“Why do the wicked prosper?” This question has plagued Christians nearly since the beginning of time. So many of us toil away for nickels and dimes, suffering car problems and unexpected bills and depression and anxiety and chronic pain and on and on and on. Meanwhile, it seems, those who openly mock our core beliefs, and even God Himself, seem to float through life unscathed.
Among theologians, there are many varying opinions about why this is, so I went straight to the source: the Bible. King David struggled with the same types of questions, and his reply below is worth reading. It’s simultaneously one of the coolest and–if you’re not a Christian–one of the most frightening set of verses I’ve read in a long time.
“You see, there was a time when I envied arrogant men and thought, ‘The wicked look pretty happy to me.’ For they seem to live carefree lives, free of suffering; their bodies are strong and healthy. They don’t know trouble as we do; they are not plagued with problems as the rest of us are. They’ve got pearls of pride strung around their necks; they clothe their bodies with violence. They have so much more than enough. Their eyes bulge because they are so fat with possessions. They have more than their hearts could have ever imagined. There is nothing sacred, and no one is safe. Vicious sarcasm drips from their lips; they bully and threaten to crush their enemies. They even mock God as if He were not above; their arrogant tongues boast throughout the earth; they feel invincible.
“Even God’s people turn and are carried away by them; they watch and listen, yet find no fault in them. You will hear them say, ‘How can the True God possibly know anyway? He’s not even here. So how can the Most High have any knowledge of what happens here?’ Let me tell you what I know about the wicked: they are comfortably at rest while their wealth is growing and growing. Oh, let this not be me! It seems I have scrubbed my heart to keep it clean and washed my hands in innocence.
“And for what? Nothing. For all day long, I am being punished, each day awakening to stern chastisement.
“If I had said to others these kinds of things about the plight of God’s good people, then I know I would have betrayed the next generation. Trying to solve this mystery on my own exhausted me; I couldn’t bear to look at it any further. So I took my questions to the True God, and in His sanctuary I realized something so chilling and final: their lives have a deadly end. Because You have certainly set the wicked upon a slippery slope, You’ve set them up to slide to their destruction. And they won’t see it coming. It will happen so fast: first, a flash of terror, and then desolation. It is like a dream from which someone awakes. You will wake up, Lord, and loathe what has become of them (Psalm 73:3-20 VOICE).”
So I’ll take my little country house and my bills and occasional car problems and daily health issues. God promised He would never leave me or forsake me, and all I need to do is take a quick glance around at my life to see how blessed I am.
Happiness isn’t weighed by dollars and cents, but by laughter, family, friends and faith.
No, I don’t have the Hollywood mansion or any of its fixin’s, but wealth is not always measured in “stuff.”
So, let’s take a minute to thank the Lord for our many, many blessings, and realize that someday the tables will be turned. One day, the much-sought-after will be seeking nothing more than what we already have.