By THE REV. LOU TISCIONE
Many have asked the question, “Why do the wicked prosper?”
Prosperity is seen as proof of doing what is good. Those who are seen as prosperous are idolized and followed. Moral integrity does not seem to matter. Evil behavior does not seem to be included in the discernment process.
One thing for certain is that following and idolizing the prosperous simply because of their prosperity is not new. The psalmist wrote, “For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” Psalm 73:3
Asaph acknowledged his sin of envy. He saw the wicked prospering. The prosperity of the wicked has always been a stumbling block for those who desire justice, believing that moral integrity is important.
Asaph defined the wicked as those who lived apart from God. The wicked surround us. We look at the prosperity of the arrogant and proud and see injustice. We live in a culture where some leaders believe that the rule of law is for others. Yet these people continue to prosper and draw followers.
In the same Psalm, 73: 10a, the psalmist stated the effect that these wicked people had on others. “Therefore his people turn back to them…” People will follow the wicked in the hope that they may be included in their prosperity because their critical thinking is replaced with the desire for prosperity above all else.
God did not answer the psalmist. He didn’t answer “why the wicked prosper?” God simply inspired the psalmist to state the fact. Evil men (used in a generic sense to describe men and women) prosper, and people follow them.
The Bible declares why people follow evil rather than good. Genesis 6:5 records God’s view of mankind. God said that, “every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”