This week I am reading Psalm 73. Every morning this week, I intend to read the entire chapter and study one verse in the context of the entire chapter. Today it was 2 verses; 16 and 17.
“When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God…”
From this verse, I chose to study the one word that stood out to me; oppressive. As a person of color, one definition of oppressive resonates with me; unjustly inflicting hardship and constraint, especially on a minority or other subordinate group. Still, as I read the subsequent meanings, another meaning stood out and I believe it is the one most pertinent to today’s passage—weighing heavily on the mind or spirits; causing depression or discomfort.
Psalm 73 talks towards the unfairness of the world. How the wicked prosper and never seem to face any difficulties; and, those “who are pure in heart” tend to get the raw end of the deal everytime. Just the thought of this, causes the psalmist to feel discomfort and heavy weight on his mind and spirit, to feel oppressed.
Can you relate? Is there something in your life that is weighing heavy on your mind or spirit, so much so that it causes you to be depressed? If nothing else, I believe at one time or another we are able to relate with the psalmist. We work hard and try to do everything by the book and someone who tends to skate by, gets all the glory, while we just get to keep working hard. It’s simply unfair. Yet, there is hope!
In our darkest times, if we chose to enter in the presence of God, hope is restored. We are reminded of the fate that awaits those who do not follow Jesus and chose evil. We are reminded of the beauty and wonder of a Sovereign God who is always with us, how He “leads us by the right hand” (v. 23), and how He is always ready to take away that which weighs us down. When we enter His presence, our oppression turns into freedom and like anything good that happens, we cannot help but share of His goodness towards us (v. 28).