Resting and waiting on the Lord is difficult to do. As I shared last time, it is also the smartest thing we can do. It is easy to become so involved with things around us that we often neglect to simply rest and wait. But we see within the Bible a verse that reminds us to do just that: Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass (Psalms 37:7).
A three-part verse
This verse lends itself to be divided into three parts. Last time, I shared how the first part, Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him… is a reminder. It is a reminder of the need to take a step back, rest, and wait for the Lord to work on our behalf. Today, the second part of the verse, fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way is a reminder of our tendencies to waste time and energy. We spend so much energy and time trying to come to our own understanding of the things we see or think we understand.
Fret not yourself because of others…
I’ve taught at the college and university level since 2004. Each semester, I have met young folks who are angry at the wealthy. They assign values to wealthy people who are not only unreasonable, but often wrong. And some of these same college students will gladly tell anyone who asks they identify as Christians. But by the very deed of hating the wealthy, they violate one of the Lord’s greatest teachings.
We shouldn’t focus on the wealth, prosperity, or popularity of others. When we do this, we take our eyes off the Lord. We become distracted and cannot see clearly. Solomon, with all his God-given wisdom, understood how attempts to understand the source of wealth can lead to real spiritual battles. Even in his day, there were those who asked “why them, Lord?” and “why not me, Lord?” And just like people today, they didn’t stop there. Some began to imagine ways to gain wealth and others condemned the wealthy.
Solomon had a clear understanding of the source of all wealth
Within the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon had a clear understanding of where all gain their wealth. The first verse reads, Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God (Ecclesiastes 5:19). Within this verse, we see that wealth is a gift from God and the ability to enjoy that wealth is also a gift. The second verse reads, A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease (Ecclesiastes 6:2).
One man is wealthy because he has gained wealth through his labor and the Lord rewarded his efforts by allowing him to become wealthy. He has the ability to enjoy all that he’s earned – a gift of the Lord. The other man is wealthy and gained it though the Lord’s blessing. But instead of being able to enjoy it, he doesn’t. He continues to value the wealth more than his own life.