Why do the wicked seem to prosper here on earth? - Prosperity - TouchPoints

Why do the wicked seem to prosper here on earth?

Psalm 37:35-36I myself have seen it happen— proud and evil people thriving like mighty trees. But when I looked again, they were gone! Though I searched for them, I could not find them!

Psalm 49:10-12Those who are wise must finally die, just like the foolish and senseless, leaving all their wealth behind. The grave is their eternal home, where they will stay forever. They may name their estates after themselves, but their fame will not last. They will die, just like animals.

The singlemindedness and creativity of humans in pursuit of earthly wealth is often remarkable. It makes us wonder what they could accomplish with these same attributes under control for God. And yet their achievements, however great, are limited by their lifespan and must be left behind.

Psalm 49:16-20So don’t be dismayed when the wicked grow rich, and their homes become ever more splendid. For when they die, they carry nothing with them. Their wealth will not follow them into the grave. In this life they consider themselves fortunate, and the world loudly applauds their success. But they will die like all others before them and never again see the light of day. People who boast of their wealth don’t understand that they will die like the animals.

Ecclesiastes 5:15We all come to the end of our lives as naked and empty-handed as on the day we were born. We can’t take our riches with us.

People who live only for wealth come to the end of their lives as naked and empty—handed as on the day they were born.

Although the wicked may prosper here on earth, they are mere mortals who will die and leave their earthly prosperity behind. The currency of this world has absolutely no value in heaven.

Psalm 73:3-13, 16-19For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. They seem to live such a painless life; their bodies are so healthy and strong. They aren’t troubled like other people or plagued with problems like everyone else . . . And so the people are dismayed and confused, drinking in all their words. “Does God realize what is going on?” they ask . . . Look at these arrogant people— enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply. Was it for nothing that I kept my heart pure and kept myself from doing wrong? . . . So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. But what a difficult task it is! Then one day I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I thought about the destiny of the wicked. Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction. In an instant they are destroyed, swept away by terrors.

Psalm 10:4-6These wicked people are too proud to seek God. They seem to think that God is dead. Yet they succeed in everything they do. They do not see your punishment awaiting them.

The prosperity of the wicked gives the appearance of a complete and fulfilling life. But a life without God contains a powerful vacuum that nothing other than God can fill. However such a life looks to an observer, God sees the empty heart of such a lifestyle.

Ezekiel 7:19They will throw away their money, tossing it out like worthless trash. It won’t buy their deliverance in that day of the Lord’s anger. It will neither satisfy nor feed them, for their love of money made them stumble into sin.

Luke 16:24-25The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in anguish in these flames.’ But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish.’

James 5:1-6Look here, you rich people, weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags . . . This treasure you have accumulated will stand as evidence against you on the day of judgment. For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The wages you held back cry out against you.

The wicked — financially poor or wealthy — are not to be envied as their eternal destiny is one of judgment and punishment. Time spent on this earth is but a small dot on a line that never ends. What really counts is the heavenly treasure we lay up while we are here on earth.