Posted: Tuesday, October 1
Verse of the day:
Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
Psalm 73:25 (NLT)
Have you ever disliked someone simply because they had something you didn’t or couldn’t obtain? That’s known as “hatin’ on” someone. Psalm 73 shows one of the most flagrant examples of this type of attitude found in the Bible.
The writer, Asaph, hates on people who are rebellious towards God. His reason? Instead of getting punished for their rebellion, it seemed like they were becoming more prosperous (v. 3-9). This may seem strange, but if we’re honest, we can be susceptible to the same feelings towards unbelievers. It’s hard not to envy celebrities or wealthy individuals who continue to gain more riches while living for their own pleasure. It’s easy to get upset about that coworker who mocks your faith and somehow gets the promotion even though you worked just as hard and believed God’s favor would make the difference in the end.
We know hate doesn’t look good on a Christian, no matter how justified we feel it may be. So how do we get rid of it? Asaph’s response gives us some good guidelines to follow.
Turn to God - Asaph took all his raw feelings to God in his sanctuary (v. 17). While a normal response when angry with God is to push away, we must do the opposite if we want understanding and peace. Asaph stopped focusing on the object of his “hate” and turn to God for the right perspective. He realized his bitterness about the situation was wrong and he repented.
Stay focused on God - In verse 25, Asaph realized his connection with God was the most important thing in his life. It’s hard to have this perspective when we are constantly looking around at others and comparing what they have with what we have or don’t have. Focusing on God helps us appreciate all the earthly blessings he’s giving us and the eternal ones yet to come.
Pray for the people we hate - God showed Asaph the end result of a life apart from God was nothing to envy, because it ends in destruction (v. 17). Rather than hating on a non-believer for what earthly possessions they have, we should pray they experience the eternal blessings we have in Christ.