms  ◦   Chapter 73

1We know that God is good to the upright —
to those who are pure in heart.

2But I almost tripped myself up;
I nearly slipped away from the truth:

3I began to envy the arrogant
when I saw how the selfish prospered in this world.

4They don’t suffer with physical disabilities;
their bodies are strong and healthy.

5They are privileged — not burdened with the problems of ordinary people;
they do not have the daily struggles that others endure.

6Their pride and arrogance are flaunted like a necklace;
violence and exploitation cover them.

7They go about draped in extravagant riches,
intoxicating themselves with whatever their selfish hearts can imagine.

8They belittle others and speak harmful words designed to injure;
they exalt themselves, lording over others and threatening oppression.

9They claim to speak for heaven,
and with their decrees they seek to rule the earth.

10People turn to them
and sadly, have the water of life drained away from them.

11These haughty ones say, "God will not know.
The Most High will not find out."

12Look at what the selfish are like:
concerned only with self, they get richer and richer.

13I wondered, "Has my pure living been for nothing?
Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?

14All day long I am touched by problems and temptation;
every day is a struggle."

15If I had shared these ideas as truths with others,
I would have betrayed all who are loyal to you.

16When I tried to understand why the selfish seem to prosper,
it made no sense to me

17until I studied the lessons revealed in the holy places of God:
then I understood their inevitable end.

18Truly you gave them the freedom to slip around your design for life;
you surrender them to their own terminal condition.

19Their desolation is swift —
they are consumed completely by the terrors of unremedied selfishness.

20Selfish success is like a dream when one awakes:
When the Creator restores earth to his design of love,
all will realize that selfish prosperity is mere fantasy.

21When my heart was sour,
discontented and torn up inside,

22I was ignorant and didn’t understand reality at all;
I must have seemed like a dumb animal to you.

23Nevertheless, I have always stayed close to you,
and you hold my hand as I journey through life.

24With your wise counsel, you lead me in the way of life
to the complete restoration of your glory within me.

25There is nothing in all the heavens
or anything on earth that I desire besides you.

26My mind and body may grow weak,
but God is my remedy —
my source of eternal life.

27Those who separate from you will perish;
all who choose selfishness betray you and your kingdom of love —
they will be severed from life and cease to exist.

28But as for me, being united with God is my greatest delight —
to find healing and restoration with my Creator,
and to proclaim all that you have done!