The fact that some men who perpetrate wickedness are found among the rich and prosperous people of this evil world make some ask as to why God distributes His blessings indiscriminately. But Christians who understand the ways of God know that it is the devil, the god of this world, and NOT God Almighty, that prospers the wicked. God only permits the wicked to live in order to afford them the opportunity to repent; but where they do not, He visits their iniquities upon them suddenly and sentences them to perpetual destruction.
The wicked in the context of this subject are people who are evil in principle and in practice, or those who offend intentionally against what is right or the law of God. Such people, in the language of the Scriptures, "drink iniquity like water". They do not acknowledge God. They are shameless and corrupt. In fact, they are a people who are governed by selfish ambition and are without conscience, being filled with every kind of evil. They steal and commit murder directly or through agents; they also commit adultery and fornication without remorse. To them pride is a virtue; they are arrogant and boastful. And they oppress the poor and take away from the needy their right.
It is a common experience among men that many of such wicked people appear to get on well in life: they amass wealth and live long. Their wives and children grow fat being well nourished and they enjoy good health. But in contrast with the case of the wicked, we have seen that many of those who are upright in heart, who love to serve God and who keep peace in the land find life hard; they and their families are often plagued with ill-health and plunged into trouble from time to time. And some of them who are faring well and who are kind, charitable and of immense services to humanity, are often snatched away by death in the flower of their age.
It was such experience as this that caused the well-known novelists and essayist, Daniel Defoe (1661-1731), to write: "The good die early, and the bad die late."
There are instances in which thieves being pursued ran through places where there were thorns and broken bottles and escaped unhurt while those chasing them were injured at such places to the extent that they were hospitalized and even some, consequently, died! Why such things in which innocent ones suffer should happen in this world is a puzzle to many people.
It was King Solomon who said: "All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness." - Ecclesiastes 7:15.
It is a fool that will think that simply because he lives longer than another man he is more righteous or better. They worth of a man's life is judged not by how long he lived but by how well to the glory of God and for the benefit of mankind. In his "The Bee", Thomas Osbert Mordaunt (1730-1809) stated:
"One crowded hour of glorious life
Is worth an age without a name."
Moreover, it is also stated in Proverbs 3:33, thus: "The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but He blesseth the habitation of the just."
Is it not true that certain people also become rich through oppression? They employ the poor to work for them but sometimes refuse to pay the labourers' wages. This is a grievous sin before God, and when such poor ones who are oppressed cry to Him, He will certainly plead their cause and take vengeance on the wicked. Concerning such rich men, James the apostle stated: "Next a word to you who have great possessions. Weep and wail over the miserable fate descending on you. Your riches have rotted; your fine clothes are moth-eaten; your silver and gold have rusted away; and their very rust will be evidence against you and consume your flesh like fire. You have piled up wealth in an age that is near its close. They wages you never paid to the men who mowed your fields are loud against you, and the outcry of the reapers has reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts. You have lived on earth in wanton luxury, fattening yourselves like cattle- and the day for slaughter has come. You have condemned the innocent and murdered him; her offers no resistance." - James. 5: 1-6. New English Bible.
Also, in Jeremiah 22:13, it is written: "Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighour's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work."
The riches of the wicked are not from God but from Satan the devil who is the arch-enemy of God and men. The Bible says that God is angry with the wicked every day and will, in His own due time, make them reap the reward of their doings. - Psalm. 7:9-16; Isaiah. 3:11.
The devil makes the wicked rich and instills in them the feeling of self-sufficiency which induces them to blaspheme and to continue in doing evil. "The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined. For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhoreth. The wicked through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. His ways are always grievous; Thy judgements are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them. He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity. His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity." - Psalm. 10:2-7.