Why Do Good Things Happen to Bad People? 5 Answers

The key to answering this question is looking at the events the way God sees them and not from our own perspective. This is what Asaph in Psalm 73 does and this is what men like Job and Habakkuk learned. When you see things the way God sees them, your whole origin of thought changes. The paradigm shifts.

So how do we get there? How we do get to the place of Asaph or Job or Habakkuk who save evil people and evil things and didn’t abandon the faith? How do we react when we see good things happen to bad people?

  1. God does not always have to bless us. We think that our happiness depends upon specific conditions and events. We think this way because we think too highly of ourselves; we think we deserve to be blessed. In most cases, we deserve discipline from God. We must remind ourselves God doesn’t always owe us blessing.
  2. God is good all the time. This was Asaph’s conclusion – “Truly God is good to Israel” (vs. 1). He was as good on September 11, 2001 and He is on January 18, 2017. D.A. Carson writes, “Everything depends on where you start. If you begin by envying the prosperity of the wicked, the human mind can ‘interpret’ the data so as to rule God out, to charge him with unfairness, to make piety and purity look silly. But if you begin with genuine delight in God, both in this world and in the world to come, you can put up with ‘flesh and heart failing,’ and be absolutely confident that, far from being the victim of injustice, you are in the best possible position: near to the good (vs. 1) and sovereign (vs. 28) God.”[1]
  3. Remember those “bad people” will be judged. They will get theirs. Their successes and enriching lives and prosperous investment and athletic victories are short-lived. Asaph says, “Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors” (vs. 18-19). Judgment for “bad people” is certain.
  4. Acknowledge that we can’t know everything. Asaph says, “Thus my heart was grieved (turned sour), and I was vexed in my mind. I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You” (vs. 21-22). To be mystified or perplexed is not sinful. God’s ways and thoughts are not our ways and thoughts. We cannot presume to know God’s heart and mind. If you knew everything about God, He wouldn’t be God.
  5. Thank God that He is sovereign over all the good and bad things people do. If God is not sovereign, He is not God. Praise Him that He knows why good things happen to bad people and works them for His glory … somehow. This reminds us as well of the folly of growing bitter towards God for these things.

Image result for psalm 73

[1] How Long, O Lord?, pg. 143.


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