The Wicked, The Worthless And The Righteous
“A worthless person, a wicked man, walks with a perverse mouth; he winks with his eyes, he shuffles his feet, he points with his fingers; perversity is in his heart, he devises evil continually, He sows discord. Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly; suddenly he shall be broken without remedy.” Proverbs 6:12-15
The nature of man is not evolving into some utopian state of perfection. Quite the contrary, it is in a constant state of change toward decay and death, physically, mentally and morally apart from the presence of the Holy Spirit in his life. It may be a warm fuzzy idea to think that every person at their core is good, but the Scriptures tell us differently.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24
Yes. There is redemption for everyone who will believe it and receive it. But some choose not to believe and not to receive. Now, we are not their judges. Our commission is clear. Preach the Gospel to all. The condition of the soil into which we plant the seed of God’s Word will determine whether that seed bears fruit or not and to what degree. [Mark 4:14-20]
We’ve all heard the often spoken notion that no one is inherently bad or no one is inherently evil, or no one is irredeemable. And that may be true in some measure, to the degree that we are all created in the image and likeness of God. Nevertheless, there are people who are simply wicked and worthless. The scriptures even tell us that there are those who cannot sleep at night until they have perpetrated evil in someone’s life.
“For they do not sleep unless they have done evil; and their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall.” Proverbs 4:16
There are wicked people in the world. There are those who have chosen a path of anger, hate, malice, bitterness and unforgiveness for so long that their hearts are seared over with evil. We are warned to be aware of such people and to avoid fellowship with them at all costs.
“Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14
But how does this square with Jesus’ call to “Go into al the world and preach the Gospel to all men?” Quite simply, and Jesus showed the example. He ate and drank with sinners and was often in the company of outcasts, prostitutes, tax collectors, drunks and all kinds of sinners, but He did not fellowship with their life styles, He did not embrace their sin and become one with them in their destructive behavior. No. He shined the light of the Gospel before them by showing compassion and love for them and by His words He taught them they way to deliverance and salvation from the life of death they were living.
In the pursuit of righteous living, there are certain things we are called to flee, to run quickly to avoid engaging with at any level.
“Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:18-19
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say.” 1 Corinthians 10:13-15
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:10-12
Why do we need to be warned to resist the love of money? Because it is a powerfully seductive means of control that ensnares its victims little by little, imperceptibly, over time until they are bound and suffocating in debt and moral decadence. The lie of the love of money is that it is the solution to all things and the possessor of it is invincible. Is this not the same lie that the devil perpetrated on Eve through subtlety and deception and then Adam chose it over the Word of God? It is the same lie by which the love of money seduces its victims today.
But God wants those who are His to enjoy the fullness of the riches of His glory in the vastness of all creation, both now here on earth and in the world to come. But, our love must be reserved for God alone. Wealth and riches shall be in the house of the man who fears the Lord.
“Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who delights greatly in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches will be in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man deals graciously and lends; He will guide his affairs with discretion.” Psalm 112:1-5
By contrast the wicked are driven by evil passions, pride, arrogance, greed, prurient lusts and all such things. Because of these they are in a constant state of fear.
“The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1
But the righteous…aren’t you glad God has declared us to be His righteousness? But the righteous shall be in perpetual remembrance.
“A good man deals graciously and lends; he will guide his affairs with discretion. Surely he will never be shaken; the righteous will be in everlasting remembrance. He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:5-7
There is a unique kind of joy and favor that the generous heart enjoys. It’s an awareness of God’s presence in our lives at a dimension not known by those whose hands are tightly closed for fear of losing even a penny of their wealth. The wicked and those who lusts for wealth fear loss continually. But the generous soul is aware that his source is a never-ending, inexhaustible supply, because it is from God’s hand not his own.
Hear again the wisdom and blessing of Psalm 1
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” Psalm 1:1-6
And hear the good news of God’s grace.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” 1 John 1:8-2:2
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57