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WHY DO THE WICKED PROSPER ?

04 Oct
by David J. Stewart
Job 21:23-26,One dieth in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet. His breasts are full of milk, and his bones are moistened with marrow. And another dieth in the bitterness of his soul, and never eateth with pleasure. They shall lie down alike in the dust, and the worms shall cover them.
       Job was devastated with mental anguish and pain of soul that could never be expressed in words. Yet Job tries to speak in the bitterness of his soul, wishing he were dead. Job was a righteous man, utterly upset over the horrible things that came upon him. Read chapter one of Job and you’ll learn that all ten of his children were killed when a tornado brought the building down. All his crops were burned up with fire, and his sheep and servants killed by fire. The Sabeans stole jobs oxen and female donkeys and murdered the servants. The Babylonians (Chaldeans) stole his camels and murdered his servants. According to Job 1:3, he lost 3,000 camels and 7,000 sheep and 500 yoke of oxen (a yoke is two each) and 500 female donkeys when he lost everything!!! That’s a very large loss!!!
Then Satan took Job’s health and afflicted him with painful boils from head-to-toe. Notice that God allowed Satan to kill the servants. Satan kills people all the time, but he can do nothing without God’s permission, as we learn in the story of Job. Satan also took Job’s health with God’s permission. Many illnesses are causes by Satan. The remedy is to pray to God (not participate in lunatic Charismatic deliverance meetings).
James 5:14-15, “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.”
Job’s wife was depressed herself, discouraging Job further. I think Mrs. Job ought to be given some room for grief, considering that she just lost all ten of her precious children too. She went through the jaws of death to bring ten children into the world. They didn’t have caesarian (c-section) surgeries back then. She gave birth the painful way (and with no anesthesia either).
Job in his frustration and anger explains to his critical so-called “friends” that he has lived upright by faith in the Lord and has done nothing to bring God’s judgments upon him. Job was telling the truth, for the Bible says that God was testing Job’s faith. Job makes some incredible statements, the full meaning of which only someone who has truly been afflicted and suffered in life can grasp and understand…
Job 21:1, “But Job answered and said, Hear diligently my speech, and let this be your consolations. Suffer me that I may speak; and after that I have spoken, mock on. As for me, is my complaint to man? and if it were so, why should not my spirit be troubled? Mark me, and be astonished, and lay your hand upon your mouth. Even when I remember I am afraid, and trembling taketh hold on my flesh.”
Listen to what Job says below, in frustration, concerning the prosperity of the wicked…
The wicked enjoy old age (Job’s health is gone, he’s weak and he’s afflicted day and night)…
Job 21:7, “Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power?”
The children of the wicked are healthy, happy and prosperous (Job’s children are dead)…
Job 21:8, “Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes.”
The homes of the wicked are safe and nothing bad has happened to them. The wicked have no fear because everything has been going well for them (Job’s home is in chaos, suffering damage in every manner)…
Job 21:9, “Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them.”
The livestock of the wicked are fruitful and give birth to healthy offspring (Jobs sheep were burned up and his camels stolen)…
Job 21:10, “Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf.”
The wicked have many children, who dance in health and happiness (the righteous man Job—his children are dead)…
Job 21:11, “They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance.”
The wicked are enjoying life, partying, playing music and having a great time (Job wishes he were dead)…
Job 21:12, “They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ.”
The wicked enjoy wealth and the good times (eat, drink and be merry), but death is coming for us all, perhaps today…
Job 21:13, “They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave.”
The wicked elite don’t think they need the riches of God because they already have the riches of the world…
Job 21:14, “Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.”
Wicked elite people have everything they want in this temporary life, so they reason in their hardened heart that God has nothing to offer them. They see no benefit in prayer, for they are self-sufficient…
Job 21:15, “What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?”
We read further in Job 21:23-26 that the wicked man who prospers in health, and the righteous man who suffers with an afflicted body, BOTH  return into the dust of the earth. Whether rich or poor, we all return into the dust from which we came (and then the judgment)…
Job 21:23-26, “One dieth in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet. His breasts are full of milk, and his bones are moistened with marrow. And another dieth in the bitterness of his soul, and never eateth with pleasure. They shall lie down alike in the dust, and the worms shall cover them.”
Romans 2:11 says that God is NO respecter of persons. There is no preferential treatment with God. God gives every person a freewill. We have different opportunities and varying talents, different upbringings and obstacles placed before us, but we all have the same DUTY… Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
Psalms 9:7-8, “But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.

Psalms 9:15-17, “The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”
Psalms 10:4-7, “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them. He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity. His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.”
Psalms 11:3, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

Psalms 11:7, “For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.”

