• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Righteous or Wicked

My daughter, Ivey, and I were having a discussion last night about an article on human trafficking and who all might be involved. She just kept saying, "how could they? We all have to know that is evil." I always tell her that everything we need to know is in the Bible. My first thought was Matthew 19: 24, "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” When you have power and are treated like a god and you have everything, materially, that you need and no worry of money you do not have to lean on God. As I was doing a Bible study about Lot, I shared these words from Liz Curtis Higgs with Ivey. "Life among the Sodomites had clearly lined Lot's pockets - as well as his wife - all the while coating the walls of their hearts, preventing God's truth from piercing and convicting."


Psalm 1, "Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction."


Psalm 1 shows us there are two ways - the way of the righteous and the way of the wicked. The righteous man is a blessed man. He does not keep company with the wicked. He does not let the wicked influence him but instead let's the Word of God influence Him. He stays in the Word of God day and night and meditates on it. He "delights" in the law of the Lord! He is pleased to have God's Word!


We are also told that we "are like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers." What a wonderful promise! It does not say we will get that fruit today or when we ask for it but we will get it! In God's timing! Remember, just like fruit we have seasons in our lives and we will get the fruit "in season". The "leaf does not wither" reminds us that we do not die. When we fill our minds with God's Word the more those words will affect our thoughts. Our thoughts affect our actions. When we live, according to God's Word, we are blessed! We are that man in Psalm 1 who stays connected to life and prospers!


"Not so the wicked!" The wicked does not get those promises we get. "They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction." The wicked do not have time for God or His Word. They do not even think about it - they do what they want.


The chaff being blown away is an analogy of us without God in our life. The chaff is a dry, scaly, husk of the grain. You cannot eat it and it is not good for anything. It is worthless. After the harvest, the husks have to be removed by winnowing - the way to separate the chaff from the grain. During Biblical times, the grain is repeatedly tossed into the air with the chaff. The wind would blow the chaff away because it is light compared to the heavy grain. The grain was not easily blown by the wind and would land in the receptacle to be used. Whatever chaff left was burned. It perishes.


So the righteous life is firmly planted by water. It is fruitful and productive. It flourishes. It never dies. The wicked life is the opposite. It has no substance, it is hollow and has no roots. There is no connection making it fruitful. The wind can blow it away or it will be taken away to be burned. It will perish.


Those people who have no room for God in their life, no matter how important, powerful, or wealthy to the world, their life is worthless. Apart from a right relationship with God, we have no worth. We must stay rooted and grounded in God''s Word, We must delight in it and meditate on it day and night so that we do not take on characteristics of unbelievers. "We do not become righteous by doing righteous deed but, having been made righteous, we do righteous deeds." Martin Luth



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