Sometimes I feel cheated. I find myself looking around and for lack of a better phrase, watching the “prosperity of the wicked”. Sometimes I wonder how it is that those who wound others often have the greatest reputation, and those who lack character often are presented with the greatest opportunities that life has to offer. I then wonder what they possess that entitles them to a hardship free life, void of responsibilities and consequences. I think this subject is one that everyone can relate to and one that many have experienced, but one that very few choose to address.
When I look at the life of David I see a flawed human being, with goals and dreams and opportunities. I see a man who truly served God with his heart, soul and mind. He was not a perfect man, but he was faithful and he served God to the best of his ability. I can imagine David in a remote cave, in hiding from Saul and his men penning this Psalm. This Psalm that I analyze and contemplate so often.
Psalm 73: “For I envied the arrogant, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.
They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills.
Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.
From their callous hearts comes iniquity; their evil imaginations have no limits.
They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression…..
This is what the wicked are like—always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence.”
I read this and my mind imagines David stricken with grief and fear and uncontrollable envy. You see, Saul was bitter because God chose David to be King. However, despite the fact that Saul lived an entirely unspiritual life, he somehow continued to rule and reap benefits. He continued to reap the benefits that went along with his position, all the while wounding David physically and emotionally. Finally, David speaks and says that he envies the prosperity of the wicked. He envies their life of ease, he envies the wealth that they enjoy, he envies the fact that the fact that somehow they can blatantly disregard the principals of God and still end up on top. Perhaps he lived a life pleasing to God for no particular reason at all. Perhaps his attempts to be Godly are in vain.
That’s the scary part. Watching the prosperity of the wicked, we often become bitter and cynical. Sometimes I find myself watching the lives of those who blatantly disregard His principals or live a life of false pretenses. I look at those who use and abuse their power to make themselves appear better, and my heart hurts. I cannot comprehend why God allows those individuals to succeed. I envy them. I like David, contemplate my own life. Have I been doing too much? Have I been blind? Does a life of dedication really matter? Does treating people well really matter to God, because I watch how they treat people like dirt, and yet still succeed.
If I have learned anything in my short years, I have learned that we do indeed reap what we sow. Our lives are a direct reflection of our heart and actions born out of our heart. What we invest in, will make an appearance in our future. When we invest in our relationship with God, in the kingdom of God and in others we will reap the blessings of God. Perhaps, like David, we have yet to see the final outcome. They may be succeeding in this season, but your constant devotion and dedication to Christ will reap long term benefits. You may not see it yet. You may not understand why the wicked continue to succeed. But I promise you this: It will be worth it all. Your faithfulness and dedication to the things of God will provide blessings greater than you could ever dream of. This season of your life was meant to teach you, to make you into the person that He has called you to be. You will not experience greatness without weathering a few storms.
In the words of Ephesians 3:20, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us”. We must remember that God does not move within our desired time frame. But He will do “immeasurably more” in our lives then we could ever imagine. The wicked may prosper for a season, but your service to God will provide you with immeasurable blessings. It’s going to be worth it all.