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Author Topic: Why Do the Wicked Prosper?  (Read 9694 times)

Mitchell

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Why Do the Wicked Prosper?
« on: August 05, 2005, 12:14:59 PM »
Hi everyone,
It is very painful for me to look at people around me who have no respect for God and who are terrible people to be so prosperous, while we are poor, just struggling to get through another month's bills. It just doesn't seem fair that so many christians are struggling, while the world and the atheistic unbelievers are prospering and getting rich on lotteries and business when they don't deserve anything. Why does the righteous always have to suffer while the wicked prosper. Doesn't God's word say he will bless those who love him? It just doesn't seem fair. What are your thoughts on this?

Carol

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Re: Why Do the Wicked Prosper?
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2005, 01:08:28 PM »
Matthew 6:19-20 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

Look at how our Lord Jesus lived on this earth.  Are we better than he?  I think not.  Our treasure is in heaven, not on this earth.  We are truly blessed when we have faith, when we know and love him, because this is not something we can muster up on our own.  He must give us this faith, love and knowledge.  This is the most wonderful blessing.  It would be better to live completely destitute on this earth and get to know him, than to have riches beyond measure and not know him.

Matthew 16:26  For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 


Doesn't God's word say he will bless those who love him? It just doesn't seem fair. What are your thoughts on this?

Getting to love him IS the blessing, I believe.  We would never love him on our own.  It is a gift from him.  And what a wonderful one!

Blessings in Christ,
Carol
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Tony Warren

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Re: Why Do the Wicked Prosper?
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2005, 02:25:08 PM »
>>>
It is very painful for me to look at people around me who have no respect for God and who are terrible people to be so prosperous, while we are poor, just struggling to get through another month's bills. It just doesn't seem fair that so many christians are struggling, while the world and the atheistic unbelievers are prospering and getting rich on lotteries and business when they don't deserve anything. Why does the righteous always have to suffer while the wicked prosper. Doesn't God's word say he will bless those who love him? It just doesn't seem fair. What are your thoughts on this?
<<<

Mitchell, Carol gave some excellent passages concerning this issue, which is not a new one. I would only add that the things you are talking about are not the true riches. Truly those without knowledge of God may gain the whole world, and in the process lose their souls. Is that a blessing from God or is that the deception of the devil? We have to remember, blessings are not what man deems they are, but what God deems they are. Just as chastisement of God that seems terrible at the time are often a blessing from God. When the true believer is in suffering or in trouble, that is often the time that he is drawn closer to the Lord. And truth is, "we are a spoiled people" today who don't really need everything that we "think" we need. For His grace is sufficient for us, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness. And it is normally in our weakness that we realize how much we need the Lord, and just how little these temporal things really count for.

1st Peter 1:24
  • "For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:"

A flower looks beautiful, but will it last? Is its optical blooming really the glory we seek for? The Christian's life is more than just the flower of life, it is the spirit of life. And in that, we should understand that we are more than just the vison of this life, we are just strangers and pilgrims in this world. We are in reality just passing through. Our real home is in heaven. Appearances are often deceiving. The wicked may think that they are getting away with their sins, and that they have it made with their temporal riches. They glory in that they feel secure in their wealth, but they are truly blind to the fact that it is they who are truly in spiritual poverty that will ultimately bring them to ruin. The Lord doesn't chastise them, but we whom He loves He chastises. We need to recognize that fact that God's love is better than all the riches of this world. We are truly in a better place than those wealthy whom the world admires.

Revelation 3:17-19
  • "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
  • I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
  • As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."

True riches are not the temporal possessions of this world, or good health, or in being men or women of stature and renown. Surely you have read the parable of the rich ruler and the beggar named Lazarus? If not, please read it (Luke 16:19-31). In reading and discerning it, God is revealing to us the end from the beginning. Who would you rather be? The man who seemingly prospered in this world and ends up tormented in hell? Or the poor Lazarus, the son of Abraham whose riches last forever.

Luke 16:25
  • "But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented."

