Why do the wicked live and become old, yes, become mighty in power? Their descendants are established with them in their sight, and their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them. Their bull breeds without failure; their cow calves without miscarriage. They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance. They sing to the tambourine and harp, and rejoice to the sound of the flute. They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave. Yet they say to God, ‘Depart from us, for we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways. Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what profit do we have if we pray to Him?’ (Job 21:7-15)
The Folly Of The Wicked
In every generation of man there is a belief that living righteous will bring prosperity and following after evil will always bring destruction. This is considered in the present world that those who follow after wickedness will find a self-made judgment because of their actions. In contrast living a righteous life will bring all the blessings of this world to enjoy. The plight of Job was highlighted by his friends as a judgment of God for the wickedness in his life. In answer of Zophar’s charge Job reminds his friends that in fact wicked people can live to a ripe old age with little penalty for their sin. Their children prosper and their fortunes continue for generations with no sense of doom. The knowledge of God is scorned as they fill their lives with an abundance of evil. There are many righteous people who are cut down in the bloom of youth. How can we justify the wicked living so long and the righteous suffering in this life?
There is a penalty of sin found in the actions of life. Many people die early because they follow a path of reckless abandon in wicked pursuits. Drugs, alcohol, crime, sexual immorality will bring about consequences in life that cause disease or death. However many people enjoy a life of extreme immorality and still live to ripe old ages. Nations are ruled by tyrants for many, many years and there seems to be an injustice to it all. The wicked have a lot of fun and suffer little consequence. But that is the lie of Satan deceiving the righteous that wickedness is without penalty.
It can be easy to look at the pleasures of the world and see little or no consequence. Many of God’s people have been turned aside to the appeal of the pursuits of passion because there are no consequences. The wicked live to become old and die happy with the fulfillment of the pleasures of the flesh. What is lost in translation is the reality of what happens after death. The reality of life is not about whether there are consequences on this side of death but what awaits the soul after death. There is the siren song of sin’s deception to believe there is no consequence to sin. God’s judgment will come at death with the certainty of His word.
Look around and see how the wicked prosper. The world is filled with the fun and frolic of sin’s deceptive nature that life can be a robust pursuit of incredible fun. Then look at the word of God and see what lies beneath the surface of sin’s ruse. It is death. Happiness is not found in this life. True contentment is found in a relationship with God in eternity. This life will end with all its pleasures. Eternity will never end. Where do you want to find joy?
Human beings judge one another by their external actions. God judges them by their moral choices. (C. S. Lewis, Christian Behavior, 1943)