6 The righteous will see and fear;
they will laugh at you, saying,
7 “Here now is the man
who did not make God his stronghold
but trusted in his great wealth
and grew strong by destroying others!” Psalm 52:6-7
When I was in the Air Force I participated in a “mock P.O.W. camp” for survival training. For at least 24 hours (and threatened us with more time if we were not obedient to the whims and wishes of our captors) we were subjected to humiliation, taunting, and verbal abuse by our “captors” who were also Air Force personnel acting their parts. These people had power over us and we couldn’t do anything about it. If we talked back or refused to obey their menial and demeaning tasks, we were thrown into a very small box for an indeterminate time period. Our captors really should have been nominated for Oscars because they made us believe that we would be spending much more time in the camp than was ever allotted. Essentially they messed with our minds so much that I’m still able to recall more than 30 years later.
After the camp had finished I remember seeing one of my “captors” in street clothing at the local store. The man had absolutely no power over me and I did gloat inwardly because this man was literally a man in street clothes at a store. Nothing more. No commands. No abuse. No humiliation. No authority over me whatsoever.
David paints a similar picture about the wealthy and those who have abused others. They are nothing in the end. They may have lorded their wealth and influence and power over people, but that was a different time and a different place. They thought their power would get them some place.
In my story above, the captors were all actors playing their parts well. In an “end of days” scenario, though, there is no acting. We will walk by them and shake our heads wondering why we were so uptight about who they were and what they demanded. It will not end well for them. Their shortsighted thinking that the could get away with what they did will be their downfall.