Psalm 73:12

ESV Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.
NIV This is what the wicked are like-- always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
NASB Behold, these are the wicked; And always at ease, they have increased in wealth.
CSB Look at them--the wicked! They are always at ease, and they increase their wealth.
NLT Look at these wicked people — enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply.
KJV Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.

What does Psalm 73:12 mean?

Verses 12 through 14 are spoken by those who see examples of godless people (Psalm 73:1–3) who seem to be happy and healthy (Psalm 73:5–6), then conclude it's better to abandon God (Psalm 73:10–11). Here, the apparent ability of some evil people to gain wealth easily is a source of angst. To use a common English expression, these people seem to make money "hand over fist."

This psalm is meant to express a very real, very heartfelt struggle for many God-believers. The language of these verses seems exaggerated, which is a deliberate choice. Not every single wealthy person is evil, nor is every evil person successful. Some, but not many, who honorably follow God are wealthy. The point of this psalm is the real-world feelings of real-world people. This is exactly how a God-honoring person might feel under suffering, when it seems to them that a godless person has no cares or worries, at all.

It is not wrong to have money, but it is wrong for money to have us. Money is not the root of all evil; it is the love of money which is the source of many kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Paul defined great gain as "godliness with contentment" (1 Timothy 6:6) and warned that seeking wealth for wealth's sake leads many people into utter disaster (1 Timothy 6:9). The healthy approach to money sees it as a gift from God, so His people should serve as faithful stewards who use it in ways that honor Him (1 Corinthians 4:2).
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