Why do good things happen to bad people?
It’s an age-old question, and one that haunts many of us―whether or not we like to admit it.
Lately, our national headlines boast of politicians and celebrities who make it rich, defy justice, or become famous―at the expense of those ‘underneath’ them.
Why does God let it happen?
Is there fairness anywhere?
It’s the same question Asaph asked―and answered. In Psalm 73, the choir leader/psalmist wrestles with the idea that God allows “wicked people” (unbelievers) to prosper. “Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches” (v.12).
What point is there, he asks, in doing good? “All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence” (v.13).
But then, Asaph goes to the sanctuary and experiences an ‘ah-ha’ moment. He realizes that even though God allows the godly and the ungodly to both prosper and suffer, His presence is reserved for His children. Even in Heaven, our greatest treasure will be God Himself. But we get to enjoy Him now.
Asaph says to God, “I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory” (vv.23-24).
All the riches of heaven and earth can’t compare with the gift of being able to say to God, “I am continually with You.” God holds our hand in this life. He gives us wisdom to walk through it. And He secures for us our home in Heaven.
Good things may happen to bad people, but the most wonderful possession in the universe is ours every day of our lives. No one is richer than the one who can say, “But as for me, God’s presence is my good” (v.28, HCSB).
Hallelujah! His children get the gift of his presence, and there’s full joy, there.
Amen, Abigail! His tender presence is so clear to me in the midst of a current trial, and I’m so, so grateful for the joy He brings.