Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Why Do the Wicked Prosper? - Jeremiah 12:1

Jeremiah 12:1             You are always righteous, Lord, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease? (NIV)

            We all have to deal with pain and injury, loss and grief in our lives, which can sometimes greatly impact our faith. As Christians, we are not immune to being hurt, getting wounded, or experiencing pain. However, when we undergo such things, they can cause us to question God and may even seriously affect our trust in Him.

            The prophet Jeremiah was God’s spokesman at a time when his nation was suffering immensely. Some of it was caused by outside antagonistic military forces, but much of the suffering was generated through the cruelty, poverty, and injustice that Jeremiah’s elite leaders inflicted upon the common people. The prophet could not understand why these things were happening and so he questioned God’s lack of response, which allowed Jeremiah’s people to suffer unjustly. He even asked the age-old and largely unanswered questions: Why do wicked people prosper? Why do faithless people have easy lives?

            There are no easy answers to such questions even now, however, as Christians, we still believe in God’s justice, so there will be a time of reckoning for those who think they can do what they want, when they want, and to whomsoever they desire. Evil may gain the upper hand from time to time, but it will not always prevail. When Christ returns, all sinful things will be exposed and brought under God’s final judgment. For the wicked, it will be too late to repent and change their ways; for believers, it will be the moment of truth that we have all been waiting for.

            Wherever you go or whatever you face this week, please know this: God is in control and all things are known to Him. God will set things right and the wicked will be judged.

Questions for reflection
Where and when have I experienced injustice in my life? How did it impact my faith?
Have I ever been unjust to someone else? If so, have I asked Christ to forgive me?

Prayer:            Lord Jesus, life can be so unfair and unjust at times, but You know this because You suffered an unfair trial and underwent an unjust death. When we are appalled by wicked people in our world, remind us that Your goodness will triumph over all forms of evil on that Final and Holy Day of Your return. In Your Sacred Name, we wait and pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to ask questions or make comments about this message, please send John an email to traqair@aol.com.

Today’s image is one of John’s psalm drawings, based on a verse from Psalm 106. If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: Psalm 106.

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