Why Do Wicked People Prosper?
If God blesses those who obey Him, why do we see wicked people prosper and good people suffer under poverty and oppression?
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but those whose delight is in the law of the Lord and who meditates on this law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3
The Bible says people who delight in God’s law prosper. So, why does our experience not always match this picture? Its all about perspective. When you look too closely at a painting it can become a confusing mixture of colors that make no sense. In the same way, taking one verse out of context of the whole message of God’s Word can cloud our understanding. So lets take a step back and get a better perspective.
Avoid Eternal Destruction
Even the Psalmist struggled to understand why wicked people prospered: “But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked….. until I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.” (Psalm 73:1-3; 17) The prosperity of the wicked person will not last. Throughout scripture God warns that disobedience to His commands (sin) results in death, destruction and judgement. “…sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” James 1:15b.
Live Your Life By Streams of Water
The one who chooses Jesus will live his life near streams of water. “Whoever believes in me (Jesus), as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this Jesus meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in were later to receive.” (John 7:38-39).
Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:16-18 speaks of sinking our roots in God’s love, which is found in Christ Jesus. Then, being strengthened with power through His Spirit which results in being “filled with all the fullness of God.” Meditate on Ephesians 1:1-14 and realize you have all of the resources and blessings of God in Jesus Christ.
Prospering and Bearing Fruit
How do we prosper as Christians? When we bear good fruit, we prosper. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self control.” Wow, now that sounds like a blessed life! Directly seeking happiness and prosperity through material possessions is the surest way to miss out on all God has for you. Jesus said, "one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15) Like the tree in Psalm 1, you will flourish and bring blessings to those around you when you stay connected to Jesus.
Pray this week:
That God will fill you up with the strength of the Spirit so you can live a life full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control and be a blessing to those around you.
How can I experience the abundant life Jesus promises?