Are you envious of the wealth of the wicked? Do you consider obedience to God to be in vain when you see the ungodly prospering? Many believing Christians find themselves querying the justness of God when they compare the results of their work with God with the riches of the ungodly. This is not right before God, for it shows lack of knowledge of God and trust in God. This article gives the consequences of ungodly riches which no child of God will desire.
When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me- until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end – Psalms 73:16-17 (NKJV)
Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, but he who gathers by labor will increase – Proverbs 13:11 (NKJV)
The fear of the Lord prolongs days, the years of the wicked will be shortened – Proverbs 10:27 (NKJV).
Many times Christians have been harsh against God through their words: they say it is useless to serve God and they call the proud blessed (Malachi 3:13-15). However, you are foolish, ignorant and like a beast before God when you do so (Psalm 73:22). Asaph found himself in such a situation, he queried the justness and faithfulness of God. Thank God he went into God’s sanctuary and got the answers (Psalm 73:1-17)! I encourage you to go to God’s sanctuary in prayers when you don’t understand a thing instead of saying and doing the wrong things before God.
In Psalms 37 and Psalms 73, King David and Asaph wrote of the tragedy of the wicked who seem to be prospering. O child of God, read and gain understanding. Be rest assured that the book of remembrance shall be written before God for those who fear Him, and you shall again discern between those who serve God and those who don’t serve Him (Malachi 3:16-18).
Now, what are considered as ungodly riches?
These are riches or wealth gotten out of wicked actions: through cheating, lying, bribery and corruption, killing, oppression and every ungodly act.
What are the consequences of ungodly riches?
The scriptures clearly state these consequences and they include:
1. Calamity (Micah 2:1-5, Proverbs 15:6, Proverbs 10:16)
God devises disaster for the wicked from which they cannot come out. Their income yields sin and trouble for them. They are destroyed and their walls come crumbling down all around them, leaving them hopeless and helpless. The sad thing is that the family of the wicked shares in this calamity.
2. Their years are shortened (Proverbs 10:27, Psalm 55:23)
They cannot boast of long life for their days are shortened. They will not live up to half of their days. They will amass this wealth only to leave it in the midst of their days. They will not live to enjoy the ill-gotten riches, unlike the righteous who will live to enjoy the fruit of their labour.
3. Their wealth will go to the righteous (Proverbs 13:22, Job 27:16-17)
These wicked people gather so much of this wealth with the mind of leaving it for their children’s children. However, the scriptures make it clear that unlike a good man who leaves an inheritance for his generations after him, the wealth of the wicked goes to the righteous. The just will wear the clothing they pile up and the innocent will divide the silver.
4. Flying scroll curse (Zechariah 5:1-4)
This is the curse that enters the house of a thief, liar or anyone who swears falsely by God’s name. It remains in that house until it has consumed everything, including the timber and the stones. Many people are suffering all manner of things not knowing that they are consequences of the ungodly riches acquired by them or their ancestors. Until the curse is broken, it will keep running until nothing is left of that household.
5. Diminished wealth (Proverbs 13:11, Proverbs 21:6)
Wealth gotten by dishonesty will diminish, like a fleeting vapor it will disappear leaving him with nothing. This is the story of many who are rich today and tomorrow they are poor. God allows the devourer to come in, in form of challenges and attacks, to cart away all they have gathered. It will be like a hole in their bags such that as they are gathering the wealth it is disappearing, and when they look in they see nothing left.
6. Sickness and disease (James 5: 1-3)
The ill-gotten riches corrode and eat up the flesh of the wicked like fire, resulting in all manner of sicknesses and diseases. God certainly will judge the rich oppressors. They will be looking at the wealth and they won’t be able to enjoy it: they won’t be able to eat the delicate meals, wear the expensive clothes or drive their luxurious cars.
7. Descendants shall be cut off (Psalm 37:28)
The descendants of the wicked are cut off. You will look for them and you will not find them, nobody to carry on their names or show that they ever lived. And if there be any surviving child, he or she will change his or her name so as to dissociate from the wicked person. Ungodly riches affect not only the gatherer but also his household.
8. No profit (Proverbs 10:2)
The treasures of wickedness profit nothing. When you weigh the riches with the calamities, or subtract the calamities from the riches, it profits nothing. In the true sense of it, it is worthless gaining wealth through ungodly means. If the wicked would sit and look beyond their nose they would receive wisdom and desist from their evil ways.
9. Shame (Jeremiah 17:11, Isaiah 47:1-5)
At the beginning it will seem as if all is well with the wicked and his riches, but the end will leave him as a fool, full of shame. Nobody will remember his glorious days except to mock him. He will sit like Babylon in darkness and his shame will be seen by all. He will become a story to be told of what happens to those who get wealthy through ungodly means.
10. Eternal damnation in hell (Luke 16:19-31)
The worst of all and final judgment of God upon the wicked and his ill-gotten riches is damnation in hell. The story of the rich man and Lazarus tells us exactly what will happen to any rich man who does not walk right before God while on earth. His life after death will forever be a life of torment in hell.
Now that you know the tragedy that will befall those who gather riches through ungodly means, do you still have any reason to envy them or consider God as an unjust God? I charge you this day to walk in obedience to God and enjoy His blessings, while exempting yourself from the calamities of disobedience.