I would encourage all to be careful not to be envious of the carnality of riches, or be enamored with the lifestyles of those who don't know God. We left that lifestyle when we were born from above, and should not "look back" as Lot's wife did and was turned into a pillar of salt. Because the way of the world, and all these temporal things it possesses, is all that the unsaved have. And though that may seem (on a carnal level) to be very desirous, believe me, none of it can satisfy, nor will it last past this earthly tabernacle of flesh. The wicked may appear to be happy in their prosperity where they don't have a care in the world, but it's all a facade to hide man's inherent fear. Because the judgment of God hangs over them in the end, and man inherently knows that. Would you trade eternity for a few years of the worldly "theater" of riches or popularity in this world? Because that is certainly not a good deal.

When we read chapters like Psalms chapter 73 very carefully, we begin to understand what David and Solomon in God's wisdom finally came to understand. ..that all this is vanity, a vexation of spirit, a temporal carnal theater, whose final curtain is the sting of death.

Psalms 73:3-17
  • "For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
  • For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm.
  • They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.
  • Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.
  • Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.
  • They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.
  • They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.
  • Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them.
  • And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?
  • Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.
  • Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.
  • For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.
  • If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.
  • When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;
  • Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end."

nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

Trotter

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Re: Why Do the Wicked Prosper?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2005, 06:58:02 AM »
I know you're not saying this, but I think we should make a distinction. I don't believe that all rich people are unsaved, so it's not really true that the righteous suffer physical poverty. Many of the saints in the old testament were wealthy people. Look at Abraham, David and Solomon. I hope we are not slipping into believing that only the wicked have a wealth of funds. In fact, if we were living in china, we would consider 98 percent of americans wealthy, from their perspective. So who's to say who is rich?

 1Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

The love of money is the root of all evil, not money. We should be careful to make that distinction.

Raybob

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Re: Why Do the Wicked Prosper?
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2005, 08:03:06 AM »
Mat 16:26  For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

1Ti 6:4-6  He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,  (5)  Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.  (6)  But godliness with contentment is great gain.

In the bible, "prosperity" came from a few different words but almost always meant good health, well being, etc. and had nothing to do with material goods.

One for instance from Psa 35:27  Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.


H7965
שׁלם    שׁלום
shâlôm  shâlôm
shaw-lome', shaw-lome'
From H7999; safe, that is, (figuratively) well, happy, friendly; also (abstractly) welfare, that is, health, prosperity, peace: -  X do, familiar, X fare, favour, + friend, X greet, (good) health, (X perfect, such as be at) peace (-able, -ably), prosper (-ity, -ous), rest, safe (-ly), salute, welfare, (X all is, be) well, X wholly.

Modern Americans think propsperity is financial gain.  That clearly is NOT Godliness.

Raybob

Sue Landow

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Re: Why Do the Wicked Prosper?
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2005, 03:21:43 AM »
You know Mitchell, Jeremiah asked the same question, and he got the same answer Tony gave you. Trust in the Lord and don't envy the prosperous.

 Jeremiah 12:1 "Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?"

People ask that question because they often equate happiness, blessings, and satisfaction with money. These things aren't what makes us prosperous. Neither money nor fame can purchase any of these things. How many cars we have, or what type job we have, or whether we can have steak instead of beans, these are not evidences of blessings or true biblical spiritual prosperity.

Read what this Man has to say about the subject.

 http://www.mountain-retreat.org/sermons/why_do_the_wicked_prosper.shtml


"And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened". Luke 13:20-21

Mitchell

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Re: Why Do the Wicked Prosper?
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2005, 06:37:24 AM »
I appreciate the responses I've received. They have helped somewhat. I understand that riches are not the answer to all our problems. But why do the innocent have to suffer and why does the wicked always prosper? It would seem God would help those whom he loves, and not the wicked.  How can God who is both good and all knowing and powerful allow such things like the Tsunami to happen where christian people are killed? That couldn't be help to anyone. What is the purpose of that?

 Ps. 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

What about passages like this? We are not prospering when we are suffering, being persecuted and having hardships. What does all this mean?

Carol

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Re: Why Do the Wicked Prosper?
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2005, 02:17:43 PM »
How can God who is both good and all knowing and powerful allow such things like the Tsunami to happen where christian people are killed? That couldn't be help to anyone. What is the purpose of that?

