By Jack Glover
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord [e]knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
Psalms 1 describes two classes of people. One is blessed; the other will perish. Those who will be blessed are so because their delight is in the law of the Lord. Those who will perish are ungodly and will not stand in the judgment.
Paul said when Jesus returns it will be in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God (ungodly) and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Thess. 1:8). Other scriptures make like statements.
The world is filled with ungodly people who perform ungodly acts. It has been that way from the beginning. Enoch prophesied, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” (Jude 1:14-15).
Each person has the choice to be godly or ungodly, but he cannot be some of each. We live in a nation that boasts hundreds of different forms of religion. All claim to be godly. In light of the scriptures, is that even close to being a possibility? It is unreasonable to think all can be godly when each one teaches a different gospel. Their doctrines are fraught with teachings of man that came from various sources.
Jesus told the Pharisees, “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men'” (Matt. 15:7-9). And to those who listened to the sermon on the mount, he said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter” (Matt. 7:21).
Saying and doing are two different things. God requires obedience, not lip service. As the psalm says, the godly “delight in the law of the Lord,” not doctrines of men.
The lack of respect for God and His word has led our nation (and many others) toward ruin. We are a people who do not delight in His word. Although we say we are godly, many of our actions say differently. We think we can toss God out and still call on Him in times of difficulty, trouble or disaster. Oh, how we deceive ourselves!
Remember, the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. Peter said, “For the time is come for judgment to begin at the house of God: and if it begin first at us, what shall be the end of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous is scarcely saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?” (I Pet. 4:17-18)
The reward is to the godly.