The Wicked and Their Clothes


I wish I had 10 dollars for every time I referred to the childhood story of “The Emperor and His Clothes.” As the saying goes—I’d be a wealthy man.

It really is uncanny how much of life is smoke and mirrors. It’s even more mind boggling how elementary the tricks of the evil one are and how repeatedly we fall for them.

The same old tricks

Over and over and over again.

  • The world tells you that fame and popularity will bring happiness but in and of itself, it never does. At least not over the long haul.
  • History clearly teaches that power grabbing megalomaniacs perish alone and miserable but we never have a shortage of them.
  • How many Rockefellers, Trumps, Gates, and Soros do we have to observe before we realize that money is a fickle god?
  • And, what about the king, Solomon? He maxed out in all the above and yet, true contentment and satisfaction eluded him.

But you still want to give it a whirl don’t you?

You won’t take it lightly, right?

You won’t get full of yourself…correct?

You’ll beat the worldly system for sure. Am I getting warm?

Only problem is…you’d be the first.

So it seems the odds are stacked against mankind, but that won’t keep 99.9 % of us from giving the good life a hearty try.

So the cycle continues. It started with the first man and woman, and continues to this day. There’s just something so dawgone appealing about setting ourselves up as the lord of our own lives that keeps most of us coming back for more.

Today I read about it yet again—’The wicked and their clothes.’


 1Surely God is good to Israel,
       to those who are pure in heart.

 2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
       I had nearly lost my foothold.

 3 For I envied the arrogant
       when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

 4 They have no struggles;
       their bodies are healthy and strong. a]’>[a]

 5 They are free from the burdens common to man;
       they are not plagued by human ills.

 6 Therefore pride is their necklace;
       they clothe themselves with violence.

 7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity b]’>[b] ;
       the evil conceits of their minds know no limits.

 8 They scoff, and speak with malice;
       in their arrogance they threaten oppression.

 9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven,
       and their tongues take possession of the earth.

 10 Therefore their people turn to them
       and drink up waters in abundance. c]’>[c]

 11 They say, “How can God know?
       Does the Most High have knowledge?”

 12 This is what the wicked are like—
       always carefree, they increase in wealth.

 13 Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure;
       in vain have I washed my hands in innocence.

 14 All day long I have been plagued;
       I have been punished every morning.

 15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
       I would have betrayed your children.

 16 When I tried to understand all this,
       it was oppressive to me

 17 till I entered the sanctuary of God;
       then I understood their final destiny.

The Psalmist here is envying the life of your average JERK! It appears to the lowly singer that the evil cheaters in life actually live better. He knows better, but once again he’s fooled into a pity party in regards to his own life and an envy party whenever he dwells on the fortunes of his evil enemies.

And once again he was wrong.

It’s all smoke and mirrors. The wicked do not last.

Learn to cut through the fluff, Christ Follower. The only Emperor clothed in true, radiant glory is Jesus Christ.

No smoke.

No mirrors.

Just Jesus.