Daily Devotion: Prosperous Evil

Psalm 37:7, Be still before Yahweh and wait patiently for Him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!

As the people of God, we watch the wicked prosper every day. “Why does God allow this,” we wonder. Why wouldn’t they prosper? This world belongs to the Devil. Why wouldn’t his puppets prosper under the influence of his strings? The following lyric from Metallica’s song, “Master of Puppets,” describes this well: “Master of puppets, I’m pulling your strings / Twisting your mind and smashing your dreams / Blinded by me, you can’t see a thing.” The song is actually about drug addiction—the drug the master and the addict the puppet—yet it fits well with how the Devil works as well. After all, drug addiction is merely a tool of the Devil.

Scripture makes evident that Satan is the ruler of this world. Jesus warned His disciples about the coming work of the Devil. “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on Me” (John 14:30). The Devil tempted Jesus to give Him all the kingdoms of the earth, showing the entire earth is under his reign (Luke 4:5-6). To strengthen this point, Paul says, “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Satan is the master of puppets, indeed.

Yet although Satan is the ruler of this world, God reigns over the Devil. The psalmist encourages us not to fret over the evil puppets who prosper and to patiently wait on God. Evil never lasts. Even Hollywood gets this right. In 99% of their films, the good guys always win. The victory is already won, however (1 Corinthians 15:57; Romans 8:37-39). The Devil is busy at work because he knows he is running out of time. “Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short” (Revelation 12:12)!

The Devil doesn’t have much time left, so he is doing all he can to put as much evil as he can into the world. The normalisation of abortion at 9 months is merely small evidence of this. Yet as we wait on God, He will send justice. I find Luther’s words encouraging, “Just as an embryo in the mother’s womb lets God form it, so in this case you have been conceived in God, and He will form you in the correct shape if you will only be still” (Four Psalms of Comfort, LW 14:213-214).

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