When Evil Prospers: Part 1 – Psalm 73 Devotional

When evil prospers, our faith is tested.

We see those inciting hate and inflaming injustice prosper, while the marginalized, orphans, and widows suffer disproportionately, and it’s hard to see how a good, just, loving God could let it happen.

In Psalm 73:1-15, the psalmist is struggling with this same inner turmoil. 

“For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked…Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.”

Psalm 73:3, 12-13

It stings to know that you can strive every day to keep your “heart clean” and follow God’s commands, but still, others will do wicked things and prosper more than you could ever imagine.

It almost makes you wonder, “What’s the point?” 

However rational this thinking may seem, it makes us just as guilty as the wicked. Being envious of the wicked breaks the commandment to not covet. Because that’s what we’re really doing. We’re coveting the frivolous life of those we’re envying and wishing we could do the same. 

Yet, although at times it may appear that evil prospers, in the end, it doesn’t. The consequences that the wicked will endure may not be obvious, but they still exist, and someday, they will have to face God and account for all their deeds. They will face God’s wrath and spend eternity separated from his presence. 

God sacrificed everything for us when he sent his Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. So it’s fair that we should have to forgo some of life’s temporal “pleasures” in order to experience eternal joy. 

“Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.” –Psalm 73:1

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