Why Do the Wicked Live On?

Ben Van Arragon

Read: Job 21:1-34

Then Job answered and said: . . . “Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power?” (v. 7)

In the film It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey gives constantly and sacrificially to help his community. But George finds himself at the mercy of Mr. Henry Potter, the greedy banker who holds the deeds to George’s business. Will George lose everything? Will wickedness prevail?

This is the question Job asks during his suffering. Job is a good man, serving God and people. Yet Job ends up with nothing, while people who flagrantly disregard God’s way enjoy the best of the world’s bounty. At times we experience the same incongruity in our world. Those who follow Jesus faithfully and work hardest to do God’s will often struggle and suffer, while those who have no apparent regard for God and their neighbor enjoy the best of what this world has to offer. This is the paradox of belonging to the one true God. Jesus, God in the flesh, tells his followers, “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matt. 10:22 NIV).

And yet Jesus also promises his disciples a new life that cannot be taken away, and love for which there is no comparable earthly treasure. It turns out that the success of the wicked and the suffering of the righteous have this in common: both are fleeting. And both will pass away at the coming of our Redeemer. —Ben Van Arragon

Prayer: Lord Jesus, turn my eyes from the spoils of wickedness to the riches of your kingdom.