These closing words of the very first Psalm lay out the conventional wisdom that we find throughout the books of Psalms and Proverbs. Yet so often in life we are dismayed and frustrated at how often the wicked prosper and the righteous seem to come away empty handed. It offends our sense of what is right and what is fair.
We turn the Bible upside down for the secret key of what we have to do to make sure we have guaranteed security from pain, suffering and injustice. This dilemma was on the minds of the writers of scripture as well.
Of particular interest to me recently has been the book of Ecclesiastes. I recently heard a pastor summarize that Ecclesiastes asks the question: “What if the problem is not God failing to grant prosperity to the righteous, but with our expectation of what prosperity looks like?”
Clinton McCann suggests that “the happiness or prosperity of the righteous is not so much a reward as it is their experience of being connected to the true source of life–God.” May we remember to look for the prosperity that comes not through wealth and comfort, but through the source of life–God, which was present with us all along.
– Caley Ortman, Chaplain