Why Does God allow Wicked People to Succeed?

“But the Pharisees went out and took counsel against him, how to destroy him.” (Matthew 12:14)

The prophet Micah in our first reading today describes the perfect life-situation of the wicked person. He doesn’t just act on the spur of the moment, he takes time to make out plans and he thinks through these plans carefully before executing them.

The one who goes out to rob, to kill people and dispossesses them of their farmlands, to create political mayhem, to cause disaffection between communities, between people of different religions or even between spouses, to break homes and so on is usually a skilled planner. The wicked are so called because they are fully aware of the evil of their deeds yet, they stop at nothing to follow through with their plans.

In today’s Gospel passage, we are told that the Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus, how to destroy him. In other words, they went out to think out plans and strategies they could employ to bring Jesus down. The success of a righteous person is always a threat to the wicked who never stops making plans and devising new ways to steal, to kill and to destroy.

The question is: “Why do the wicked succeed?” Truly, this is a very troubling question. Our responsorial psalm today asks: “O Lord, why do you stand afar off, and hide in times of distress?”

Nonetheless, the truth is that there is always a time limit for the wicked. They may reign for a while, but they cannot reign forever. The Pharisees may have succeeded in making Jesus withdraw for a while, even their plans would succeed when Jesus was eventually killed, but in the end, who has the last laugh?

You see, we only see the wickedness of others, we never see our own wickedness. We may be suffering the pains of other people’s wickedness but most often, we too are not immune from inflicting pain on others. Just as we are praying to God to fight those who make us cry, there are many people praying hard against us.

And it is not the case that God is powerless to destroy the wicked, it is rather the case that God is giving us ample time to repent. Before you ask God to kill anyone you consider wicked, why not ask: “Have I killed my own wickedness?”

Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, save me from the hands of the wicked and give me the grace that I may never become a source of pain and tears to anyone. Amen.

Bible Study: Micah 2:1-5, Psalm 10:1-14, Matthew 12:14-21).

Fr. Abu

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