"But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,
my steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked." - Psalm 73:2-3, (ESV)
It is funny what will trip us up.
Envy of the arrogant will do so most efficiently.
We are always at work subconsciously and consciously to get around in the physical world without losing balance and landing on our backs. What we hear, our vestibular functions and what we feel, our proprioceptive functions, work with our vision to keep us on our feet.
If we take away clear vision, we must adjust to using the other two senses or we will fall over.
Envy interferes with vision. When we envy the arrogant, we do not see clearly. We distort our view of reality and the world. Out values lose focus and we are blinded by lies and false perceptions.
The truth is that the arrogant model nothing worthy of envy. All they achieve and possess is fleeting and faltering. Their accumulations of adulation are delusional and temporal. If we invest energy in envying them or seek to emulate their philosophies or methodologies, we will be disappointed.
Their prosperity is a deception.
The psalmist declares that God's commands through the Torah gave him clarity in the most difficult times, times of taunting, times of injustice, moments of distress, hours of anxiety.
The Word of God brought him stability when everything else was conspiring to throw him off center.
In days when the cacophony of voices screeches arrogance, hate, vain competition, false priorities, God speaks calm and balance to our souls.
Without that word celebrated in the 119th Psalm, we would fall.