The Wicked Prosper

“Why do the wicked prosper,
    growing old and powerful?
They live to see their children grow up and settle down,
    and they enjoy their grandchildren.
Their homes are safe from every fear,
    and God does not punish them.”

-Job 21:7-9, NLT


This lament of Job is comforting.

It is comforting in as it exists in the Bible. God made sure His records included a statement about this very human experience. He has a respected person in Scripture voice an all too common experience.

This lament tells us that it is okay to feel this way.

It gives us permission.

We can be real.

God can handle our pain. He can handle our anger and frustration.

So much of dealing with infidelity comes with a boat-load of injustice. I know I can relate to times when my (now) ex-wife seemed to prosper even though she was orchestrating the apparent–at the time–destruction of my life through her treacherous sin.

It did not seem fair.

The wicked seemed to prosper.

This is not how the story ends. Job finds restoration of his wealth and well-being. And the New Testament speaks of a reckoning where God calls each person to account for his or her actions while living (see 2 Corinthians 5:10).

That said, I remain comforted. When I feel like the wicked are prospering, I can rest in the knowledge that I am not alone in this feeling. I am in good company.

It is okay for me to feel this way.

4 thoughts on “The Wicked Prosper”

  1. I feel that way about my husband. We are separated but not legally and he still has his girlfriend. I feel like I’m being punished while he’s off having the time of his life. I’m left being the responsible one taking care of the children.

  2. Thanks DM. Needed that today. I so often think about what a great time my ex-wife must be having with her then AP and now boyfriend, not knowing if this is true or not. I think the lie that the enemy tells me is that since she hasn’t been been back to try to make amends, then she must be having a wonderful time, but the insinuation is that God is not doing anything about it. That is really the great lie.

    But then I think about the countless stories I’ve heard talking to people. I’m surprised that after I tell my story, so many people will tell me that the same thing has happened to them. More amazingly, the majority of those people are happily remarried. I am looking forward to being able to give the same testimony.

  3. This lament strikes a chord with me.After 24 years of living what I found out is an evil lie, right in the heart of my marriage. so decimated. I can’t look at families enjoying each other ,when out at a restaurant , or at the park without crying.I can’t think or hear about the enjoyment of the families at church, without tremendous pain. I start to recover, then another facet of this nightmare knocks me back off my feet.I find myself envious of the wicked, but also envious of the righteous that are prospering.I am even envious of those I read about , who had the strength to end their marriages quickly, for I feel paralyzed ,living in limbo.
    A christian friend reminds me that God has a good plan for my life,too.I must and can move towards it.This is a reminder that Job struggled with envy. My emotions are validated here.Job had a positive outcome in the end. It is just what I needed to hear today,it gives me hope.Thank you.

  4. When I read this I think of my in-laws. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They seem so kind, fun and generous but deep down they are wicked and evil and will hurt people in a very sneaky and cruel ways. They have lots of money and things and take exotic trips. Yet, my 15 year old son pointed out just the other day that they have a very broken family. Their family is laden with divorce, infidelity, cancer and even early death. They have 4 grandchildren who barely speak to them. The wicked do seem to prosper but underneath that facade many times is a brokenness that may never heal. We have a God that will heal our wounds and we have hope for real abundant living. I know that I just have to keep reminding myself of this because I, like Elisa, find it very difficult to watch others who are in happy families because that is all I ever wanted. I had it for 20 years and my stbx just threw it all away without hesitation.

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