why do the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper
Why do the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer? This is one of the most common questions asked today, especially when we talk about God being loving and just. This was the question the psalmist was asking thousands of years ago, so let s take a look at his writing to see if we can identify with him. He believes that God is good. Never does he question that truth. He could look around and see the marvelous creation and know that his is only one of God s gift to humanity. Though he has all the necessities of life he is offended when he sees the prosperity of the wicked. The Living Bible states the psalmist s problem when it describes the wicked with words like this: All through life their road is smooth! They grow sleek and fat. They aren t always in trouble and plagued with problems like everyone else, so their pride sparkles like a jeweled necklace, and their clothing is woven of cruelty! Those fat cats have everything their hearts could wish for! They scoff at God and threaten his people. And so the people are confused, and drink it all in. Does God know what is going on? they ask. Look at these men of arrogance; they never have to lift a finger theirs is a life of ease and all the time their riches multiply vs. 4 12. Then the Psalm brings out his bitterness. Have I been wasting my time? Why take the trouble to be pure? All I get out of it is trouble and woe every day and all day long! It is hard to explain this prosperity of those who hate the Lord. This is the statement of a man who was measuring his wealth by the material gifts of life. Thank God that these words found their way into the Bible because it is so descriptive of what people in most cases believe. I remember having dinner one evening in the lovely home of a man with whom I had gone to college.
He had gone on to medical school and I went to the seminary. His first year in practice, 1948, he earned $24,000, and I earned $2,400. As we drove home that night, Satan was having a great time with me. How unjust, unfair. He made ten times more than I did, and this was only the beginning. What will his net worth be as compared to mine when we are fifty years of age? I know what the psalmist was going through in his torture. Do you? Jealousy is a terrible sin. You know what it is to pray when God has convicted you of this sin. Listen to this:
When my hears is grieved and my sprit embittered, I am senseless and ignorant. I am a brute beast before you. Then the psalmist shows how God dealt with him. He says: I went into God s sanctuary to meditate. We need a sanctuary where we can be alone with God there to bring our frustration and confess our sins. He reminds us that no one living is righteous before God. Paul writes, There is no one righteous, not even one (Romans 3;10). Who are we to sit in judgment over another person be he wealthy or poor. God will sit in judgment over all of us. Leave it al in his hands. We have enough to deal with our own sins and need not look to others. Think of the blessings God has bestowed upon us. He promises Old Testament walk with us through life. He gives us his Son, Christ Jesus. He died on the cross as a payment for our sins, and God has brought us into a personal relationship with him because of Christ s sacrifice at Calvary. His grace is always sufficient for us. There awaits us a heavenly home. As the psalmist shared his sinful thoughts with the Almighty God, he ends the psalm by saying, It is good to be here, God. I have made the Sovereign Lord, my refuge. The message of the psalm rings clearly.
Those without Christ are to be pitied. Their beautiful-handsome, pain-free bodies will last for only a few years. Their places of prestige will be gone, for when we cross into eternity, all of us stand as equals before God. The one important question will be, What have we done with Jesus Christ? Without him we are lost. With him, we have the blessings of our heavenly home, God s greatest gift to us. Many questions are answered when we look at life through the eyes of our Lord. There we find answers to the basic questions of life. What the human mind cannot understand, faith can comprehend. Christians in the twenty-first century need to lean this great truth Jesus Christ is our greatest treasure. , 5738 Brooklyn, N. Y. Mr. ______ Birmingham, Mich. 48010 I am in receipt of your letter in which you write about happenings in the family and ask why such untoward happenings did occur, though you find nothing in your conduct and activities that would justify them. I surely do not have to point out to you that the question of Бwhy do the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper? Б is a very old one, and was already asked by from the GБd and handed it over to each and every Jew as an everlasting inheritance for all times. As you probably also know, the whole (Job) is devoted to this problem and it has been dealt with ever since. The point of the answer given by our Sages, as it has often been explained at length, is by way of the example of a small child who does not understand why his father who is such a wise and kind person sometimes acts in a way which causes a child pain and tears. It would not surprise any person that the child is not in a position to understand the ways of his father although, be it noted, only a number of years separate them in age, and also in intelligence.
At the same time, the child instinctively feels and knows that his father loves him and surely it is everything for his benefit, and not for the benefit of any other child or for his own benefit, since it would be unthinkable that a father who has a one and only son, cause pain to his child for the benefit of a stranger or for his own benefit. If this is so in the case of a child and his father, where the distinction between them is only relative, in terms of age and intelligence, as mentioned above, how much more so in the case of a created being and the Creator, where the distinction is absolute and unbridgeable. Indeed, it would have been most surprising if a human being could understand the way of GБd, except to the extent that GБd Himself, in His kindness, has revealed some aspects of His Divine Providence and in a necessarily very limited way. Moreover, our Torah, Toras Chayim and Toras Emes, assures us that when a Jew strengthens his bitochon and trust in GБd, Whose benevolent Divine Providence extends to each and everyone individually, and Who is the essence of Goodness, and it is the nature of the Good to do good Б this in itself opens new insights into a better understanding of GБdБs ways and at the same time speeds GБdБs blessings in the kind of good that is revealed and evident. And, as mentioned earlier, this fact that Moshe already pondered this question, did not in the least affect his simple faith in GБd and did not in any way affect his observance of the Torah and in his daily life and conduct, and this is also what he bequeathed to each and every Jew in all future generations. It is surely also unnecessary to point out that this question that might arise under certain circumstances in the life of an individual can just as well be asked in connection with the long-suffering history of our people in exile for the past 1900 years and more.
Yet, here too, despite the persecutions, martyrdom and suffering, our people tenaciously clung to the Torah and mitzvos as their only way of life and it has not weakened their belief in and confident hope of the ultimate true and complete geula through our righteous, when it will become apparent that the whole long and dark exile was a blessing in disguise. Much more could be said in this subject, but I hope that the above will suffice to help you regain fully your true Jewish perspective, especially as what has been written above is not intended to answer the question once and for all, but merely to help minimize the doubts and questions which might distract a Jew from his innate simple faith in GБd and in His infinite loving kindness and justice, which is an integral part of every JewБs heritage. , the Festival of our Liberation, I send you and yours prayerful wishes for a and inspiring Pesach and a fuller measure of liberation from all distractions, so as to be able to serve GБd wholeheartedly and with joy. With blessing, P. S. It is customary in a situation where one is bothered by doubts and questions, to have the checked to make sure they are kosher and to be careful in putting them on every weekday morning, since the of tefillin, as put on the arm facing the heart and on the head, the seat of intelligence, is conducive to purifying the heart and the mind and making them more perceptive. It is also customary in such a situation to observe meticulously the laws of of all foods and beverages consumed.
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why do the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper