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Compelled by Compassion

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Have you ever wondered why wicked people prosper? A psalmist named Asaph asked that very question in Psalm 73 (NLT).

“Does the Most High even know what's happening? Look at these wicked people—enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply. They scoff and speak only evil; in their pride they seek to crush others” (vs. 11a, 12, 8)

It’s not wrong to ask these difficult questions; the problem arises when we allow them to hinder our faith.  

Asaph complains,

“Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Did I keep myself innocent for no reason? For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. They seem to live such painless lives; their bodies are so healthy and strong. They're not plagued with problems like everyone else.” (vs. 13, 3-5)

But he realizes the peril of his path just in time.  

“I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.” (vs. 2b)

Suddenly, his perspective pivots from fleshly envy to divine understanding. Why?  

“Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.” (vs. 17, NIV)

In the light of heaven’s infinite glory, he clearly sees the folly of people living for earth’s fleeting pleasures.  

“When you arise, O Lord, you will laugh at their silly ideas as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.” (vs. 20)

Asaph repents for his bitterness and envy, trusting the Lord to establish His sovereign order and priorities.

In God’s presence, he enters a miraculous dimension and comprehends the matchless inheritance of the righteous.

Then, in a magnificent affirmation of trust, he declares:

“Whom have I in heaven but you?  I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever.” (vs. 25-26)

It’s easy to be tainted by envy in a modern world plagued with materialism and corruption. But as we spend time in the Lord’s cleansing presence, we see the lost through His eyes—with compassion.  

Transformed by grace, the psalmist concludes,

“I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do” (vs. 28b)

And so God is urgently compelling us to reach out with His love to a tragically deceived world, revealing the reality of eternal life. 


Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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About The Author

Pat Roberstson Headshot

Dr. Robertson served as the founder and chairman of The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc. (CBN); co-founder, chancellor, and chief executive officer of Regent University; founder of Operation Blessing Relief and Development Corporation (OB); founder and president of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ); co-founder and chairman of International Family Entertainment, Inc.; and a leading force behind several other influential organizations and broadcast entities. His greatest treasure in life was knowing Jesus Christ and having the privilege of proclaiming Him and His power to others

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