"Do you not know this of old, since man was placed on earth, that the triumphing of the wicked is
short, and the joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment?"
John Bunyan was a Puritan preacher and author of the classic Pilgrim's Progress. A local magistrate
threatened to put Bunyan in prison unless he promised that he would not preach, but he refused to
For the next 12 years (1660-1672), he was intermittently in and out of jail. Defiantly he declared that
he would remain in prison until the moss grew on his eyelids rather than fail to do what God had
commanded him to do. To John Bunyan, the pleasures that come with freedom were not worth the
price of disobedience.
Job's friend Zophar the Naamathite understood this as well. He was wrong in assuming Job had some
hidden sin in his life that he would not confess. Zophar was right, however, in pointing out that the
pleasures enjoyed by the wicked and the hypocrites are only momentary.
As substantial as they might seem, perhaps continuing for many years, compared with the rewards of
the righteous that will last for eternity, such pleasures are short-lived. Stripped of sin's glamour, it's
obvious that the ungodly are making a pretty poor deal.
We should always make choices with God's timetable in mind. While the pleasures available to those
willing to compromise their stand for the Lord are varied and enticing, they can endure at best for
only a lifetime.
On the other hand, the psalmist reminds us, "At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Ps.
16:11). How shortsighted it would be to choose a few years of comfort and ease over the never-ending
pleasures that God has stored up for those who are faithful to Him.
If you are facing a choice today, ask yourself if your decision will result in temporary pleasures or
eternal rewards. That answer will make it clear which way you should go. If you live for what is
eternal, the temporary will have little appeal.
TODAY IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR ETERNITY.