Thursday: Psalm 37 & Genesis 12:1-7

From Caroline Dixon

Psalm 37 and Genesis 12:1-7: 

Psalm 37 – “Be not envious of wrongdoers!”

Genesis 12 – (paraphrase) “…In fact, make them envious of you!  Be such a light to the nations that those who are far from me are drawn to me.”

This is such a challenging combination of exhortations. 

“Be not envious” of my friends who are not trusting in the Lord (v3), who are not committing their way to the Lord (v4), who don’t even know the Lord.  How can I “be not envious”?  My human solution would be to avoid, to withdraw, to deny.  I would log off of social media, withdraw, and just try to pretend that they are not exuberantly happy.  If I don’t see something to envy, then perhaps I will not envy it.  I would stop consuming my favorite television, movies, and music which collectively uphold idols who are not the Lord.  I would pull back.  But, deep in the recesses of my memory, I would not forget the happiness I’d seen.  And I would continue to believe that God’s way is TRUE but not necessarily GOOD, at least in this earthly life.  But, God does not want to leave me there.  

Instead, Abraham’s call (Genesis 12) reminds me that God is calling me to be a light to the nations. That through Abraham… Israel… Jesus… the Church, God wants to draw the “wrongdoers” to himself.  That his light was never meant to be hidden away.  So, I’m not supposed to soothe my envy by avoiding the sources of my envy.  I am to engage.  Somehow that is God’s plan, and somehow will create the change that my heart still requires – that I could learn that God’s way is not only TRUE but also GOOD.  Maybe being closer to that which is not the Lord’s way would show me how I have nothing to envy.  

BE NOT ENVIOUS, but be not disengaged either.