Why do the wicked live, become old, yes, are mighty in power?…
I. AS WITNESSES TO ATTEST.
1. The amount of freedom with which man is endowed. How free is man compared to everything about him.
2. The wonderful forbearance of God.
3. The existence of an extraordinary element in the Divine government of this world. We know that in heaven beings live and are happy because they are holy; we are taught that in hell there is inexpressible misery because there is such awful sin. But here are men living often to a good old age, often possessing all they can wish of earthly comfort, and yet rebels against God, without repentance, without faith, without love, and we wonder why this world is thus an exception. Earth is under a mediatorial government. This great mystery of Christ's suffering for man, and prolonging his probation, can alone explain the other great mystery, that men of debased spirit and godless life are permitted to live here instead of being banished to hell.
II. AS INSTRUMENTS TO DISCIPLINE.
1. In calling out resistance. "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; when he is tried he shall receive a crown of life." The wicked are often as the chisel by which God carves out the good man's character, the fires by which it is purified.
2. By calling out the Christian's benevolence. Our compassion, prayers, self-sacrifice, work, are all called forth by the existence of the wicked.
III. AS BEACONS TO WARN.
1. As to the progress of sin.
2. As to the effects of sin.
IV. AS CRIMINALS TO REFORM. This is the grand end of their prolonged life. The world is a great reformatory.
(Urijah R. Thomas.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power?