Death? Who cares?
For reading & meditation: Job 21:1-9
"Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power?" (v.7)
Before moving on, we pause to remind ourselves once more of the question with which the psalmist struggles in Psalm 73
: Why is it that the wicked seem to prosper while the path of the righteous is beset by so many difficulties? Look now at how the psalmist views the condition of the ungodly: "They suffer no violent pangs in their death, but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they smitten and plagued like other men. Therefore pride is about their neck as a chain; violence covers them as a garment - as a long, luxurious robe" (Psa. 73:4-6, Amplified Bible
). What a graphic description this is of the person who has no time for God, yet goes on from day to day with few troubles. It is probably the most perfect picture in all literature of the so-called successful man of the world. Note that the psalmist begins his description of the ungodly with a reference to the way they die: "They suffer no violent pangs in their death." Throughout time the notion has been universally present that a good life ends in a good death, but the psalmist makes the observation that in his experience the reverse is true. Have you not struggled with these same feelings whenever you have heard of a Christian dying in great agony while a non-Christian passes away peacefully in his sleep? What do you do with those feelings? Ignore them? Deny them? Repress them? Remember, it is only exposed problems that can be resolved. I say again, if you are not willing to face a problem, how can you go about getting it resolved?
O God, save me from denying the difficult problems and feelings I encounter in life. Help me understand that it is easier to deal with things when they are up and out than when they lie buried within. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
1. What is the danger of worldly prosperity?
2. How did Jesus draw the contrast in his parables?