The Psalmist declares that life is a study in contrasts. Good vs. evil. Dark vs. light. Cruelty vs. kindness. Righteousness vs. wickedness.
Last week, we looked at the qualities of a righteous person (vs. 1-3) This week, we are warned that the path of the wicked is very different from the path of the righteous – with stark contrasts in results. The righteous are blessed. The Lord watches over their way… guiding them, helping them, providing for them (out of the abundance of His eternal resources!).
“Not so the wicked!” They “will not stand in the judgment.” They have no inner substance – they are like “chaff, easily blown away by the wind.” They have no standing “in the assembly of the righteous.” They are a picture of frailty, vanity, frivolity, and of unquenchable desires. Ultimately, their way “leads to destruction.” Their path in life is described as a life of self-indulgence and self-destruction (as the pleasures of this life become the poison that slowly destroys them from within).
What is really important is that we understand what wickedness really is.
We tend to think that wickedness is synonymous with evil. It is the terrible things that people do to one another. Terrible actions. Terrible words. Things that only “bad” people ever do.
But the Bible has a different definition. Wickedness is not evil words or deeds. Wickedness is self-serving words and deeds. More accurately, wickedness ignores God (and His ways) and seeks our own ways, and our own satisfaction, instead. At the heart of wickedness is a heart consumed with what we want as opposed to what God wants for us.
By this definition, a lot of people who call themselves “good,” are blind to their true state. They set their own agenda. They establish their own path. They do their own thing, think their own thoughts, accept their own version of the truth – all the while unaware of the deep darkness that surrounds them and consumes them.
Often contrary to popular belief, God does not destroy the wicked. They do that all on their own. Without the blessing of the God Who blesses, the wicked seal their own fate – often without knowing the true nature of the path they are treading.
The Psalmist teaches us the importance of placing God in the center of our lives. Not just in our “religious” moments, but in every area, at every moment, of our lives. The righteous are those who make it a constant point to seek the ways, the thoughts, and the Heart of God in every area of life.
In return, they find that the God Who blesses is actively seeking to pour out His blessing in every aspect of their lives.