A wealthy publisher of pornographic material looked happy and serene when interviewed on televisions. I wasn’t surprised. The psalmist often observed the peace and prosperity of the wicked. Likewise, Jesus spoke of a rich fool who enjoyed his wealth and felt secure as he planned for the future (Luke 12:16-21).
Yes, the prosperous wicked can find pleasure and a degree of peace in this life. But they are not to be envied! The writer of Psalm 49 pointed out that no one, not even the most wealthy person, can buy himself or anyone else out of death (vv. 7-9). Rich and poor go equally empty to the grave. At death, the physical part of all of us decays.
This is a depressing thought for the person who has lived for only the physical pleasures of life. But we as believers can contemplate death without fear because we can say with the psalmist, “God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, for He shall receive me” (v. 15). We can say with Job, “And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God” (Job 19:26). We can affirm with the apostle Paul, “Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
The Christian has a peace that remains through death and on into eternity. The trouble with the peace of the wicked is simply this: It doesn’t last. – Herbert Vander Lugt
Oh, the peace I find in Jesus,
Peace no power on earth can shake,
Peace that makes the Lord so precious,
Peace that none from me can take. – Beck
No God, no peace; know God, know peace.
- September 20, 1987, Our Daily Bread