Truly God is good to the upright, to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant; I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For they have no pain; their bodies are sound and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are; they are not plagued like other people.
Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them like a garment.
Their eyes swell out with fatness; their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against heaven, and their tongues range over the earth.
Therefore the people turn and praise them, and find no fault in them.
And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
Such are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.
All in vain I have kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.
For all day long I have been plagued, and am punished every morning.
If I had said, “I will talk on in this way,” I would have been untrue to the circle of your children.
But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end.
Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin.
How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!
They are like a dream when one awakes; on awaking you despise their phantoms.
When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart,
I was stupid and ignorant; I was like a brute beast toward you.
Nevertheless I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me with honor.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Indeed, those who are far from you will perish; you put an end to those who are false to you.
But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, to tell of all your works.
This Psalm could’ve been the rallying cry of the Occupy Wall Street movement from a few years ago. The words that begin this Psalm are not so complementary of the rich. It’s easy to read this Psalm and think of it focusing on other people. Yet, when it comes down to it, most of us who read this passage and read this reflection and see this picture are considered rich by the measures of most in the world. And while that may inspire a gratefulness for what we have, it is even more so it challenge to what we are doing to serve care for and seek justice for those who do not.
The Psalm ends with beautiful words about our trusting in the provision of God. “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever….But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, to tell of all your works.”