Wicked Rewards and Faith in the Rewarder


Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him? What would we gain by praying to him? We explore these questions and find that God rewards those who seek him in faith and believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him…

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Matthew 5:45

1 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:
2 “My troubled thoughts prompt me to answer
because I am greatly disturbed.
3 I hear a rebuke that dishonors me,
and my understanding inspires me to reply.
4 “Surely you know how it has been from of old,
ever since mankind was placed on the earth,
5 that the mirth of the wicked is brief,
the joy of the godless lasts but a moment.
6 Though the pride of the godless person reaches to the heavens
and his head touches the clouds,
7 he will perish forever, like his own dung;
those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’

1 Then Job replied:
2 “Listen carefully to my words;
let this be the consolation you give me.
3 Bear with me while I speak,
and after I have spoken, mock on.

7 Why do the wicked live on,
growing old and increasing in power?

13 They spend their years in prosperity
and go down to the grave in peace.
14 Yet they say to God, ‘Leave us alone!
We have no desire to know your ways.
15 Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him?
What would we gain by praying to him?’
Job 20:1-7, 21:1-3, 7, 13-15

Zophar and Job argue today about the plight of the wicked.  Zophar says the wicked get their due and reap a harvest of their wickedness.  Job replies that the wicked appear to increase in power and profit, disregarding God all along the way.

Which is it?

Meanwhile, the truth of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5 live on: the same sun and rain fall on the wicked and the good.

Somehow we live in an action-reaction, cause-and-effect world, yet also under the sovereignty of the living God.  No wonder some believe that God created the heavens and the earth and then stands back to allow it to unfold as it will.  Oftentimes our experience matches that belief.

God, though, is never far from us and his teaching on the cause-and-effect of righteous and faithful living is that our treasures are stored in heaven.  The promised land which we seek, we may never see on earth.  Read Hebrews 11 and notice how many faithful servants received what was promised in the flesh.  They did not.

The question remains.  Job places it in the mouth of the wicked person, yet I will ask us the same: “Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him? What would we gain by praying to him?”

My answer comes from Hebrews 11:6: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”  We must believe that God rewards those who seek him.  And as we listen to Jesus telling us to stop looking at our neighbour (what is it to you if he lives until I come?) we also should stop envying the apparent rewards of the wicked.

God rewards those who seek him in faith.  I will continue to have faith above and beyond my circumstances to seek God who loves me…

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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