When the wicked prosper, why bother being good?
This is a common question I encounter when a faithful spouses watches their cheating (ex) spouse seemingly avoid any real-life consequences for acting so dastardly and wickedly. It is an ancient question. The Bible is full of rejoinders to the person who is wondering about this sort of situation.
In the book of Malachi even, we have faithful, righteous Jews questioning the point of doing right while the wicked seem to prosper. They question the point of continuing in doing the hard thing when those breaking God’s law are doing so well.
Sound familiar? Can you relate to them? I know I could and can.
How does the prophet respond? Malachi answers them by reminding them that God is taking notice and will deal with those who are disobedient (see Malachi 3:14ff). In fact, God is making a list of the righteous…a scroll (see Malachi 3:16). Referring to those on His list of the faithful:
“They will be my people,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”
-Malachi 3:18-19, NLT
God is taking note of those who are faithful. He sees you as you choose godliness, and He sees the evil deeds of your cheating (former) partner.
The wicked might prosper in this day; however, a day is coming when God will act. Personally, I would rather be treated as an obedient, treasured child spared God’s wrath than as the wicked upon that day.