The Puzzle of Prosperity
He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. Isaiah 25:8
Suppose you’re waiting to board a flight to Hawaii, and the pilot walks in, saying, “You are going to have the flight of your life. Smooth sailing all the way! I guarantee we won’t hit one pocket of turbulence. You will have quadraphonic earphones, an Epicurean experience with a seven-course meal, and your choice of first-run movies. There’s only one problem: We haven’t figured out how to land. We’ve tried it a thousand times, and everybody dies — but while you’re in the air, I promise your flight will be smooth and your experience fulfilling.”
At this point, a second pilot enters the boarding area, saying, “I can’t promise smooth sailing. In fact, from here to Hawaii, you’ll no doubt hit some bumps and you might even have the ‘urge to re-gurge.’ However, we have a perfect landing record, and we will get you to your destination safely, guaranteed.”
Which plane would you board?
To some, the question itself poses a problem, for, like the writer of this Psalm, they feel envious of the foolish when they see the prosperity of the wicked (Psalm 73:3). What’s the answer? It is found in the sanctuary of God — for it is there that Asaph understood that although the wicked were experiencing smooth sailing presently, they were, sadly, headed for hell eternally.
Father, what a day that will be when we meet face to face. I can just picture both of us running to embrace.