God’s Ways Vindicated
A psalm of Asaph.
1God is indeed good to Israel,
to the pure in heart.
2But as for me, my feet almost slipped;
my steps nearly went astray.
3For I envied the arrogant;
I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4They have an easy time until they die,
and their bodies are well fed.
5They are not in trouble like others;
they are not afflicted like most people.
6Therefore, pride is their necklace,
and violence covers them like a garment.
7Their eyes bulge out from fatness;
the imaginations of their hearts run wild.
8They mock, and they speak maliciously;
they arrogantly threaten oppression.
9They set their mouths against heaven,
and their tongues strut across the earth.
10Therefore his people turn to them
and drink in their overflowing words.
11The wicked say, “How can God know?
Does the Most High know everything?”
12Look at them — the wicked!
They are always at ease,
and they increase their wealth.
13Did I purify my heart
and wash my hands in innocence for nothing?
14For I am afflicted all day long
and punished every morning.
15If I had decided to say these things aloud,
I would have betrayed your people.
16When I tried to understand all this,
it seemed hopeless
17until I entered God’s sanctuary.
Then I understood their destiny.
18Indeed, you put them in slippery places;
you make them fall into ruin.
19How suddenly they become a desolation!
They come to an end, swept away by terrors.
20Like one waking from a dream,
Lord, when arising, you will despise their image.
21When I became embittered
and my innermost being was wounded,
22I was stupid and didn’t understand;
I was an unthinking animal toward you.
23Yet I am always with you;
you hold my right hand.
24You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me up in glory.
25Who do I have in heaven but you?
And I desire nothing on earth but you.
26My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart,
my portion forever.
27Those far from you will certainly perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28But as for me, God’s presence is my good.
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
so I can tell about all you do.