Lord, Why Do The Wicked Succeed?

Lord, Where Are You In Difficult Times?

I’m sure we might ponder the same questions in a day where:


  • Babies are butchered in the United States at a rate of 1.5 to 2 million per year. 300 children are aborted every day in Canada. Since 1970, approximately 3.2 million unborn babies have been aborted in this country. According to Statistics Canada there were 11,152 abortions in 1970. Today there are almost 100,000 every year.
  • Homosexuality is strongly pushed into our faces in the media and courts.
  • Violence and injustice are rampant; terrorists slaughter the innocent.


In Psalm 10, David presents probing questions, problems with the wicked, and a positive answer and hope for the predicaments of society.


The oppression of the righteous by the wicked is the main theme of this chapter. The psalmist complains about God’s action towards the wicked and presents his case against the wicked, but by the end of the psalm the psalmist expresses confidence in God’s judgment of the wicked.


Although God may seem to be hidden at times, we can be assured that He is aware of every injustice.


The Standing Of God


O LORD, why do you stand so far away?
Why do you hide when I am in trouble?

Psalm 10:1 (NLT)


psalm-10 - Lord


“O LORD, why do you stand so far away?” It seems to the psalmist that God is standing at a distance from the evil work of the wicked. In times of trouble, this is often the feeling that comes over the righteous. If God does not act immediately to extract us from our troubles and punish evil, we think God is standing off at a distance and is disinterested.


But even though the writer had honest doubts, he did not stop praying or conclude that God no longer cared. He was not complaining but simply asking God to hurry to his aid. It is during those times when we feel most alone or oppressed that we need to keep praying, telling God about our troubles.


The Secrecy Of God

“Why do you hide when I am in trouble?” This repeats the same feeling as the previous point only in a different way. God seems to be hiding from the evil. He seems to ignore it. But the sun is not hidden; it is only a cloud of evil that has passed by and kept man from seeing the sun.


Rejecting God

The psalmist now describes these wicked people, what they do, and why they do it. He gives four statements that express what they believe, because what they believe determines how they behave.

“God Is Dead”

The wicked arrogantly hunt down the poor.
Let them be caught in the evil they plan for others.
For they brag about their evil desires;
they praise the greedy and curse the LORD.
The wicked are too proud to seek God.
They seem to think that God is dead.

Psalm 10:2-4 (NLT)


Believing this lie frees the wicked to do whatever they please, for they become their own god. “You shall be as God” (Gen. 3:5 and 6:5). The wicked cleverly plot against the righteous and hotly pursue them until they get what they want. These evil workers live to please themselves and fulfill their selfish desires, and then brag about their sins! (Phil. 3:18-21). They revile the Lord and “stick their nose up” when anybody challenges them.


“The wicked are too proud to seek God.” What a revelation! Wicked people are proud, and their pride prevents them from seeking the Lord. Pride is not just arrogance; it’s selfishness at its core. We often say we are so busy that we don’t have time to seek the Lord, but the bottom line is, we are so selfish that we don’t take the time to seek the Lord.


This verse is also saying that not having God in all of our thoughts is wicked.


“I Shall Not Be Moved”

Yet they succeed in everything they do.
They do not see your punishment awaiting them.
They sneer at all their enemies.
They think, “Nothing bad will ever happen to us!
We will be free of trouble forever!”
Their mouths are full of cursing, lies, and threats.
Trouble and evil are on the tips of their tongues.

Psalm 10:5-7 (NLT)


Some people succeed in everything they do, and they brag that no one, not even God, can keep them down. We may wonder why God allows these people to amass great wealth while they despise him as they do.


But why are we upset when the wicked prosper?
Are we angry about the damage they are doing or just jealous of their success?


To answer these questions, we must gain the right perspective on wickedness and wealth. The wicked will surely be punished because God hates their evil deeds. Wealth is only temporary. It is not necessarily a sign of God’s approval on a person’s life; nor is lack of it a sign of God’s disapproval. Don’t let wealth become your obsession. (See Prov 30:7-8 for a prayer you can pray about money.)


“God Isn’t Watching Us!”

They lurk in ambush in the villages,
waiting to murder innocent people.
They are always searching for helpless victims.
Like lions crouched in hiding,
they wait to pounce on the helpless.
Like hunters they capture the helpless
and drag them away in nets.
Their helpless victims are crushed;
they fall beneath the strength of the wicked.
The wicked think, “God isn’t watching us!
He has closed his eyes and won’t even see what we do!”

Psalm 10:8-11 (NLT)


Like ferocious lions, wicked people hide and watch for opportunities to pounce on the helpless prey, and like hunters or fishermen, they catch their prey in their nets. They are sure that the law won’t catch up with them or the Lord notice what they do. The lion is often used as a picture of ruthless sinners who attack others (Psalm 17:12; 37:32; 56:6; 59:3; 64:4).


There is an incompatibility between blind arrogance and the presence of God in our hearts. Proud people depend on themselves rather than on God. This causes God’s guiding influences to leave their lives. When God’s presence is welcome, there is no room for pride because he makes us aware of our true selves.


“God Will Never Call Us To Account”

Arise, O LORD!
Punish the wicked, O God!
Do not ignore the helpless!
Why do the wicked get away with despising God?
They think, “God will never call us to account.”

Psalm 10:12-13 (NLT)



Where are you Lord?


The wicked says, “God has forgotten and hides His face. He will never see! He will not require anything.” The wicked drown God out their lives. He believes God doesn’t care how we live. I want to assure you He does care! Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden and the human race was cursed with death; the Flood destroyed the world; the nation of Israel went into captivity because of their sin.


Friedrich NietzscheJohn Phillips shares the story about a man named Friedrich Nietzsche that portrays the attitude of the wicked in these verses. In the late 1800’s, there emerged in the continent of Europe a man who did more than any other single person to pave the way for the coming Anti-Christ.


His name was Friedrich Nietzsche.


He was born in the home of a Protestant pastor. While he was still young, his father died. He grew up in a home dominated by women, which included his mother, grandmother, sister and aunts.


By the time he reached the age of twelve, he had rejected the Biblical beliefs of his parents. Mockingly, he redefined the Trinity as God the Father, the Son, and the Devil. This step was the beginning of many that would lead to a spiraling path downward into the paths of sin and a damaging philosophy that would ruin his own life and the lives of millions in the world.


Nietzsche’s teachings led directly to Nazism and the German concentration camps of WW2. His great cry was for the coming of a superman. His book, The Will to Power, had a powerful influence on men like Adolph Hitler. Nietzsche taught that Christianity was “the one great curse… the one immoral blemish of mankind.” He hammered away at the lie of all lies, “God is dead! God is dead! God is dead!” He called for the abolition of all morality. His most famous work was The Anti-Christ, in which he called upon the world to recognize its true god and to fall at his feet.


God watched this man’s scornfulness. He judged him by having him locked up in a madhouse. He died a lunatic. One astute observer penned this couplet when Friedrich died.


“God is dead”—

“Nietzsche is dead” —


Beloved, God is longsuffering with the wicked to give them time to repent.


The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 

2 Peter 3:9 (NLT)


God’s delay of judgment is interpreted by the wicked that nothing will happen to them.


When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong.


Ecclesiastes 8:11 (NLT)



To Be Continued…




Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary
Bible Exposition Commentary – Be Worshipful 
Mattoon’s Treasures – Treasures from Treasured Psalms, Volume 1



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