The Wicked Don’t Recognize The Grace Of God
7 The path of the righteous is level;
you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous
8 Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws,
we wait for you;
your name and renown
are the desire of our hearts.
9 My soul yearns for you in the night;
in the morning my spirit longs for you.
When your judgments come upon the earth,
the people of the world learn righteousness.
10 But when grace is shown to the wicked,
they do not learn righteousness;
even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil
and do not regard the majesty of the Lord.
11 Lord, your hand is lifted high,
but they do not see it.
Let them see your zeal for your people and be put to shame;
let the fire reserved for your enemies consume them.
It is the Lord God Almighty that smooths the difficulties of life for the disciple. God will make the path of the righteous straight, and set them on course because they have believed in Him and believe what He says. God is sovereign, and He promises to take care of the righteous and their ways, and watch over them as they live their lives for Him.
When a person believes God, the path of righteousness becomes a joy to them. Previously, righteousness would stand in the way of wicked, blocking them from their heart’s desires. Now, righteousness becomes the very desires of their hearts. They cannot help but desire to walk in righteousness before God. He Himself places this desire in our hearts, and we now, with the stink and stain of sin removed, can fully embrace and recognize the beauty of righteousness.
We desire it so much that our souls long for it. After walking with God for a little while, we seek righteousness out as though it was water and we are thirsty in the desert. Only righteousness, and the presence of our Lord, can quench our immense thirst.
The wicked, however, even when presented with the grace of Almighty God, still do not realize its value. They do not learn righteousness from it, because they are still blinded by their sin. Even when the wicked are placed in a community of the righteous, they continue to do what they do, rather than learn the ways of righteousness.
There are people who believe that if you place people who have ethics and morals that are corrupt in amongst people who have good moral fiber and a strong work ethic, that somehow the ethics, morals, and desire to participate in jobs that benefit themselves and society will rub off on them and spur them on to greatness. But the exact opposite almost always happens. The people who are transplanted instead begin the corruption of the community, and the community suffers rather than the individual being rehabilitated by contact and proximity to exemplary behavior.
The only way that it will work is if there is a desire by the transplanted people to embrace the ideals and culture of where they are moved. Otherwise, no change is possible. That is the result of our human condition. We are not able to escape it apart from the finished work of Jesus on the cross. It is only then, being freed from the bondage of sin by the blood of Jesus, that we are able to obey God and love Him.
Not only are they unable to see and seek righteousness, the wicked do not even see the hand of God raised above them, ready to invoke and inflict judgment upon them. They are unaware of the signs because they cannot see them. Sin so fully blinds us that we walk around in a stupor, doing what we know is wrong, yet unaware that consequences are soon to follow.
One of the effective strategies for luring criminals into traps by police is to send them letters indicating that they have won something. Greed is so powerful in their lives, that they willingly show up at the phony storefront to claim their prize, only to find that their prize is a trip to prison. Greed blinded them to their need for obscurity and overwhelmed them with a false sense of security, masking the true nature of their circumstances.
Consumed through Conflagration
And when people absolutely refuse to accept the truth, God send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie. He helps them to harden their hearts, for they refuse to listen to the One calling to them and trying to plow the soil of their hearts for the planting of seeds. Hearts hardened by life will reject the seeds of grace and mercy, and will eventually provide the very opportunity to receive the wrath of God rather than the grace of God. And once we die, it is too late. So if you hear the voice of the Lord calling you to repentance, heed it now while He may be found.
A Qualifying Question
Let’s ask a question: Am I in a position where my heart can hear what God desires to tell me?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, You have poured and continue to pour out your grace and mercy upon me each and every day. Your mercies renew every morning. Great is Your faithfulness. Help me to guard my heart against the difficulties of life so that I will not become embittered by my circumstances. Help my heart to soften, that I may be in a better position to hear what You have to say. Father, I pray that the hearts of the unbelievers would be softened as well, so that they might hear and be able to embrace Your love, grace, and mercy. Help them, Lord God, for as Your word says, they will be consumed by your wrath if they do not repent. This I ask in the precious name of Your Most Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Want more? Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?
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