A Story of Two Men Part 2 of 2
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
One thing you can take to the bank is that God will bless his children. God enjoys blessing your life, but you must be “blessable.” That means having good judgment, and avoiding the steps that lead to sin. Blessing involves several things. It may come in the form of delight. The Word of God guides your walk and rejoices your heart. He speaks to His children through His Word.
And the Bible says we are to meditate on the Word day and night. Meditation is to your inner person what digestion is to your body: you make the Word a part of your life and then you grow. My friends, God has no plan or program by which you are to grow and develop as a believer apart from His Word. You will grow by meditating on the Word of God—that is, by going over it again and again in your thinking until it becomes a part of your life. This is the practice of the happy man. Blessing also involves dependence. Your spiritual roots go deep into the resources of God’s grace, and you bear fruit because His life is at work in you.
At the end of verse 3, we are told, “Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Back in the Old Testament, God promised material blessings to His own. Those blessings are not promised to the believer today. If you have them you can thank Him for more than He promised. The important thing is to have Christ. That’s number one. All material blessings are zero. If you don’t have One before your zeros, you have only a goose egg. But if you put that One, who is Christ, before your material blessings, then you are blessed indeed. Remember, He has not promised material blessings in this age.
Let me tell you a true story that shows how God blesses godly people. The world lost a true servant when Mother Teresa died in 1997. Her acts of service are beyond number, but one particular incident reflects the heart from which she served. She was working among the slums of Calcutta dressing the wounds of a leper. An American tourist observed her work and asked if he could take a picture. She granted permission and the tourist took his shot. Through the camera’s lens, he could see this world-renowned nun tenderly replacing a bloody bandage that covered a gaping hole where the leper’s nose used to exist. The photographer could also smell the stench of his wound as he moved in for a closer shot. After capturing several pictures, the American tourist said, “Sister, I wouldn’t do what you’re doing for $10 million!” Mother Teresa replied, “Neither would I, my friend. Neither would I!” God never blessed her with money, but He did give her joy, even in the midst of suffering and disease. I heard that one time she told a man that the reason she could help hurting lepers was that when she looked at them, she saw Jesus, not the results of disease. We have met the righteous man, so now meet the--
2. The Unrighteous Man
This is the man described in verses 4-6. The “unrighteous” or “ungodly” person is he who has conscientiously and deliberately made his choice to reject God.
Verse 4 says, “The ungodly…are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.” Chaff, is the weightless husks of grain; it is useless. It is easily carried on the breeze in whatever direction the wind may be blowing, and the harvester decides to get rid of it permanently. Because of his total lack of moral responsibility, the unrighteous person will not be able to “stand” in the judgment. The troubled evildoer who rejects God’s will experiences calamity and ultimate ruin. Because of their instability, the wicked lack purpose and significance, and they cannot stand firm in times of testing. The godly are not that way. The contrast here is striking. The character of the ungodly man is like the chaff.
I want to tell you a true store that shows just how terrible the
acts of the ungodly can be. On November 12, 1996, two young college students birthed their child in a Delaware motel room then tossed it in a dumpster. For this action, Amy Gross and Brian Peterson were charged with murder. Those reporters who covered the story littered their articles with such words as “tragedy, monsters, heinous.” There is no question this was a terrible tragedy, but why was this such a big surprise? Since 1973, our country has sanctioned and endorsed the right to kill babies. “Well-educated” and “wealthy people” do it all of the time.
Abortion, I believe is the great sin of our nation. They didn’t abort their baby, but they did kill it by throwing it in the dumpster and letting it die from cold and hunger. But there was an option; they could have given it up for adoption. Then instead of attorneys talking about the death penalty, they could have earned our applause for “making the right choice.”
Verse 5 says, “Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.” That is, there will be no appeal for him, no defense on which he can stand. This would suggest that his choice of evil over good was conscious and premeditated. Furthermore, there will be no place for him “in the congregation of the righteous. Before the Day of Judgment, like the “tares” Jesus describes in His parable of the wheat and tares, this man may have congregated with God’s people. He may have “looked” like them and he also may have “spoken their language.” But in the judgment, the tares reveal their true nature; God makes the distinction between the righteous and the unrighteous and passes judgment.
According to verse 6, “The Lord knoweth.” For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. Perish simply means “lost.” It’s a word that hurts me when I hear it referred to people. The wicked are going to perish. Proverbs 10:28 tells us: “The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.” We are warned: “Enter ye in at the straight gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because straight is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14). The wide, broad way is like a funnel in that you enter in at the big end and, as you continue, it becomes narrower and narrower and finally ends in death. But you enter the narrow way by Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life. As you continue the way becomes broader and broader; and this way leads to life. In John 10:10 Christ says, “…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
What a glorious picture we have here of the blessed and happy man. But it’s a horrible fate awaiting ungodly people. The Bible says it’s a terrible thing to fall into the hands of a holy God. Only God can see into the innermost recesses of the heart and therefore is the only one qualified to pass judgment. Because of this, “the way of the ungodly shall perish.” How tragic that anyone is perishing when Jesus offers abundant life!
The godly receive blessings, but the ungodly receive judgment. The passage spoke of two men, two ways, and two destinies. One leads to life and blessedness; and the other, without God and His Word, is a dead-end street, leading only to death. No one can seriously read this psalm and not examine his own destiny. If we’re going to go to God’s heaven, we have to go in God’s way. Jesus Christ said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Jn 14:6). The psalm starts with “blessed” and ends with “perish.” The choice is yours.