Why Atheists and Unbelievers Have it Easy (for now…)

21/11/2012 — 5 Comments

Surely God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold.
For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

They have no struggles;
their bodies are healthy and strong.
They are free from common human burdens;
they are not plagued by human ills.
Therefore pride is their necklace;
they clothe themselves with violence.
From their callous hearts comes iniquity;
their evil imaginations have no limits.
They scoff, and speak with malice;
with arrogance they threaten oppression.
Their mouths lay claim to heaven,
and their tongues take possession of the earth.
Therefore their people turn to them
and drink up waters in abundance.
They say, “How would God know?
Does the Most High know anything?”

This is what the wicked are like—
always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.

Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
and have washed my hands in innocence.
All day long I have been afflicted,
and every morning brings new punishments.

If I had spoken out like that,
I would have betrayed your children.
When I tried to understand all this,
it troubled me deeply
till I entered the sanctuary of God;
then I understood their final destiny.

Surely you place them on slippery ground;
you cast them down to ruin.
How suddenly are they destroyed,
completely swept away by terrors!
They are like a dream when one awakes;
when you arise, Lord,
you will despise them as fantasies.

When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.

Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.

[Psalm 73]

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5 responses to Why Atheists and Unbelievers Have it Easy (for now…)

  1. 

    This is what the wicked are like—
    always free of care, they go on amassing wealth. To this extent then even pastors are culpable.
    But generally though, how is this proof for anything? A musician or a poet as this author definitely was can say anything they want how this translates to atheists having it easy now and suffering later I don’t get, maybe you could explain it to me.

    • 

      First, saying that the wicked go on amassing wealth does not mean that ONLY the wicked amass wealth, or even that it is wicked to amass wealth.

      Secondly, that is not all that Psalm 73 says, so one cannot make a case from a de-contextualized extract.

      Thirdly, this does not need to be proof for anything. The Psalmist is lamenting about HOW the wicked seem to have it easy. But when he finally understands their fate, he rests in the fact that he doesn’t have to understand WHY this is the case, what matters ultimately is that everyone receives their just reward in the end.

      PS: As you rightly noted, Psalm 73 is poetry, not a thesis. That is why I haven’t even categorized it under “Apologetics” in my blog.

      • 

        You can chose what you want words to mean, in fact I didn’t say that is what the whole Psalm talks about. It ain’t out of context. I pointed it out and then went on generally to say what I think of the whole Psalm.

        How does he know this “Thirdly, this does not need to be proof for anything. The Psalmist is lamenting about HOW the wicked seem to have it easy. But when he finally understands their fate, he rests in the fact that he doesn’t have to understand WHY this is the case, what matters ultimately is that everyone receives their just reward in the end” How does know this is the fate of unbelievers? Don’t you think it is wishful thinking on his part and for everyone who believes like he does?

      • 

        And as usual, it turns out that your comment is not really SPECIFICALLY about the sentiments in Psalm 73, but GENERALLY about proof for the existence of God or the validity of religion. The ultimate atheist question.

      • 

        Let us for a moment say that what you assert as the atheist ultimate question. Do you have a response? Is there a way of knowing that this is not wishful thinking on the part of the psalmist? That is all I ask and it is that I want you to specifically address.
        My comment was specifically on the above psalm but it can apply to any religious claim though that is not what I had in mind for that would take us to a different tangent that would require several posts.
        Just limit yourself to this psalm and tell me why it is not wishful thinking on the part of the psalmist.

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