Mitchell, surely you are not saying that you know better than God.  He says:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

We may not know or understand why things happen as they do, but we can be assured that all things work together for GOOD to them that love God, because the bible tells us so.  All things work together for the good of God's elect.  We cannot know what all the effects are of the Tsunami, or any disaster or hardship.  Because of the Tsunami, some of God's sheep may have been made to see his truth, and were brought into the fold.  I don't know.  Also, when one of the elect dies, it may be sad for us, but not sad to the elect believer that died.  --That person is going home to be with the Lord.  And if that person's death somehow caused someone else to come to know the Lord, wouldn't it be worth it?  Our time on this earth is so short compared to all eternity.  We need to trust that God knows what he is doing. We can be comforted in knowing that he is in complete control of everything.


Ps. 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

What about passages like this? We are not prospering when we are suffering, being persecuted and having hardships. What does all this mean?

I guess it depends on what your definition of prospering is.  The world's definition is to have lots of riches, material things, wonderful relationships, no problems or hardships, etc.  In reality, I think the more of those things we have, the more prideful and self-reliant we become.  When we face hardships, we begin to realize our helplessness and complete dependence on God.  We are humbled and more willing to cry out to him for mercy.  We learn and grow in him the most when we truly see our need of him.  And as much as we don't like the hardships, we can rest in knowing that they are for our good, and we truly are prospering because of them, because we are growing closer to and more dependant on our Lord.  And that is true prosperity, isn't it? 

Carol
Run, John, run! The Law commands!
But gives me neither feet nor hands.
Far grander news the Gospel brings:
It bids me fly and gives me wings!"
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judykanova

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Re: Why Do the Wicked Prosper?
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2005, 05:47:24 PM »
I appreciate the responses I've received. They have helped somewhat. I understand that riches are not the answer to all our problems. But why do the innocent have to suffer and why does the wicked always prosper? It would seem God would help those whom he loves, and not the wicked.  How can God who is both good and all knowing and powerful allow such things like the Tsunami to happen where christian people are killed? That couldn't be help to anyone. What is the purpose of that?

 Ps. 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

What about passages like this? We are not prospering when we are suffering, being persecuted and having hardships. What does all this mean?


Mitchell,

Here are some Scriptures and thoughts on the matter.

There is physical death which shall come to all (as the Lord tarries).  But then there is the Second Death which is spiritual in nature and infinitely worse -- involving eternal damnation in the lake of fire.  Such is the awful fate awaiting those whose soul is not saved or re-born (died then resurrected in Christ).

Rev 20:6  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Rev 20:13  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Heb 2:14  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Heb 2:15  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to
bondage.


Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but
rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.


Thanks be to God!  Christ conquered death and the devil at the cross!   It’s not the death of our physical bodies that we should fear, but rather we should fear God who alone has the power to eternally save or condemn.


God’s ways – being perfectly Holy and Just --are not our ways.  Sometimes calamities  occur (to the wicked and just alike)  for which we may have but a glimpse of understanding.

Job 37:23  Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict.
Job 37:24  Men do therefore fear him: he respecteth not any that are wise of heart.

Isa 55:8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isa 55:9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.



It boils down to a matter of trust that, (regardless of whether we understand or not), God’s Word is true.  And as Carol mentioned in her post, God says that all things work together for good to them that love Him.

Num 23:19  God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Rom 8:38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.



Consider Job.  None today has suffered the extreme and prolonged spiritual and physical anguish of Job ,which were so great that he wished for death.  Yet Job says something that should serve as a model for us when we suffer temporary bouts of perplexity, anxiety, depression, anger, doubts concerning out standing with God, or other negative feelings…

Job 13:15  Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
Job 13:16  He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.



When all is said and done, God is God.  Whereas we are no better than ‘worms’ in comparison to God’s holiness, and have no right to question God, for none are deserving of His Mercy and Grace.

Job 40:1  Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said,
Job 40:2  Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.
Job 40:3  Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
Job 40:4  Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
Job 40:5  Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.
Job 40:6  Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said, …
Job 40:8  Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
Job 40:14  Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.

Job 38:1  Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Job 38:2  Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
Job 38:3  Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
Job 38:4  Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.



I don’t presume to fully understand why so many died in the Tsunami.  I do know that we often fail to recognize that even true believers can suffer dire consequences of sin, as seen in the life of David when he committed adultery with Bathsheba  and arranged for the murder of her husband.  Among the calamities that befell his household, the illegitimate child he had with Bathsheba died soon after birth – though the Lord in His mercy saved that child. 

