Today's devotion from Job 21.
So far Job's friends seem to believe that the wicked will be destroyed by God. They are right, of course, however, Job wants to remind them of a well-known fact: the wicked sometimes prosper. He asked them to look around, to talk to those traveling here and there. Ask them what they know of the wicked. What they will find, Job surmises, is that there are wicked people who have no time for God and every possible luxury and comfort.
Where is God in that equation?
It must have been difficult for Job as he thought about those who scoffed at God, but held their grandchildren and watched their children grow and prosper. Thinking of all he lost must have been overwhelming for him have lost so much so recently. Yet, his argument stood. How could these friends defend their position that Job was punished for wickedness while so many truly and obviously wicked people seemed to prosper?
This is a topic worthy of our consideration, especially in a time in which the "prosperity gospel" seems to be very popular. This teaching holds that if you do everything just the way God wants, then He will give you wealth and health beyond imagination. Many of the key proponents must struggle with whether to buy this model personal jet or if they should splurge for the marble in the bathroom. Meanwhile, their followers often scrape out meager lives in hopes that God will soon bless their "seed of faith."
The truth of the matter is that God is not against wealth, but wealth does not equate to godliness. Neither does poverty and suffering equal judgment and wrath. We simply live in a fallen world. As such, we can rest assured that at times some things will seem "unfair" to us. The godly will sometimes have many worldly blessings, like Abram. At other times, they will live by scraping together a means of sustenance, like Paul's tent making.
What is assured is this: everyone will be carried to the grave. Every person will have to give an account before God. This will be the real test of godliness.