9 ¶ All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: there is a time wherein one man ruleth over another to his own hurt. 10 And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity. 11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. 12 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: 13 But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.
Solomon has observed what many Bible writers made note of and what we see every day. Wicked rulers, who have ruled over men and women to their hurt, would enter the temple and the palace and die and their evil was forgotten by the masses. Wicked men are emboldened because judgment often doesn’t come swiftly against them for every evil deed. Sinners of all ranks of life believe that because there are sometimes no consequences to their bad behavior that present themselves immediately that they can continue in their behavior. Solomon expresses here the faith, though, that should a wicked person live a lot longer than we think he should it will still go better with those who fear God and that, in the end, the wicked person will not generally see a long life because he cares nothing for God.
We have seen it both ways, as Solomon had. We have seen wicked people live long, full lives before they come to the grave and we have seen wicked people struck down in the prime of their life. This confirms Solomon’s previous statement that one fate comes to all men. His point is that those who fear and honor God will have a better time of it. Again, remember that Solomon is speaking temporally and from an earthly existence, not talking about future rewards or punishments after biological life ceases.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
We, as humans, look for a cause and effect. We have interwoven our heart’s desires and our concept of justice in with our faith because we are not immersed in the Bible and fail to realize that God has laid out the truth of existence before us.
Good things happen to both the bad and the good. In the following Jesus does not give us a pass to treat unbelievers differently than our brothers and sisters in Christ. In fact, as God is perfect in how He rains down His providence on all people, so are we to be in our attitudes and behaviors.
Matthew 5:43 ¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
And we have the ultimate example of how terrible things can happen to the good man, as Judas, Jesus’ betrayer, lamented when he came to his senses briefly.
Matthew 27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
You want cosmic justice now but God denies you for many reasons, not the least I think, because it would lift up your head and make you proud and haughty. Otherwise, why would people like Falwell and Robertson release to the press their explanation of why things like a hurricane or 911 happened, insisting it was God’s judgment on this or that national sin, when they really had no idea or no direct communication with God to explain the event?
You don’t know why your child seems to have gone off the deep end when you think you have done everything you knew that was right to make them into a Godly, wise young person. You don’t know why you got cancer because you have been faithful to God and to your convictions of what it means to be faithful to God. You don’t understand why dozens of Christians, even children, were allowed by God to be beheaded in a distant land by wicked men.
You will probably have no answers in this life for any specific instance of why this or that bad outcome happened to this or that person. Read Job. God never explained to Job the dialogue He had with Satan in the beginning. He never told Job why Job suffered. He merely confirmed His sovereignty over Job’s life and breath.
Here, Solomon says that evil men seem to be encouraged in their evil by getting away with it. But, that the person who fears God, no matter how it appears on the surface, will have a better time of it. This Bible fact doesn’t make us happy or feel comfortable but it is something we have to face. God is not sitting in the Heaven of heavens to make you feel justified and comfortable in your self-righteous, all-knowing, holier-than-thou attitude. You were created for one reason.
Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Just be grateful that He loves you, came to live as one of us, and died for our sins, rising again from the dead for our justification and eternal life, if we will receive it. Be thankful of that and get off your high horse. Most conservative Christians will never change their religion because they can’t stop believing they or their favorite celebrity preacher are God in their omniscience or knowing all.