WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MARCH 01, 2023
TOPIC: THE JOY OF THE WICKED WILL NOT LAST
BY T. O. BANSO
“The wicked triumph only briefly; the joy of the godless is momentary” (Job 20:5 International Standard Version).
It is never good to support what is wrong just because you benefit from it. Neither is it right to support evil because another person is the victim, not you. As it is often said, whatever goes around comes around. Always work for the good of all, not for your selfish benefit.
If you are a beneficiary of evil, maybe you even orchestrated or implemented it and you were successful, you may be rejoicing but know that your joy will not last. Your triumph is temporary.
Not all of what Job’s friends said was correct. Some were correct but were for the wrong person. They were words not appropriate for Job. But Zophar the Naamathite said something true in Job 20:5: “The wicked triumph only briefly; the joy of the godless is momentary” (Job 20:5 International Standard Version). This is a scripture that those who are rejoicing because they appear successful in perpetrating evil, should pay attention to.
People who perpetrate evil or help others to do so successfully always rejoice. But their joy won’t last because God is the God of justice. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne (Psalm 89:14a). “The happiness of evil people is brief, and the joy of the wicked lasts only a moment” (New Century Version). You may think that you are powerful and well-connected and there is nothing anyone can do but you’re not God. The joy of the wicked is only brief and the joy of the godless is momentary.
David said in Psalm 37:35-36, “I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a native green tree. Yet he passed away, and behold, he was no more; Indeed I sought him, but he could not be found” (New King James Version). Did you see that? The prosperity of the wicked is temporary. The joy or triumph of the wicked is brief. They will reap what they have sown when they think they have gotten away with their evil. They shall be brought down from the height they have risen to through wickedness.
The Easy-to-Read Version puts Psalm 37:35-36 thus: “I once saw a wicked man who was powerful. He was like a strong, healthy tree. But then he was gone. I looked for him, but I could not find him.” God is more powerful than the most powerful man. He is the all-powerful One. Jeremiah 42:11, “Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear [as if he were deity]; do not be afraid of him,’ says the Lord, ‘for [he is a mere man, but I am the living, omniscient God and] I am with you [always] to protect you and to deliver you from his hand” (Amplified Bible). Those who do or orchestrate evil are mere men.
The joy of the wicked will not last; it will be short-lived. In 2 Samuel 15, Absalom revolted against his father, David, and took the throne. David fled from Jerusalem. The conspiracy was strong. The number of people with Absalom increased continually. Even Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counsellor, joined the rebellion. He even advised Absalom to have sexual relations with his father’s concubines so that all Israelites would hear how he had humiliated his father, and be encouraged to give him more support. He did just that (2 Samuel 16:21-22).
It appeared as if Absalom was successful. But later, his rebellion was put down. The joy of Absalom was short-lived. In the battle between David’s servants and Israel’s army loyal to Absalom, Joab killed him contrary to David’s instruction. He killed Absalom after he was told that his head got caught in the tree and he was left hanging. David returned to Jerusalem and regained the lost throne. The joy of the wicked was temporary. All those who supported Absalom failed!
The joy of the wicked will only last briefly. How long? I don’t know. But, ultimately, they shall be disappointed or disgraced. The Bible also tells us the story of Absalom’s younger brother, Adonijah, who was overly ambitious like him, just as he was handsome like him! (2 Samuel 14:25; 1 Kings 1:5). While his father was still alive, he exalted himself, saying that he would be king. He had all the resources he needed. He prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him (1 Kings 1:5).
Without telling his father, he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest, and they followed and helped him to achieve his ambition, but not with David’s approval (1 King 1:7). However, others like Zadok the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and the mighty men who belonged to David were not with Adonijah (verse 8). Adonijah sacrificed sheep and oxen and fattened cattle and invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah, the king’s servants (verse 9).
The feast was almost finished when Adonijah and his guests heard the sound of the trumpet and the noise in the city. Solomon had been anointed as king at David’s command to checkmate Adonijah who was not his choice. Solomon had taken his seat on the royal throne. Although people had said to Adonijah, “Long live King Adonijah!” his joy was short-lived. After hearing what had happened, Adonijah’s guests rose in alarm and dispersed. The usurper (Adonijah), who taught he was already the king, had to run. He took hold of the horns of the altar and refused to leave; he pleaded with Solomon to swear to him first that he would not kill him.
God will do justice. “When justice is done, good citizens are glad and crooks are terrified” (Proverbs 21:15 Contemporary English Version). The joy of the wicked will not last. When will it end or how soon? I don’t know. Only God knows when and how. But talking about God, the Bible says, “He does everything just right and on time, but people can never completely understand what he is” (Ecclesiastes 3:11b New Century Version). God may appear slow but, ultimately, good will prevail over evil. Evil can only prevail as long as God permits it. However, in the end, “The wicked will not rule the land of the godly for then the godly might be tempted to do wrong” (Psalm 125:2 New Living Translation).
The joy of the wicked will not last.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, bring the wicked to justice. Let it not be long; let the joy of the wicked end; let it not last. Let them reap what they have sown and let Your people rejoice.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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