The Benefits of Righteous Living

Wendy Pope

Day: 20 | Plan: Suffering and Sovereignty

Today’s Reading: Job 20

Job 20:4-5 (NIV) “Surely you know how it has been from of old, ever since mankind was placed on the earth, that the mirth of the wicked is brief, the joy of the godless lasts but a moment.”

Have you ever had a friend or close acquaintance talk excessively in an effort to convince you that she was right and you were wrong? The words continue to flow and frustrate, but neither of you waver. This is where we find Job and his companions. Job 20 is Zophar’s last attempt to drive his point home to Job.

Zophar’s theory: One who is evil may experience success in life as a result of his evil, but it will be short lived. Zophar seeks to educate Job on the lifestyle and consequences of the wicked. Let's take some time to educate ourselves on the benefits and experience of leading a righteous life.

  • The prosperity of the wicked will end (Job 20:4-9), but the righteous will enjoy God’s abundant life on earth and reap the riches of heaven for all eternity. Jesus warns us of the evil one in John 10:10, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;” and exhorts the life God wants us to savor, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” The righteous know God, and have received everything needed for a life of godliness. (2 Peter 1:3)
  • The wicked perish (Job 20:6-9), but the righteous will live forever. There is no fear in life nor fear of death for the righteous. Jesus came to earth to live a perfect life, die a perfect death and ascend to heaven to prepare a place for those who believe and accept Him as Savior. (John 14:3) Those who choose to do evil will not inherit anything from heaven. (1 Corinthians 6:9)
  • The wicked relish in their own success (Job 20:10-21), but the righteous recognize blessings are from God. Those who walk closely with God recognize every good and perfect gift comes from above (James 1:17) and nothing gained on earth has been achieved by human efforts. The righteous can be confident that God will supply every need. Self-sufficiency is a myth made up by the wicked.
  • The wicked suffer. (Job 20:22-26) The righteous also suffer, but not as those who have no hope. The righteous have the hope of complete restoration and healing. (1 Peter 5:10) Jesus promises through His peace we will overcome suffering because He has overcome the world. (John 16:33)

The ways of the wicked deliver temporary pleasures. When we live by God’s ways we diffuse joy throughout our lifetime, even through the inevitable suffering this world affords. The righteous reap the benefits of a life lived by faith. (Romans 1:17) Let’s be reapers!

Prayer: Lord, I confess there are times when I’m a bit envious of the success the wicked enjoy. Help me to live my life through the lens of eternity. Open my eyes to these truths each day so that I may fully understand and experience Your goodness even on the difficult days. Thank You for the benefits I don’t deserve but You graciously give. In Jesus' name, amen.

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