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“I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,” Psalm 37:35 NIV

When the wicked flourish, trust God for the final outcome.   I played a mixed doubles (male/female team) tennis tournament this past weekend.  In our first match, our opponents cheated. The male partner made a bad line call.  In tennis, the players call their own lines. If the ball lands on any part of the line, it is considered “in.”  In this situation, the ball landed inside the line, but the guy called the ball out before it bounced. Once it landed in, he chose not to overrule his initial call.  Honest players overrule themselves when they make a bad call. I’ve played tennis long enough to understand this is all part of the game. You have to let it go and not let it affect your playing.  When the wicked flourish, trust God for the outcome. But the outcome may not be what you expect.

The wicked will always cheat.  If they don’t know Jesus, they don’t know better.  To them, the outcome is worth whatever it takes to win.  And sometimes they do. At the end of the first set of my match, there was another controversial line call on set point.  I was serving when it happened. Once again, they cheated. I chose not to engage, and conceded the set to them. I let my opponents lack of integrity affect me.  I was unable to shake the wickedness off. We lost the match. Even worse, they went on to win the entire tournament. The cheaters won, the honest people lost. And God let it happen.  But we don’t know the whole story. Nothing surprises God, He has a plan.

Nothing surprises God, He has a plan.

The next verse after today’s says: “but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found” (Psalm 37:36 NIV).  The wicked don’t flourish forever, if at all.  

When we played our match, we had a lot of spectators.  We were on the first court, the easiest match to watch, it was the beginning of the tournament.  There were many witnesses to the cheating. There were many witnesses watching how I handled the situation.  I tried not to let it ruin my witness for Christ. I didn’t handle it as well as I would have liked, but I did handle it the best I could.  By the time this couple won the tournament, everyone had left. No one was there to watch their championship match. But everyone saw them cheating. The wicked won’t flourish, God will always prevail.  Our job is to do the best we can to keep our eyes focused on Him.

Question of the Day:

What wickedness is trying to distract you from God today?

Further Reading:Leviticus 9:7-10:20 NIV, Mark 4:26-5:20 NIV, Psalm 37:30-40 NIV, Proverbs 10:6-7 NIV

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