“Do you not know this of old, Since man was placed on earth, that the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment? Though his haughtiness mounts up to the heavens, and his head reaches to the clouds, yet he will perish forever like his own refuse; Those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’” ~Job 20: 4-7
It is good for us to reflect on serious and sobering passages like this. This is a statement made by Job’s “comforter” Zophar. While we remember that the presuppositions of the comforters were largely wrong, many of their individual statements were dead accurate. Such is the above passage.
Since sin, rebellion, and wickedness entered into God’s creation by the act of man, death as the curse and consequence has reigned. Because of this consequence, evil never has immortality. The cry of the world is, “ How can such a God exist who allows evil?” The Biblical answer is that He does not allow such evil to prosper. The God who sees declares that everyone’s sins shall find them out and His justice is the only justice that is complete and is guaranteed. Everything that is done on the earth is noted by Almighty God. The wicked have only a short time to prosper until the hard factual reality of death eventually takes them. The above passage tells of the shortness of life and the Scripture in James alludes to it being like a vapor of hot breath in the cold that is there for a moment and vanishes. Verse seven says that a wicked life is the same as human waste and decomposes with the same value. Death and eternal judgment are sure for those who would live as an enemy of God and His holy righteous law. There is no scientific escape.
The Christian is not subject to this death or judgment, for while those living under the covenant of works are judged by their works and have no hope, those under the covenant of Grace are made alive in Christ. The Christian looks at the world and understands the plan of God’s salvation. That He does deal with wickedness and that at the last day nothing will be hidden or overlooked. The Christian does not live a life in vain for himself alone nor does he feel the weight of responsibility to correct all of the evils of society. The Christian proclaims the way out of death, judgment, and condemnation. The Christian proclaims Christ crucified and that there is no other name given by which we must be saved. We shall not die but live! Not because of any good in us but by free grace through faith in Christ alone. Let us not worry and fret jealously or anxiously over the lives and actions of the wicked. Let us not lose heart over the things we see in the news every day. They will have their reward! Let us rejoice in the salvation given to us and raise up the banner of Christ ever higher. All are invited to trust in Him now while it is called today. Do not wait till tomorrow when you may be nothing but refuse. Make your life about Christ. Believe in Him as Lord and Savior and live in peace and assurance for all eternity.