Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.
18 There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.
It is easy to envy sinners. Consider what they have. They may sin without guilt. They may even recast sin as good and natural. They have no commands to obey. They have no responsibility for their neighbor. The only responsibility they have is what they place upon themselves, which they may remove at any time. They may give thought to their pleasure without considering anyone else, including an omniscient God who watches them. They can make life to be the way they want it to be.
Believers, on the other hand, are saddled with the two great commands to love God with all that one has and to love one’s neighbor as oneself. We cannot do anything without taking these commands into account. We live in the world, but are not allowed to be of the world, which greatly complicates our lives. Furthermore, we have an omniscient God whom we know will judge us.
What do we get in return? We are given a sure future; we have a secure hope of eternal joy and even glory, living in the presence of our God. But if we are perceptive enough, we will see that our hope lies not only in the promise of God about the future, but in the present blessings of today. Blessed is the man now who walks in the path of righteousness because his life now is filled with purpose. Now he is a blessing to others. Now he is rendering profitable service to his Lord. Now he is filled with the Holy Spirit, knows God as his Father, and experiences the blessings found in his Redeemer. It is because we glimpse present glory that we can feel in our hearts the future glory and know that our hope will not be cut off.
O God, do not remain silent;
do not turn a deaf ear,
do not stand aloof, O God.
2 See how your enemies growl,
how your foes rear their heads.
3 With cunning they conspire against your people;
they plot against those you cherish.
4 “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation,
so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.”
5 With one mind they plot together;
they form an alliance against you—
6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
of Moab and the Hagrites,
7 Byblos, Ammon and Amalek,
Philistia, with the people of Tyre.
8 Even Assyria has joined them
to reinforce Lot’s descendants.[b]
9 Do to them as you did to Midian,
as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,
10 who perished at Endor
and became like dung on the ground.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 who said, “Let us take possession
of the pasturelands of God.”
13 Make them like tumbleweed, my God,
like chaff before the wind.
14 As fire consumes the forest
or a flame sets the mountains ablaze,
15 so pursue them with your tempest
and terrify them with your storm.
16 Cover their faces with shame, Lord,
so that they will seek your name.
17 May they ever be ashamed and dismayed;
may they perish in disgrace.
18 Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord—
that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.