Rougher - but more secure
For reading & meditation: Deuteronomy 32:28-38
"If only they were wise and would understand this and discern what their end will be!" (v.29)
We have been seeing that in the sanctuary the psalmist was reminded of the things he had forgotten, and thus his thinking was straightened out. There can be no real change in our personalities until there is a change in our thinking. Counselling that focuses only on changing behaviour and fails to emphasise the importance of changed thinking is partial and incomplete. We may experience some change when we change our behaviour, but we experience the greatest change, as our text for today suggests, when we change our thinking. In the sanctuary the psalmist's thinking was put right about the ungodly: "Then I understood their end" (Psa. 73:17, NKJ). The next verses indicate how his thinking was also put right about God Himself: "Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors" (Psa. 73:18-19). The psalmist's problem, you remember, was not so much that the ungodly prospered, as that God had arranged it that way. Had it happened by mere chance, he might not have had any difficulties, but the fact that the great Designer had planned it like this filled him with perplexity. Now, however, he sees that the divine hand had purposely placed these men in prosperous and eminent circumstances so that they could fulfil the Creator's purposes: "You" - note the You - "You place them on slippery ground." Note, too, the phrase "slippery ground": their position was dangerous. Therefore God did not set His loved ones in that place, but chose instead a rougher but more secure standing for their feet.
O God, I am grateful that You have set my feet in a secure place and not on slippery ground. Why I have been chosen to be a recipient of such grace and favour I do not know. Yet it is so. I am deeply, deeply thankful. Amen.
For further study:
1. Why are we able to stand firm?
2. What did Paul admonish the Ephesians?