Why Does God Let Bad People Get Away with it?

Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.

But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Psalms 73:1-3, ESV


Have you ever wondered why people get away with bad things? Whether it is unscrupulous politicians, or people with more money than morality, or just plain old perverted individuals, it often seems to us that God is letting them get away with their evil deeds. And it really bothers us!


I suppose that this feeling has been common to mankind for as long as the world has been around. We see people getting away with breaking the rules while we are trying to keep them. We see people who are wicked seemingly untouched by their evil deeds, while at the same time we witness the most innocent of society being harmed by these individuals. We are often tempted, I think, to blame God for this seeming lack of justice, but that would be a mistake. The fact is that wicked people often get away with things for the simple reason that righteous people don't want to get involved.


A perfect example of this occurred in a town not far from where I live. An evening of perversion (for a lack of better description) was held in a public park. Some parents even brought their children to witness this perversion, and some even allowed their children to take part. I won't describe the details of what went on, but I will say that the parents were just as guilty as the participants, but neither appeared to be ashamed of their conduct. And all the while, innocent children were present to witness acts of perversion in the twisted name of tolerance.


And we wonder, at times why God lets them get away with it, just like Asaph, the writer of the 73rd Psalm, wondered some 3,000 years ago.


Perhaps his realization will help us today: You see, when Asaph was surrounded by the wicked, everything was bewildering to him. It was not until he drew near to God - to His very sanctuary - in fact, that this good man realized the truth of the matter. For, we must see, that God does not let the guilty go unpunished forever. He just gives them an opportunity to repent. And if don't? Then the punishment will surely come. 


But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I discerned their end. Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!

Psalms 73:16-19, ESV


A few final thoughts, if you will permit me. First, the wicked often get away with bad conduct, for a period of time anyway, because we let them. Second, there will be a day of reckoning, so the time one has to repent of evil behavior is both limited and uncertain. Third, and most important, is the truth that was revealed at the very beginning of the 73rd Psalm: God is good to those who are pure in heart!


The truth is that the wicked never really "get away" with anything for very long. When it is time God will  repay them for their evil deeds. Until then, wouldn't it be nice if those of us who are rightly concerned about their evil conduct would at the very least would do something about protecting the innocent from their evil deeds? It's something to think about, isn't it?