It also seems that, (human nature being what it is),  it’s when we’re brought low that we are most apt to keep our eyes on Christ, or when we become most appreciative of our dependence on Christ. 

2Co 12:9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2Co 12:10  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.



The Scriptures also suggest that God may save and take some while they are in a state of  heightened awareness of their sins and of their need for a Savior – which is actually a blessing though it may not appear otherwise on the outside.  We are each given “a measure of faith” and some are not as strong as others.

1Co 5:1  It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.
1Co 5:2  And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
1Co 5:3  For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
1Co 5:4  In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Co 5:5  To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1Co 3:13  Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14  If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.



So we needn't loose heart over such things as theTsunami.  For the Scriptues teach that any true believer who died in the Tsunami is currently with the Lord, and infinitely better off than those of us still in this sinful world which grows progressively more wicked by the day.

Phi 1:21  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Phi 1:22  But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
Phi 1:23  For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

2Co 5:6  Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
2Co 5:7  (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
2Co 5:8  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
2Co 5:9  Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.


judy
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John

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Re: Why Do the Wicked Prosper?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2005, 08:18:32 PM »
Quote
It is very painful for me to look at people around me who have no respect for God and who are terrible people to be so prosperous...

Frankly, I don't hear in your words a problem centered on rich sinners versus poor believers -- rather, it appears you are bothered simply because you are not rich, independent of any spiritual state. It's not that the sinner is rich but that anyone should be rich while you are not. It appears you are jealous  - you are asking, "Why doesn't God give me money too".

Are you poor because they are rich?  How did their prosperity force you to be poor? Class envy is the game played to make the poor envious of the wealthy -- its goal is to make the poor hate the wealthy and supplies a major political party with votes every four years.

The fact is, the prosperous are strong because God has ordained it -- your argument is against God.


Psa 73:3-4
3  For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4  For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm.



The end of the wicked, whether rich or poor, is in destruction and endless terror. Do you fret because they have what you covet -- stop lusting! What do they really have that you need?  Money is vanity and vexation of spirit, the root of all kinds of evil. Which do you care more for:  Earthly riches or Eternal riches? 


Psa 73:17-19
17  Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.
18  Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.
19  How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.



The wicked are in slippery places and they are unknowingly hanging by a thin thread unraveling above the yawning fiery pit of hell -- yet you envy them because of money? Stop looking with physical eyes and see life from God's holy perspective -- just as David did when He considered it in the Sanctuary of God.


Pro 23:17-18
17  Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
18 For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.



With David we can say, how ignorant we are, like an unthinking beast, because we envy and lust for what does not satisfy. It is foolishness of heart that we judge unwisely -- our walk is by faith not by sight. Our trust is in God to provide as He chooses -- some rich some poor -- we are to be faithful in all circumstances.


Psa 73:21-22
21  Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins.
22  So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.



Quote
...while we are poor, just struggling to get through another month's bills.


Do you want pity?  Contrary to popular belief the prosperous obtained wealth through long days at work -- suffering through hardship until they obtain their goal. Are you jealous because they work harder and receive more reward?  Is it not God's right to elevate some more than others or bring others down?

Can you agree to be content in whatever situation God has placed you?


Phi 4:11-13
11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.




Quote
It just doesn't seem fair that so many Christians are struggling, while the world and the atheistic unbelievers are prospering and getting rich on lotteries and business when they don't deserve anything.


It's not fair in your eyes, but then you are not God, are you?  Obviously you are bitter against God, whether you acknowledge it or not, He hasn't given you the things you deserve. Yet, why do you deserve anything more than laying in a dunghill covered with sores starving?  What does God owe you, do tell.


1Sa 2:8-9
He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them.
He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.



The fact is, God does take the blind beggar out of the dunghill and set us among princes to live in mansions prepared in heaven. But your eyes are set on inheriting a physical mansion for forty or fifty years -- rather than an eternal, never-ending estate with Christ. I'll tell you, this is a poor trade.


