Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Psalm 1 comes up frequently in our lectionary readings. It is a beloved Psalm which gives hope and comfort to many. As such, it’s a little difficult to find something new to say.
I’m going to go out on a limb today and concentrate on verses four through six. We are frequently told by our current Western society that the Christian emphasis on judgment is out of line. After all, if God is good, doesn’t that mean that everyone would be all right? To sum it up, people will say, “I can’t believe in the kind of God who would judge people and call them sinners or make them perish.”
The fact is, our denial of a true statement doesn’t make it less true. Facts normally don’t care about our opinions. Our opinions should care about facts. What does the Scripture say? It says that there are righteous and wicked people, and that they are different. The righteous people trust in the God of the Bible. The wicked don’t. People on both sides act according to their character, at least a good part of the time. Righteous people sin and fail. Wicked people get some things right. But the orientation is still there. The Bible evaluates righteousness and wickedness based on trust in God. And there’s going to be a time of judgment one day. God will place a distinction between the righteous and the wicked. The wicked will be destroyed, like the chaff you sweep off the threshing floor. Some of it blows away in the wind, some is heaped up into a pile and set on fire, then the ashes are worked into the soil. The righteous will be fruitful, the wicked will be discarded.
Is there any good news in here? Yes, a great deal. Remember that the righteous people are those who are trusting the God of the Bible. He hates sin and evil, so much that he will die for your sin and my sin. And he lovingly invites everyone to trust him. Yes, the Bible pictures a world where we can freely trust in Christ for us. Are we going to do it? Again, let’s deal with facts and not our opinions. If we want to trust in Christ, we are lovingly invited to do so. End of story. Some will not. It is indeed our concern to urge the loving invitation of Christ on others, but it will be accepted by some and rejected by others. The question at hand is whether we are going to trust in Christ. His invitation is for you and for me. I’m going to trust in Jesus. I want to be among the righteous, with life and hope, not among the wicked with the promise of being swept out and discarded. I hope you also wish to trust in Christ.
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