Sermon Illustrations - Tag: Psalms 73:2
Posted by Douglas on Dec 29, 2008

This morning I went out snowshoeing. Because we've had a mixture of snow, rain, and freezing rain recently, there were stretches of my trek where the rain had washed down the hill, forming a smooth sheet of ice on an uphill grade.

Now, if I hadn't been wearing my snowshoes, I would have found it just about impossible to make it up that slope without sliding backwards two feet for every foot I moved forward.

But my snowshoes have vicious-looking sawtooth crampons on the bottom, that do a great job of digging into the ice and giving me the traction I need.

I didn't slip even once, on my way up the hill, or on my way back down.

As I was walking, I thought of two verses. One of them was a verse I read just yesterday, from the book of Psalms. Psalm 73, speaking of the wicked, says:

73:18Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin.Psalms 73:18 (ESV)

The Psalm tells us that those who live with unrighteousness might appear to have it all together, they might appear to be on solid footing, but in reality, they're like someone on a sheet of ice without snowshoes. Sooner or later, no matter how "together" they seem to be, they'll slip up, and everything falls apart.

Now, if I were to ask you, "How do you avoid that slippery place?" you might be tempted to answer, "Don't get involved in unrighteousness." That's not a bad answer, but it's actually not what the Psalmist says. In verses 2 and 3, he writes:

73:2But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped.3For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.Psalms 73:2-3 (ESV)

Isn't that interesting? The Psalmist says that it is envy that almost put him on the slippery slope. That makes sense, doesn't it? It is our envy that causes us to take the same shortcuts the unrighteous take in order to reach our goals.

I guess that means contentment is like a good pair of snowshoes. I wouldn't want to be without it!

Popular tags
Christian life, Jesus, character, love, integrity, trouble, hiking, mountains, children, heaven, music, the church, gifts, contentment, 1 Peter 2:4, God's will, scripture, foundation, heart, 1 Peter 2:1, perseverance, sermon on the mount, Philippians 4:8, faithfulness, devotion, sin, Romans 12:2, spiritual discipline, 2 Corinthians 3:18, art, renewal, human nature, salvation, hope, faith, humility, responsibility, interpretation, listening, materialism, justice, behavior, Galatians 6:1, self-control, envy, Philippians 4:11, 2 Peter 1:5, creation, blessings, Psalms 103:13, Philippians 2:3, beauty, Matthew 6:26, excellence, servanthood, age groups, strength, Hebrews 12:2, teaching, stability, obedience, 1 John 5:3, generosity, Titus 2:11, death, the gospel, deceit, commandments, selfishness, Christmas, Colossians 4:6, context, 1 Peter 1:17, 1 Peter 2:19, Psalms 95:7, cleansing, 2 Corinthians 9:6, Philippians 2:1, ambassadors, wisdom, Psalms 8:3, Philippians 4:9, kindness, 1 Peter 1:23, 1 Peter 2:21, Psalms 29:3, Leviticus 19:32, culture, unity, Philippians 2:9, walking the talk, James 1:2, mind, Genesis 9:6, imitating, Proverbs 25:16, Psalms 73:18, Galatians 6:2, Luke 2:10, Psalms 29:9, respect, James 1:17, Colossians 3:12, Ecclesiastes 3:11, Matthew 22:37, James 2:10, Proverbs 25:17, Psalms 73:2, family, Incarnation, glory, John 4:34, Ecclesiastes 4:9, Numbers 32:23, Psalms 40:8, 1 Peter 2:12, 2 Timothy 4:3, Psalms 84:10, grace, Epiphany, Romans 14:6, fellowship, John 8:34, Philippians 4:1, Luke 14:12, gentleness, Matthew 5:36, Isaiah 40:4, judgment, Titus 3:5, Ephesians 2:19, power, Philippians 3:20, honor, diligence, Psalms 17:8, 1 Peter 2:6, John 1:23, Matthew 28:19, 1 Peter 2:22, regeneration, Galatians 6:5, Psalms 66:18, 1 Peter 2:11, meekness, 1 Corinthians 13:7, attention, disappointment, Matthew 15:11, Matthew 10:5, comparisons, Matthew 11:30, prayer, light, sojourners, John 13:15, Matthew 6:25, Hebrews 10:24, preaching, Proverbs 25:8, discipleship, John 14:3, Psalms 1:1, Genesis 2:7, Deuteronomy 32:4, Ecclesiastes 11:1, John 10:1, Matthew 6:34, 1 Peter 2:2, peace, John 11:35, Luke 12:34, Christ's return, counsel, Romans 8:24, Ecclesiastes 1:4, Matthew 15:18, John 6:38, voice, James 1:19, Psalms 95:8, Proverbs 3:5, resurrection, Luke 12:32, Revelation 22:20, cooperation, patience, 1 Peter 3:3, Ecclesiastes 7:2, Ecclesiastes 11:4, Jeremiah 17:9, the good shepherd, Hebrews 12:15, public speaking, trust, grief, treasure, 1 Corinthians 15:1, Micah 6:8, 1 Peter 1:7, John 14:21, anger, John 16:33, Matthew 18:3, priorities, delayed gratification, James 5:5, Galatians 3:19, Psalms 50:10, math, suffering, bitterness, Titus 2:13, 1 Corinthians 15:30, Psalms 51:7, John 14:6, Philippians 2:12, 2 Corinthians 5:20, the law, 2 Corinthians 9:7, logic, 1 Peter 1:6, work, 1 John 4:19, John 10:10, danger, Titus 3:4, Colossians 1:16, Philippians 1:6, 1 Corinthians 12:22, Isaiah 35:4, John 14:24, James 1:23, Deuteronomy 6:5, Romans 3:23, Matthew 7:12, Colossians 1:15, 1 Peter 1:18, Proverbs 25:13, truth, Matthew 5:37, body of Christ, Matthew 20:26, John 5:36, James 1:5, Revelation 5:2, golden rule