You say the rich don't deserve anything, well I say YOU don't deserve anything.  Do you praise God for the things you do have -- or would it be more instructive if you spent seven years, naked, eating grass like an unreasoning animal, to understand that God can do as He pleases. Do you know what God owes you? An eternity in the Lake of Fire is your just due -- be careful in how you judge as it will be meted out to you.



Job 40:2-4
Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.
3  Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
4  Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.




Quote
Doesn't God's word say he will bless those who love him? It just doesn't seem fair


What is fair? No doubt it would be fair in your judgment if you lived lavishly like a king all your days -- that would be fair. Is this not vanity and has not pride forgotten who replies back to God who made him?  An eternity in hell is fair -- anything more is the mercy of God.


Do not forget that the first shall be last and the last first. The wicked prosper and are happy. They are blessed and bring forth fruit by the mercy of God. Yet, though they take root and grow for a time, they will be pulled out and brought before the judgment. They were first in life and on that day they will be the least. This is the fairness and Righteous Judgment of God, who are we to argue against God?


Jer 12:1-3
1  Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?
Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.
3  But thou, O LORD, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and tried mine heart toward thee: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter.



The blessing of God is not in earthly treasure or in earthly ease -- that is a fading flower that is gathered together and burned. The treasure you must set your heart upon is eternal -- something so valuable that you would sell all your belonging to have it.


Luk 12:34
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.


If you were rich, (the very thing you desire), would you throw it all away and count it as dung to obtain Christ?  If you would, then why do you fret over those who have obtained earthly riches? Could it be that the reality is that you are inclined to cling to riches even if it meant losing an eternal inheritance? First seek the things above and all these will be added unto you in eternity.


Mat 19:21-23
21  Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
22  But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
23  Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.



So, there is no point bemoaning the rich -- for if you were rich you should be willing to give it all away. Neither is their more honor in being poor for that is vanity too. You are to be content with the mercy God has shown you and not with a jealous eye toward another man's belongings.


Deu 5:21
Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour's.


Quote
  Why does the righteous always have to suffer while the wicked prosper.



Is it such a large thing to suffer for a time, why is that such a burden?  Paul suffered and rejoiced. Peter and the apostles were thrown in prison and beaten, what was their response?  Did they say, "I wish the wicked suffered too" or "it's not fair".  No!  They rejoiced to be counted worthy to suffer under the banner of Christ. Do you praise God that you are worthy to suffer? 


Act 5:40-42
40  And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
41  And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
42  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.



Be sure that if you do suffer you are suffering for well-doing and not for evil (1Pe 3:16-17). If you are poor because you are lazy or untrustworthy then you suffer for your evil doing. If you are poor because you sit idle while wagging your tongue and finger at the rich -- you have reason to be ashamed. If you are content in being poor (or rich) and have a good conscience toward Christ, then rejoice in the mercy of God.


Does not God clothe the flower and feed the sparrow, are not the hairs of His elect numbered -- does He not know how to care for His own sheep? Why then do we murmur against God. Can we not pray and ask our Father and He is just to give us all that He wills. Perhaps you need a second job or perhaps you need to work harder but learn to be content in whatever God wills for you.


Mat 6:24-34
24  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
25  Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28  And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29  And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.



Set your eyes on seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness and you will not have time or reason to despair over your earthly circumstances or the riches of others. Whether rich or poor it is all a passing shadow, dew on the grass that is gone, but the riches of Christ are everlasting and far more desirous than gold.


Pro 3:13-18
13  Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
14  For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
15  She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
16  Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
17  Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
18  She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.



Enter the Sanctuary of God and consider the wisdom of God.


Pro 8:10-11
10  Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
11  For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.



john
Si hoc signum legere potes, operis boni in rebus Latinus alacribus et fructuosis potiri potes!

dsouzaanthony

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Re: Why Do the Wicked Prosper?
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2005, 01:40:25 AM »
Ps. 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Mitchelle,

The above scripture has nothing to do with material prosperity but spiritual prosperity. People who are born of God become fruitful unto God. Rivers of water talks about eternal life which flows from God to His people.  The spiritual life flows continuously from God to His elect as they meditate on God's Word, so that they will be fruitful.

