Therefore those who have the promise and faith are cold and hungry, despised and undistinguished, just as a certain man said that he took no great pains to cultivate or to understand the doctrine of religion but that it was perfectly plain to him that the most wretched of men are those who serve God and Caesar. But the ungodly boast about their scepter and rule, and they have reason to do so, for God fills their belly with good things, He gives them the kingdoms and riches of the world according to Ps. 17:14: “May their children have more than enough; may they leave something over to their babes.” He also gives bodily blessings to the saints, but slowly and in the midst of many tribulations so that their faith may be exercised and that they may learn to know the gifts of God and to use them in a godly manner.
Let us therefore remain in that assembly which has the Word, even though it is despised and abject. The ungodly, proud, and greedy grow and are increased excellently in this world. They keep on growing so that everyone thinks they will continue to have success. The godly even begin to murmur and to feel displeasure, saying in the words of Ps. 73:13: “All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.” But the Psalm replies, “Truly Thou didst set them in slippery places” (v. 18). In the end confusion follows. These matters therefore belong to our doctrine that we may not be offended by the scandals that are customary and always present in the world. Then, too, those of the Edomites and Ishmaelites who realized that this honor and these blessings were given by God out of respect for the blood of the patriarchs and who were grateful at the same time, for them an approach to grace and eternal salvation was opened. But the greater part were ungodly and proud and therefore perished.
Luther’s works, vol. 6: Lectures on Genesis: Chapters 31-37 p 305-306