Speaking to the Soul – Saturday October 30

A short reading and prayers for today

Then I realised that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant— I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.
Psalm 73:21-24 NLT

The psalmist has been struggling with his thoughts. He admits that he has become very envious of wicked people who seem to him to have a really easy life. They seemed to avoid many of the problems which good people face. He wonders whether following God has been a complete waste of time for him. But the more he reflects, the more he recognises the foolishness of his thinking because, in fact, the wicked people are on a slippery path which is bound to end in their destruction.

In our verses the psalmist, Asaph, wakes up to his foolishness and recognises that what really matters is his faith in God. God kept him secure and would guide him through the rest of his life. At the end of the psalm he draws the conclusion, ”But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.” (verse 28) Envy can very easily grow up in our lives. We look at other people who are so much more talented, wealthy or beautiful than we are, and we conclude that life is completely unfair. But, like Asaph, we need to beware because envy can end up destroying us and leading to a life of resentment and misery. It is significant that one of the ten commandments is not to covet. In Exodus 20.17 we read, “You must not covet your neighbour’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbour.”

The temptation to covet will always exist because our life circumstances are so different from one another. But we need to resist that temptation, and we do that most easily as we focus on the incredible blessing that we have in knowing a God who knows us and who will always care for us.


Be honest. Are you envious of anyone? Bring that to God and then remind yourself how blessed you are to know him.


Lord God, thank you that you provide perfectly for all my needs. Amen

Go before us, Lord, in all our doings, with your most gracious favour,
and further us with your continual help;
that in all our works begun, continued and ended in you,
we may glorify your holy name,
and finally by your mercy attain everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Heavenly Father,
in whom we live and move and have our being:
We humbly pray that your Holy Spirit may so guide and govern us
that in all the cares and occupations of our daily life,
we may never forget your presence
but may remember that we are always walking in your sight,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.