ODJ: when bad guys win

July 30, 2014 

READ: Psalm 37:1-40 

Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes (v.7).

How do you feel when you play by the rules, but the cheaters win? Not pleasant, huh? But things like that happen in life—sometimes bad guys win and the good guys suffer.
David knew all about this reality. On two occasions he did the right thing by sparing Saul’s life, only to see Saul return to his comfortable palace while he had only a cold cave to call home.

Can you relate? Perhaps you have a colleague who never gets any work done, but is adept at putting on a good show in front of the boss. That individual may have even received a promotion over you—the faithful one. So what do we do when bad guys win and the good guys suffer?

In Psalm 37 David tells us three times to fret not (Psalm 37:1,7-8 ESV). The Hebrew word for fret means “to burn”. In other words, “Don’t work yourself into a slow burn when you see evil men getting away with their schemes.” Instead, trust God and continue to do good (v.3). Trust that God will act in His time and way (vv.5,7). God loves justice and He will right all wrongs one day (v.28).

“Have you ever noticed in the book of Revelation how God lets wicked Babylon go on in sensuality and wealth until the last hour?” a Bible commentator writes. “Then in one day, in one hour, her judgement falls (Revelation 18:8,10,17,19). Right up to the eleventh hour it looks like wickedness triumphs. Don’t be fooled! In that final hour, God will act on behalf of His saints (vv.20,24).”

And today, God continuously “rescues”, “helps” and “saves” (Psalm 37:39-40). Note the present tense used in these verses. It points to the truth that God is with us in our trials—even when the bad guys win. —Poh Fang Chia

365-day plan› John 8:21-59

Read Psalm 36 and see how it fits with the message of Psalm 37. 
What good should you continue to do in your present trials? (Psalm 37:3,27). Why does God allow bad guys to win sometimes?