John 15:1-8
5:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
KJV

It is true that God in His sovereignty chooses to bless some believers with material prosperity and some with no such blessing.  We can't answer why God does it, for He knows best.  Nevertheless, we should not be too concerned why God has given some people worldly riches and others with nothing.  We, as Christians, should be content with whatever God has given us.

Phil 4:11-13
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
KJV

1 Tim 6:5-8
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
KJV

Heb 13:5
5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
KJV

God may have blessed certain believers like Abraham, David, Solomon etc. with material possession in order to show us the spiritual riches of God's Kingdom.  But it doesn't mean that we should desire these things. Abraham, David, Solomon certainly did not pray for earthly riches, but God have them to accomplish His purpose. Utmost important for us Christians is to seek to do the will of God.

God Bless,

DSOUZAANTHONY

Kenneth White

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Re: Why Do the Wicked Prosper?
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2005, 06:30:58 AM »
God may have blessed certain believers like Abraham, David, Solomon etc. with material possession in order to show us the spiritual riches of God's Kingdom.  But it doesn't mean that we should desire these things. Abraham, David, Solomon certainly did not pray for earthly riches, but God have them to accomplish His purpose. Utmost important for us Christians is to seek to do the will of God.


This I think really hits the nail on the head Anthony. I believe that you are correct that God allowed these men riches not as our example of what we should seek after, or that we should hoard wealth, but to illustrate spiritual riches.

Proverbs 20:15
"There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel."


The same principle of why God had the children of Israel build Temples with gold, precious cloths, and jewels. It was not so believers would use it as an blueprint to build great cathedrals or lavish and opulent churches, but as an illustration of the spiritual preciousness of his Church. Good Point!

Proverbs 1:5-6 "A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings."

Mitchell

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Re: Why Do the Wicked Prosper?
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2005, 09:55:19 AM »
Thanks to Carol, Tony, Raybob, Sue, Judy and Kenneth for your patience. You have to remember, I'm trying to work this out in my mind and make some sense of it. Anthony, thanks for your help also, but my name is Mitchell, not Mitchelle. There's a big difference :)

John, your response seems laced with assumptions and overly judgmental about me personally, who you know nothing about. I don't know how you can know my motives and character simply because I ask honest questions. But I have no intention of getting into a hostile engagement, so maybe it's best you and I just don't post to each other.

To the rest of you, I am taking what you've said to heart, and I have some more reading, evaluation and thinking to do. I perceive that perhaps you are right and I am looking at this from the wrong perspective. I'm sure God has his reasons, but like you said, you don't even know the reason for God using the Tsunami to destrroy all those people. So I don't think asking questions about why is a bad thing or a sign I have bad motives or character. So if you have any other constructive comments to help my understanding and that might help, I'd appreciate hearing it.


dsouzaanthony

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Re: Why Do the Wicked Prosper?
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2005, 11:25:59 PM »
Mitchell,

Sorry for mispelling your name. I understand.

God Bless,

DSOUZAANTHONY

Glenda

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Re: Why Do the Wicked Prosper?
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2005, 09:39:46 PM »
Psalms 73

1 A Psalm of Asaph. Truly God is good to the upright, to those who are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had well nigh slipped. 3 For I was envious of the arrogant, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For they have no pangs; their bodies are sound and sleek. 5 They are not in trouble as other men are; they are not stricken like other men. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment. 7 Their eyes swell out with fatness, their hearts overflow with follies. 8 They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression. 9 They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth. 10 Therefore the people turn and praise them; and find no fault in them. 11 And they say, "How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?" 12 Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. 13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. 14 For all the day long I have been stricken, and chastened every morning. 15 If I had said, "I will speak thus," I would have been untrue to the generation of thy children. 16 But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, 17 until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end. 18 Truly thou dost set them in slippery places; thou dost make them fall to ruin. 19 How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! 20 They are like a dream when one awakes, on awaking you despise their phantoms. 21 When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, 22 I was stupid and ignorant, I was like a beast toward thee. 23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee; thou dost hold my right hand. 24 Thou dost guide me with thy counsel, and afterward thou wilt receive me to glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is nothing upon earth that I desire besides thee. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever. 27 For lo, those who are far from thee shall perish; thou dost put an end to those who are false to thee. 28 But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all thy works.
Selah,
Glenda
And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? Daniel 4:35

 


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