Recently while reading through Psalm 37, I was struck by how frank David is about the evildoers in the world:
1. They do wrong (v. 1).
2. They often succeed in their wicked schemes (v. 7).
3. They plot against the righteous (v. 12).
4. They attack the poor and needy (v. 14).
5. They are often wealthy and powerful (v. 16-17).
6. They borrow and do not repay (v. 21).
7. They seek to kill the righteous (v. 32).
8. They are wicked and ruthless (v. 35).
9. They flourish for a season (v. 35).
It is good that David is no starry-eyed optimist. He sees clearly that there are evil people in the world who seem to flourish despite the wicked things that they do. Perhaps we should say that they flourish because of their evil deeds. Ruthlessness has its rewards, at least in the short term.
The bad news about the bad guys is that Bad Guys Inc. seems to be doing very well at the moment. Business is booming.
This isn’t the whole story, but it’s part of it. We need to know these things so we won’t be shocked by sudden outbreaks of evil. When we see the world as it is, we won’t be surprised that the bad guys often seem to be winning in the great battle between good and evil.
More to come tomorrow.