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Why Do Wicked People Prosper?

If God blesses those who obey Him, why do we see wicked people prosper and good people suffer under poverty and oppression?

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but those whose delight is in the law of the Lord and who meditates on this law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3

The Bible says people who delight in God’s law prosper. So, why does our experience not always match this picture? Its all about perspective. When you look too closely at a painting it can become a confusing mixture of colors that make no sense. In the same way, taking one verse out of context of the whole message of God’s Word can cloud our understanding. So lets take a step back and get a better perspective.

Avoid Eternal Destruction

Even the Psalmist struggled to understand why wicked people prospered: “But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked….. until I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.” (Psalm 73:1-3; 17) The prosperity of the wicked person will not last. Throughout scripture God warns that disobedience to His commands (sin) results in death, destruction and judgement. “…sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” James 1:15b.

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