Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power? (Job 21:7)
Job’s friends argued with him that the suffering he was dealing with was as a result of his sin. If he simply removed the sin, his life would suddenly be all roses. Job wasn’t too pleased with their perspective because he understood a deeper truth: good behavior doesn’t always lead to the outcomes we expect in life.
In Job’s case, he was so concerned with living rightly before the Lord that he went so far as to offer sacrifices in case his children sinned and didn’t realize it. Job’s life was upright, and as readers with an omniscient perspective, we can see that. Job argued with his friends, encouraging them to take a look at how the wicked enjoy prosperity and old age. Do they deserve such blessing? Not at all. And yet, God allows them to be blessed anyway.
We can’t be so quick to assume that our good behavior will somehow earn us an easy life.
In fact, the whole point of the Gospel message is that we can’t be good enough to earn God’s grace. If we could, then Jesus wouldn’t have had to come to die. I don’t know why God allows bad things to happen to seemingly good people and good things to happen to seemingly bad people. What I do know is that He is sovereign, and He is working on making me into the person He wants me to be. He knows what is best for me and He knows what is best for others, so I will simply trust Him.
God, there are moments when it seems like I deserve something different in life than what you have given me. But the truth is, I don’t really deserve anything good – all good things I have are an undeserved gift from you. Please help me to trust that the challenging circumstances you allow me to face are for the sake of making me into the person you want me to be.