Why Do Good Things Happen to Bad People? – 18

Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms” (Ps. 73:20, ESV). Literally, it means here, “As a dream to awaken.” (Hiphil infinitive)

An elderly man moved into a retirement community. It wasn’t long until he had made a number of friends among the other residents. There was one lady he was especially attracted to and she was attracted to him, also. They spent a lot of time together. Finally one evening he proposed, asking her to marry him.

The next morning he woke up remembering his proposal, but he couldn’t remember her answer. So he went to her & said, “I’m really embarrassed to admit this, but I know I proposed to you last night but I can’t remember if you said ’Yes’ or ’No.’”

“Oh, thank goodness!” she replied. “I remembered saying ’Yes’ to someone but I couldn’t remember who asked me.” (http://www.sermoncentral.com. Accessed July 4, 2009)

Have you dreamed a dream that caused you to awaken? After you awoke from your dream, do you still remember it? Sometimes I remember my dream, but most of the time, I forget it.

That’s exactly what Asaph is talking about here. The wicked come to an end in a moment. Like a dream that you soon forget after you wake up, so are the wicked. They become like nothing, like a dream that disappears into nothingness.

Asaph said, the Lord will “despise” the image of the wicked. “Despise” is from bazah, “to regard with contempt” (BDB); “to think to scorn” (Strong). God hates the wicked (Ps. 1:3-6). He scorns the wicked. We hear a lot today about the love of God for the world. That is true (John 3:16). But we don’t hear much about the wrath of God for the wicked, which is also equally true. God despises and hates the wicked.

God said to Asaph, ‘When you look at the wicked, don’t look at what they have, look at where they are headed.[1] The truth is that if you are righteous in the Lord today, you are on the right side of life! If you are wicked, then you are on the wrong side of life!

Psalm 37:37-38 says, “Mark the blameless and behold the upright, for there is a future for the man of peace. But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed; the future of the wicked shall be cut off.” (ESV)

Did you read that? Mark these words. There is a dark futureunrighteous. But there is a bright future for the righteous.

The wicked will be horrified sooner than later. But your future is a future of peace in God. The wicked will be cut off. But you will live forever.

Look at life with the eyes of faith. Look at life from the perspective of God. The best way to look at life is to see all of life as under the control of a sovereign, holy God. The prosperity of the wicked is under the hand of God. The suffering of the righteous is also under the hand of God. But in the end, God will uphold the righteous, and destroy the wicked.


[1] James Merritt, “When Your Faith Goes on Trial,” http://www.sermonsearch.com. Accessed July 3, 2009.

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