“Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power?”
One of my favorite movies is It’s a Wonderful Life starring Jimmy Stewart.
It is a classic movie and extremely popular, not in the least because it ends well for George Bailey and his family.
But right before the ending of the movie is an excellent illustration of the wicked seemingly prospering! Mr. Potter gets away with his wicked deed at the end! He keeps the $8000 that Uncle Billy lost, subsequently prompting George to contemplate suicide.
In Job chapter 20 Zophar makes his point that only the wicked are punished by God.
I think what he meant was that the wicked do not prosper, and since Job is not prospering now, Job is, therefore, wicked.
In chapter 21 Job answers this by pointing out that by just opening your eyes you can see that in this life some who are wicked certainly do seem to prosper!
Observe the celebrity who has an affair with his co-star, leaves his wife and children, and moves in with her. He continues to get high-paying roles and accolades from his peers and adoration from his fans.
Observe the athlete who uses banned substances but continues to get high-paying and long-term contracts and is a favorite to be inducted into the hall of fame!
Even the driver way behind you in the long, long line of cars waiting to get past the construction on the tollway. She pulls out and drives on the shoulder, passing all the cars and then cuts back in at the head of the line.
Job makes quite the case about the truth of the matter that the wicked do seem to prosper in this life. He says that it happens everywhere! And from what I’ve observed, he’s right!
But Job knows that this life is not all there is to life. There is a life to come!
I encourage you to peek ahead in your Bibles, especially up in the New Testament. There you will see that Jesus Christ takes all the sins of all the people of all time and pays for them on the cross.
You and I are just as wicked as anyone else. But by the power of the Holy Spirit you have the opportunity to repent of your wickedness and receive the free gift of the forgiveness of sins and salvation of your soul!
Peek even further into the New Testament, in fact the last three chapters of the Bible. There you will see that the wicked will indeed perish and that those who have not rejected Christ will be saved and live forever in the new heaven and the new earth.
(This is just a summary of the very complex and deep language of Revelation 20-22, and not meant to be an exhaustive teaching on the subject.)
While it appears for all intents and purposes that the wicked get away with their sin and that the innocent and righteous tend to suffer more, this is not the final word.
God has the final word! When God made you his child in the waters of baptism and the means of grace, your name was written in the Book of Life. You have been given the free gift of eternal life! Unless you erase your name by rejecting Jesus, you will not suffer forever. You will be called out of this life to a place where there is no more tears, pain, sin, or death!
I pray that this comforts you now no matter what you are going through in this life.
©2017 True Men Ministries