Article: Why do the Wicked Prosper?

Psalms 73:1-3

This Psalm was written by Asaph who was in charge of David’s music program as it regards musical worship to God. Music is the second greatest force for God in the world, second only to the preaching of God’s Word, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. In the Bible, music is never for entertainment but for worship.  It is to prepare ones heart to enter into the Presence of God.

The Book of Psalms contains five Books corresponding to the five Books of the Pentateuch.  They are as follows:

BOOK ONE:  Psalms 1-41 – GENESIS
BOOK TWO:  Psalms 42-72 – EXODUS
BOOK FOUR:  Psalms 90-106 – NUMBERS
BOOK FIVE:  Psalms 107-150 – DEUTERONOMY

Therefore, Psalms 73 is the first Psalm of the third Book, which corresponds to Leviticus.

The subject of the first Book (Ps. 1-41) is the Blessed Man (Christ).
The subject of the second Book (Ps. 42-72) is Israel (His people).
The subject of the third Book (ps. 73-89) is the Sanctuary (His place).
The subject of the fourth Book (Ps. 90-106) is the wanderings of the wilderness of which Numbers is about.
The subject of the fifth Book (Ps. 107-150) is the promise of prosperity if God’s people would be obedient to the Word of God.


Verse 3 says, “For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”

Asaph is perplexed with the problem that the ungodly prosper and the children of God suffer at times.  This same question plagued Job along with untold numbers of Christians.

            The wicked prosper for a number of reasons, such as:

●          If they are smart enough to acquire great wealth, the Lord allows such to be because they are not a part of His program and plan.

●          The wicked are in a system that is controlled by Satan, with Satan sometimes helping some wicked to prosper for his own evil means.

●          As it regards the wicked, this life is all they have for their eternity is to be cast into the Lake of Fire.

Actually, the truth is while there are a few wicked who prosper, still in the totality of the world, the far greater majority don’t prosper at all.


Asaph’s true problem was the problem we must all face and that is “self.” Preoccupation with self always leads to self absorption and spiritual distraction.  Self will has always been mankind’s Achilles heel.  Even the Christian must recognize that self will continually rear its ugly head.  Most problems in a church are caused by self will.  Self will always lead one downward.  If one is not careful, self will become in one’s heart like a raging fire in the woods that destroys everything in its path.

Jeremiah in Chapter 17, Verse 9, wrote:  “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked:  who can know it?”

As stated, Asaph is being ruled by self, preoccupied with “self.”  Notice in Verses 13-16 the number of times he uses the personal pronoun “I.”  In doing so he is forgetting what Salvation really is.  Salvation is not the abundance of things that one can possess, but peace with God.


Verse 17 says:  “Until I went into the Sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.”  The Sanctuary is where God dwelt.  Now, He no longer sees the alleged prosperity of the wicked, but the Glory of God.

The Sanctuary presents the Spirit of the Lord and when one enters into God’s Presence, one sees the Lord and not himself.  Then and only then does self become swelled up in Christ.  There is an old song that says:  “Let me lose myself and find it Lord in Thee.”  That’s the only answer for self.

True prosperity is having your sins forgiven and being in right relationship with the Lord.  John said in John Chapter 3 Verse 30:  “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Don’t let self will dominate and destroy your life.  The Cross is the answer to self will and the only answer. 

4 Comments to “Article: Why do the Wicked Prosper?”

  1. Linda Willoughby says:

    Thank you for answering my troubling mind on this.

  2. Yinka Olatunji says:

    God bless Linda for asking this question, because I’ve been asking the same question in my mind as well but I guy on youtube, Jesusdaughter001 exposed the spirit of darkness that is lurking in the world and it has not been an eye opening for me.

    God bless.

  3. Emmanuel Martins says:

    Paz do Senhor Jesus!
    Querido Pr. Donnie, faz uns dias que descobri o quão grande era o ministério do pastor Jimmy, e hoje tenho sido muito edificado. Sou um jovem de 21 anos e não alcancei os programas dele aqui no Brasil, país onde resido. Sou pentecostal, e sinto falta de pregações como as do pastor Jimmy pois aqui a maioria dos grandes expositores da palavra estão se embaraçando com a teologia da prosperidade! Se possivel me responda esse comentário!
    Um grande abraço!

    Peace of the Lord Jesus!
    Dear Pastor Donnie, a few days ago I discovered how great was the ministry of Pastor Jimmy, and today I have been very much edified. I am a 21 year old programs and not achieved it here in Brazil, where I reside. I am Pentecostal, and I miss preaching as pastor of Jimmy because here most of the major exhibitors of the word are embarrassing to the theology of prosperity! If possible answer me this comment!
    A big hug!

  4. Faye Melancon says:

    Donnie, This is one of Your best messages, I am doing a Ladies Bible study this week on this very subject and boy did You nail it , self absorbtion is at an all time worst in todays churches. Thanks for Preaching the truth.

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