A Question We All Ask: Why Do Good Things Happen to Bad People? – Psalm 73:1-18

24 Jan

Have you ever wondered if it pays to be a godly person? It is very easy when we are trying to live right, to look around us and see people openly living in sin who seem to get along better in this world than we do. It isn’t uncommon to see known drug dealers get away with it for long periods of time without ever being caught.

We often see people who cheat on their taxes or cheat in business, but still seem to prosper. We see those who are immoral, cheaters in their marriage, still rise to the top in the political arena or even the business arena. It often seems we make heroes of the ones living in rebellion to what is right.

difficult peopleWhy is that the case? (Ecclesiastes 8:11 NIV)  When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong.


Notice David’s picture of the wicked, which caused him to be envious of them in their prosperity and arrogance. (Psalm 78)

  • No pains in their death and their body is fat. Vs. 4
  • No trouble as other men, nor are they plagued like mankind. Vs. 5
  • They mock and wickedly speak of oppression; they speak from on high. Vs. 8
  • They are always at ease, they have increased in wealth. Vs. 12

 To David it seemed that he had kept his heart pure in vain. Vs. 13. When he pondered all this it was troublesome to him, “Until he came into the sanctuary of God; then he perceived their end. Vs. 16,17

 Surely God has set them in a slippery place. Vs. 18

Imagine what would happen with shoplifting if every time someone shoplifted, they were caught and had their right hand cut off. What would happen to those who manufacture drugs to sell to children or unsuspecting adults if every time they made the drugs to sell, they were caught and put into hard labor for the next 30 years?

 God wants people to change their lives and come to Him. But He doesn’t want folks to give their lives to Him only out of fear of hell.  (Romans 2:5 NIV)  But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.


(Matthew 5:43-48 NIV)  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ {44} But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, {45} that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. {46} If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? {47} And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? {48} Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

a. We are challenged to love our neighbor as ourselves.

b. In application we are challenged to love our enemies, bless those who curse us and pray for those who spitefully use us and persecute us.

c. That you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Vs. 45

d. If we do good only to those who are good, we miss the Lord. Even tax collectors are good to those who are good to them and greet those who greet them.

e. We are to be perfect as the Father is perfect by loving even the sinner, the unlovable. Vs. 48

f. In the doing good even to the wicked God is giving them a witness that it might turn them to Him in time.

(Acts 14:17 NIV)  Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”

 g. All of one blood and God has before determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, so that they should seek the Lord, in hope they might grope after Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.

 (Acts 17:24-28 NIV)  “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. {25} And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. {26} From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. {27} God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. {28} ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’


a. By giving good things to bad people convinces them to trust in their riches.

(Luke 12:13-21 NIV)  Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” {14} Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” {15} Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” {16} And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. {17} He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ {18} “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. {19} And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”‘ {20} “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ {21} “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”

 b. Get to thinking that life consist in the abundance of things we have or possessions. Vs. 15

c. Thought he could satisfy the soul with what he had.

d. Thus Satan claimed his soul and he lived like a fool.

e. Satan brings temporary pleasure in sin and makes us think it will last forever if we just stay with Him.

 (Hebrews 11:24-25 NIV)  By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. {25} He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.

 f. He shouts to the world how much fun is in immorality. Now whole countries are losing population to aids. People even quoted, as saying can’t live without immoral relationships. Satan must be thrilled with such attitudes. World is paying a heavy price.

 g. Need to see where the evil and ungodly life ultimately leads.  (Romans 6:23 NIV)  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


  • Very prosperity, which causes some to envy, can become more a source of pain than pleasure. Hoard it. Make it my god.
  • The fun which evil seems to have often a place to hide from their empty hearts. Must keep laughing, adding to the worldly pleasure, because simple joys of like are being missed.
  • Only God can see the inside of a person. Nothing hidden from His view.

(Hebrews 4:13 NIV)  Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

  • He will ultimately judge by truth, not what we think or feel.


Real joy will last all through life and eternity. Are you living in such a relationship with God that you can face even death without the fear of losing all that is good?

Close with verses from Psalm 37


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Posted by on January 24, 2019 in Church, Encouragement


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