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Why Do the Wicked Prosper?

Jeremiah 12:1

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You are always righteous, LORD,
when I bring a case before you.
Yet I would speak with you about your justice:
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why do all the faithless live at ease?

Jeremiah 12:1 NIV

Why do the wicked seem to prosper? Why doesn’t God do something about all the evil in our world today? This is the question that Jeremiah raised in this chapter. And he is not alone. Most people probably ask this same question.

God’s answer to Jeremiah has two parts. He first asked Jeremiah, “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?” (Jer. 12:5). This response illustrates the fundamental difference between God and us. If I struggle to understand why people act the way they do (getting tired from racing with men), how can I hope to know why God works the way he does (racing against a horse)? It is foolish for me to sit in judgment on what I perceive to be God’s indifference to the evil in the world.

God goes on to promise Jeremiah that he will deal with the wicked and ungodly. There will be consequences for their actions. But his justice will be tempered with mercy. He gives every opportunity for people to turn to him from their ungodly ways. His patience in delaying justice as well as the execution of his justice is with an eye toward redemption (Jer. 12:15-16).

In the end, I cannot understand why God works the way he does. Nor do I need to. But I can, and should, trust that he knows and does what is best, including dealing with evil in this world.

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

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