Psalms 12:8, “The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.”
Psalms 43:1, “Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.”
Job was perplexed… why am I suffering, who am righteous; while the wicked are blessed? I love the Lord and my children are dead; but the wicked despise God and their children are thriving and happy? I hate sin and all my wealth has been taken away; but the wicked love and commit abundant sins, and their wealth is increasing. Why, oh why, Job asks the Lord.
My friend, it’s because God is pleased by faith and the only way to show forth our faith is to test our faith. The wicked have no faith and so God has reserved them unto judgment. Their day is coming as Psalms 37:13 warns (see below). Unshakable faith comes from having your faith shaken. Do you think that Job was the only Christian whom God ever TESTED to prove Satan a liar? A faith must be tested. Think with me for a moment if you will, about Revelation 12:10, “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” The very name Satan means “the accuser.” The ole Devil accuses believers to God day and night. Isn’t that terrible? The Bible tells us what Satan does with his time. Satan doesn’t just criticize Christians during the day, but day and night, round-the-clock. That sounds like some people I’ve known in my life, who were always critical. Oh, the sin of gossip, slander and backbiting.
With that in mind, consider Job 1:8, “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” I used to wonder why God mentioned Job to Satan, but now I know. Revelation 12:10 tells us that Satan accuses believers continually before God. I believe that to counter Satan’s accusations, that God mentions faithful Christians like Job. Satan criticizes an unfaithful believer, and then God mentions a faithful believer.
I can’t help but think that God must get sick and tired of hearing Satan. God must despise the appearance of the Devil. Frankly, I don’t know why God even allows Satan into His presence, but there are many things which we don’t understand. Satan is allowed to stand before God and make accusations. We know this from Revelation 12:10. No doubt most (if not all) of the allegations are true. Most damaging gossip is true. Gossip is always a sin. The mature Christian shuts their mouth! The carnal believer runs their mouth! God gave us two ears and one mouth to teach us that we ought to listen twice as much as we talk. Amen! SHUT UP!!! That’ll preach!
 
The Righteous Shall Inherit The Earth
Here are some precious Scriptures of encouragement for every Christian who is weary of the wickedness of this world…
Psalms 37:7-13, Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.”
The days of the wicked are numbered. We as born-again Christians will be enjoying the pleasures of Heaven very soon. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! I thank God that I am on the winning side in Christ Jesus. When I ponder the Scriptures and realize just how fortunate I am to have found the truth in Christ Jesus, I am greatly humbled to tears. The good news of the Gospel is precious indeed. Jesus died to pay for our sins, by shedding His precious blood for our iniquities. The Lord was buried and rose from the dead three days later. He ascended into Heaven and is now seated on the right-hand of the Father, making intercession for the saints (Romans 8:34; Colossians 3:1-3).
I love the following Scripture, which reminds us that God is omniscient (all-knowing) and therefore, we should all be very careful what we say and do…
1st Samuel 2:3, “Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.”
 
The Faith That Works
Faith is not just believing that God can, but that He will. Faith is facing the music when you don’t like the tune. People are scared to step out on faith. You’ll never do anything until you go ahead and do it before you’re ready. JUST DO IT! DO SOMETHING FOR GOD!
Queen Esther was scared she might fail when she approached the king to plead the life of her people, the Jews. Yet she acted on her beliefs instead of her doubts. She said IF I PERISH I PERISH! That ladies and gentleman ought to be the attitude of every believer.
Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death! Believe your beliefs and doubt your doubts. We have a tendency to doubt our beliefs and believe our doubts. Faith is daring to go further than you can see.
Faith is stepping our on the water like Peter did. Peter stepped out on the water at the Lord’s request. I think Peter had total confidence and didn’t think twice about getting out of the boat. I can see Peter jumping up and down on the water, saying, “Look at this boys! Look what I can do!” But when Peter saw the winds and tempest, he began to sink into the Sea of Galilee. When Peter sank he panicked and looked immediately to the Lord, “ HELP ME!” That’s how most of us are, that is, only needing the Lord when trouble arises.
Any pilot will tell you that you don’t go by what you feel, you go by those instruments on the panel. Pilots can land in the dark just by using the gauges. My friend, we can live for God in this dark world of sin by keeping our eyes on the Lamp of God’s Word. Psalms 119:1-5, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
Lord is this really going to hold me up? Is this really going to work out? Faith is when you’re not ready. God doesn’t call us to be successful; He calls us to be faithful. God doesn’t call us to do something big; He calls us to be faithful in that He’s given us to do. Faith without works is like a car without gas. It may be a beautiful car, but it is useless without fuel to go. Faith is daring to go further than you can see. Faith is everything that we do (or don’t do) because we are a child of God.
John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
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