Psalm 1:4-6, “The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
While the first part of this psalm was no less than a benediction, a list of blessings God would bestow upon the godly and those who found their delight in Him, the second part of this psalm speaks of the ungodly and what will become of them.
First, the psalmist compares the ungodly with chaff which the wind drives away.
The ungodly have no foundation to speak of. Where the godly are like trees planted by rivers of water, whose roots are deep and true, the ungodly are blown about by the wind, driven away by every gust, because they have no foundation, they are not tethered to anything, and as such are easily moved, swayed, and convinced.
The godly have access to the storehouse of God’s blessings, the storehouse of God’s gifts, while the ungodly do not, because they cannot stand in the congregation of the righteous.
We’ve been trying to blend the godly and ungodly and make them into one inert mass for so long, that we’ve decided to do away with what the Bible says about light and darkness not being able to coexist. Because it was better for the bottom line, we’ve decided to ignore what the Word has to say about the ungodly and the godly having two distinct paths that they follow.
In the hopes of attracting more of the ungodly to the house of God, we’ve even twisted scripture to the point of insisting that sinners can stand in the congregation of the righteous, and though God might disapprove of certain practices, no way would He send anyone to destruction or allow anyone to perish.
This first psalm leaves nothing to chance, nor does it leave any room for ambiguity. There are the godly, then there are the ungodly. There are those who do not walk in the counsel of the ungodly then there are those who play games with God, thinking they can wear Him down if they keep at their foolishness long enough.
If the Bible says something is sin, yet you are trying to find the one preacher that says it isn’t, you’re just fooling yourself. You are playing a dangerous game with an omnipotent God because to you, your sin, your habit, your addiction or your perversion is more important than surrendering your heart to God, and obeying Him in spirit and in truth.
If you look long enough, if you look hard enough, you will always find someone who will condone and validate your lifestyle, your sin, or your proclivity. There are preachers out there who don’t care whether you’ve ever repented of your sins or not, who don’t care whether you are presently living in active and open rebellion toward God, who don’t care if you continue in sin, as long as you send in a check, or put a few bucks in the offering plate.
The world loves those kinds of preachers.
‘Just don’t talk to me about repentance, holiness, righteousness, abstaining from sin and striving for godliness, and we can be friends, and I’ll support your ministry, and even tell others about it.’
Preach as Jesus commanded we preach, tell those who would hear that they must repent and that no matter how much they give to a certain cause or a certain ministry they cannot buy their way into heaven, and you’ll be labeled a fundamentalist, a zealot, a fanatic, an extremist, and these are just the names I include in this teaching without getting three dozen e-mails about the use of profanity in my writings.
Men don’t like being challenged about their sin. Men don’t like being told they must repent, and men really don’t like being reminded that God Himself differentiates between the godly and the ungodly, the saved and the unsaved.
If the Bible would say something different, I’d be preaching something different. But since the Bible speaks of repentance, and Jesus, and John, and Peter and Paul and every New Testament author spoke of repentance, or turning away from our sinful past that we might embrace a glorious future in Christ, we are obliged to speak the same truth, and call men to repentance as ardently as they did two thousand years ago.
The godly, the righteous, the saved, the redeemed, are blessed…the ungodly are not so.
There are only two paths. There are only two avenues we can walk upon, and whether it’s the narrow path of faith, or the wide path which leads to destruction is entirely up to us.
God has made it abundantly clear in His word what becomes of the ungodly, of those who choose the wide path of the world, and this first psalm concludes with the stern warning that the way of the ungodly shall perish.
It doesn’t matter how good the way looks, how safe the way looks, how easy the way looks, the word of God tells us that the way of the ungodly perishes as do all who walk upon it.
For some as yet unexplained reason, many in the church look upon those of the world and desire to be more like them rather than more like Jesus. We have been told the end of those whose hearts have not surrendered to Christ is destruction, we have been told that they will perish if they do not repent, yet we look upon them and decide in our hearts that the answer to drawing more people into the house of God, is to become more like the world we’re hoping to pluck them from.
Does that make sense to you? To be honest it makes absolutely no sense to me.
You don’t try to pull someone out of the mud just to offer them a less rancid version of the selfsame mud. You don’t try to pry someone from the grips of spiritual death just to offer them a more comfortable state of sedation wherein they are in a vegetative state, very close to death, but not quite dead enough to bury six feet under.
It is because we’ve diluted the message of the gospel to the point that it has become of no effect that so few are truly turning their hearts to the Lord, and choosing the narrow path of faith. How can one walk the narrow path if they were never told a narrow path exists? How can one choose and differentiate between the path of the godly and the ungodly if those in spiritual authority over them never took the time to disciple them and show them the difference between these two paths, and that they exist?
Two paths stand before every man. We choose either the path of the godly or the ungodly; the path of the blessed or the path of the cursed; the path of light or the path of darkness. Depending on which of these two paths we choose, we will either be blessed of the Lord, or perish in our own hedonism and self-flattery.
One day we will stand before the creator of all that is. One day we will stand before the God of the universe, and all our self-importance all our vainglory, all our vanity will be stripped away and all that will remain will be the reality of who we truly are, and what path we chose in this life.
It’s not complicated, it’s simple really. We choose life or death, we choose to live with the godly, or perish with the ungodly, and the choice is exclusively ours as individuals.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.