Shir Ha-Ma'alot #28

"I never saw a righteous person abandoned, with his offspring begging for bread"

But there are many poor and downtrodden righteous people?! There are those who say that because of this we should recite this verse in a whisper in order not to embarrass a poor guest (see Siddur Avodat Yisrael, 562).
There are those who explain the meaning of "I have not seen" as "I have never seen indifference," rather I immediately exerted myself to give him food, with the understanding: "How can I bear to witness the destruction of my Nation" (Esther 8:6). But this is not the literal meaning. The literal meaning comes out from the entirety of Tehillim 37 in which our verse appears. The Psalm brings up the difficult question of a righteous person who suffers. The solution is long range. It is possible that the righteous person is hungry, but in the end his offspring will not beg for bread. The mills of Divine justice grind slowly.
Even the Book of Kohelet discusses at length the problem of the human lot which, at times, seems unfair. "Because the sentence for wrongdoing is not executed quickly - that is why men are encouraged to do evil" (Kohelet 8:11). When they see that there is no punishment for a sin, the wicked add sin upon transgression. Why does Hashem act in this manner? "Because a sinner does what is wrong a hundred times," the sinner returns to his evil ways over and over, "and He is patient with him," Hashem is patient and waits for the evil to repent. But why then is the righteous one guilty, and why does he suffer? "Yet nevertheless I am aware that it will be well with those who fear God," but this is also a good system for the righteous, "those that show fear before Him" (ibid. verse 12), in order that they serve Hashem for the sake of serving Him alone. If every evil person was immediately punished and every righteous person was immediately rewarded, it would ostensibly appear as though every person was righteous, but in truth we would only be like animals which act in a certain way to receive a treat. Since the Master of the Universe mixes up the cards of reward and punishment, one who serves Hashem does so out of an awe of heaven.