Sunday, April 26, 2009

That ain't right

Don't know if you ever saw the 2003 movie "Head of State." Chris Rock makes this great off the cuff speech that brings the crowd to its feet. The phrase he repeats again and again is, "That ain't right." The crowd chants with him... "that ain't right!"

Long before Chris Rock made up this movie, or wrote the speech, the writer of Psalm 73 had the same sentiment.

Psalm 73
An Asaph Psalm
1 -5 No doubt about it! God is good-good to good people, good to the good-hearted. But I nearly missed it, missed seeing his goodness.

I was looking the other way, looking up to the people At the top, envying the wicked who have it made, Who have nothing to worry about, not a care in the whole wide world.

"That ain't right!"

6 -10 Pretentious with arrogance, they wear the latest fashions in violence, Pampered and overfed, decked out in silk bows of silliness. They jeer, using words to kill; they bully their way with words. They're full of hot air, loudmouths disturbing the peace.

"That ain't right!"

People actually listen to them—can you believe it? Like thirsty puppies, they lap up their words. 11 -14 What's going on here? Is God out to lunch? Nobody's tending the store. The wicked get by with everything; they have it made, piling up riches.

"That ain't right!"

I've been stupid to play by the rules; what has it gotten me? A long run of bad luck, that's what— a slap in the face every time I walk out the door.

"That ain't right!"

Then the Psalmist turns a corner.

15 -20. . . Until I entered the sanctuary of God. Then I saw the whole picture: The slippery road you've put them on, with a final crash in a ditch of delusions. In the blink of an eye, disaster! A blind curve in the dark, and—nightmare! We wake up and rub our eyes....Nothing. There's nothing to them. And there never was.

"That there's RIGHT!"

21 -24 When I was beleaguered and bitter, totally consumed by envy, I was totally ignorant, a dumb ox in your very presence. I'm still in your presence, but you've taken my hand. You wisely and tenderly lead me, and then you bless me.

"That there's RIGHT!"

25 -28 You're all I want in heaven! You're all I want on earth! When my skin sags and my bones get brittle, God is rock-firm and faithful.

"That there's RIGHT!"

Look! Those who left you are falling apart! Deserters, they'll never be heard from again.

"That there's RIGHT!"

But I'm in the very presence of God— oh, how refreshing it is! I've made Lord God my home. God, I'm telling the world what you do!

"That there's RIGHT!"

"That there's RIGHT!"

"That there's RIGHT!"

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