As for me, the drawing near to God is good for me. In the Sovereign Lord Jehovah I have placed my refuge.
Here the psalmist expressed his confidence in God. What circumstances led him to this profound conclusion? Upon observing the peace of wicked people, at first the psalmist felt bitter at heart. He lamented: “It is in vain that I have cleansed my heart and that I wash my hands in innocence itself.” When he came into “the grand sanctuary of God,” however, he was in a setting that helped him to adjust his thinking and maintain his intimacy with God. This experience taught that God-fearing man a vital lesson: Being among God’s people, accepting counsel, and applying it are essential to a close relationship with Jehovah. We too desire an intimate relationship with the true and living God. To reach that goal, it is vital that we allow his counsel or discipline to mold us, so that we become individuals who are pleasing to him!
The experience of Asaph is certainly relevant for Jehovah’s Witnesses today.
It is apparent by the burgeoning numbers of those who forsake the faith that they — like the psalmist — envy the wicked and wish to be like those of whom the psalm goes on to say: “They scoff and say evil things. They arrogantly threaten oppression. They speak as if they were as high as heaven, and their tongues swagger about in the earth. So his people turn aside to them, and they drink from their abundant water. They say: ‘How does God know? Does the Most High really have knowledge?’ Yes, these are the wicked, who always have it easy. They keep increasing their wealth. Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and washed my hands in innocence.”
“His people turn aside to them and they drink from their abundant water” by becoming part of the world; adopting the lifestyle of those around them who do not know God. Many who formally acknowledged Jehovah now claim that they evolved from brute beasts, even as the psalmist intimated regarding his own temporary defection, when he said: “I was unreasoning and lacked understanding; I was like a senseless beast before you.”
No doubt all who leave the truth ultimately lack faith. They may not doubt Jehovah’s existence entirely, as an atheist or evolutionists may, but they simply no longer believe that God will ever intervene, implying in their heart that God doesn’t really know what is going on, or care.
But God caused Asaph to discern the future of the wicked. That is why he wrote: “Surely you place them on slippery ground. You make them fall to their ruin. How suddenly they are devastated! How sudden is their finish as they come to a terrible end! Like a dream when one wakes up, O Jehovah, when you rouse yourself, you will dismiss their image.”
Surely, the people of this wicked system are on slippery ground, as like no others who came before them. On any given day the labyrinthian system upon which we all depend can come down with a terrible crash. Money can and will simply become worthless. The high and mighty billionaires and millionaires will be ruined. Cruise missiles and intercontinental rockets can reach any corner of the world in mere minutes — bringing unimaginable devastation. This highly developed civilization, which seems so permanent, so secure, can simply disappear as if it were a fleeting dream.