Psalm 73 (72)
20Why are the wicked successful? It is more a scandal than a temptation when the believer sees the wicked succeed in everything: the violent, the unscru pulous, those who have money and can corrupt, masters of deceit. “Wait for the end,” says the psalmist.
1 Surely God is good to Israel,
1 I mean, to the clean of heart.
2 But, as for me, I almost stumbled,
2 I nearly lost my foothold,
3 for I was envious of the arrogant,
3 when I saw the wicked prosper.
4 For they suffer no pain;
4 they are strong and sound of body,
5 free from troubles common to mortals;
5 they are not stricken by human ills.
6 That is why pride becomes their necklace,
6 and violence the robe that covers them.
7 Evil comes from their callous hearts,
7 boundless evil from their corrupt minds.
8 They scoff and speak with malice,
8 and they threaten arrogantly.
9 Their mouths defy the heavens
9 and their tongues dictate on earth.
10 People, therefore, look up to them
10 because they are well-watered.
11 “Does God see?” they say.
11 “Has the Most High some knowledge of this?
12 Such are the wicked – always carefree
12 while they rake in riches.
13 In vain have I kept my heart clean
13 and washed my hands in innocence
14 if all day long I am stricken
14 and punished every morning.”
15 Had I spoken like this,
15 I would not be acting as one of your children.
16 Although I tried to understand this,
16 it was difficult for me,
17 until I entered the secrets of God.
17 Then I perceived their approaching doom.
18 You place them on slippery ground
18 and make them fall into the pit.
19 How suddenly they are destroyed,
19 completely swept away in terror!
20 As one awakes from a nightmare,
20 so when you arise, O Lord,
20 you shake them off like a dream.
21 When my heart was embittered,
21 and my spirit distraught
22 it was folly, not wisdom;
22 I did not know you better than the beasts.
23 Yet I am always with you;
23 you hold my right hand,
24 you guide me on the way you chose
24 and your Glory brings me along.
25 I have no one in heaven but you;
25 on earth I desire nothing but you.
26 My flesh and my heart waste away
26 for you, O God, O my rock,
26 you are mine forever.
27 Those who abandon you will perish;
27 you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, my joy is to be near God;
28 I have made the Lord my refuge,
28 and I will proclaim all his works.