14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
or walk in the way of evildoers.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
turn from it and go on your way.
It is discouraging to see the wicked prosper. Sometimes it seems that they have all the fun, while those on the path of righteousness are missing out. In the seventy-third Psalm, Asaph observed that the wicked “have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong… always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.” As he contemplated this he nearly gave in to envy, writing “Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence.” Have you ever felt this way?
Yet Asaph overcame his temptation, and we can learn from his example. He was deeply troubled, until he entered the sanctuary of God and understood their final destiny. All paths have a destination, and the path of the wicked is no exception. Their prosperity is fleeting – “How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!” Theirs is the path of temporary fulfilment with lasting regret. But the path Asaph chose, which is available to all of us, is that of temporary difficulty with lasting fulfillment. “My flesh and my heart may fail,” wrote Asaph, “but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”