“Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.” (Psalms 37:16)
This is an answer of sorts to the question of why evil people seem to prosper, and the righteous don’t. The question has bothered a lot of righteous people. Evil people are happy in their abundance if they have it.
The question the verse may raise is “why?”. Why should the little be better than the abundance? Somewhat of an answer is given in the next verse where the psalmist says the arms of the wicked will be broken whereas the righteous will be upheld by God. God always takes care of His people and plans destruction for the evil.
This particular psalm details that fact over and over again. God stands with His chosen ones and will bring judgment on the wicked is the theme of this psalm. In the middle of the psalm, the writer encourages the people to turn away from evil and do good so that they will dwell forever.
Don’t fret over evil people and certainly don’t be envious of them. They will be cut off. The seeming prosperity of the wicked is an allusion. Everything that makes them seem prosperous is material and by definition transit. Their abundance will not last; it cannot stand the test of time. The promise of God, however, is eternal and far outvalues the abundance of this present world.
To envy the abundance of the wicked is like desiring Esau’s porridge. It’s swapping something that glitters for real gold. Looks good, feels good, and tastes good is for a moment but is good last forever.
Task for Today: Like Paul, learn to be content in this world. More is not necessarily better. To learn what is better read the book of Hebrews. Those things mentioned in that book are what is really important. Get the betters from Hebrews rather than the world. Don’t be taken in by fool’s gold. Seek the “real thing.” Seek God and His righteousness.