Sunday, September 28, 2008

Delighting and Condemning, Part One

"You are my Lord. My goodness does not extend to you
but to the saints who are in the earth,
and to the excellent in whom is all my delight."
Psalm 16:2-3

In Psalm 16, Christ spoke through David to reveal that all his delight is in the righteous. He used the word "all" because that is the truth about how he feels. He delights in the upright with all his heart; he has no joy left in his heart to feel toward the wicked. All of his delight is directed toward those who love God and keep His commandments.

What then does the Lord feel for the "vile" among men? The answer is found in Psalm 15. This Psalm begins with David, in spirit, asking God who will be allowed to live forever. This was God’s response:

"He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart. He who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor. In whose eyes a vile person is condemned, but he honors those who fear the Lord. He who swears to his own hurt and does not change. He who does not lend his money on interest, nor take a reward against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved."

Notice that one of the things required of us, if we would live forever, is to condemn a vile person. In other words, in our hearts all our delight must be reserved for those who are righteous, just like Jesus.

Think of it. You must condemn the wicked of earth if you want to please the Lord. Taking any degree of pleasure in wickedness could cost you your soul. In 2Thessalonians 2, Paul refers to some saints who would suffer the wrath of God for just this reason:

"And for this cause, God shall send them strong delusions that they should believe a lie, so that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but took pleasure in unrighteousness."

Paul mentions this same group of believers who would lose their souls in Romans 2, when Paul describes the spiritual condition of backslidden saints who are cursed by God:

"Who, knowing the judgment of God that they who commit such [sins] are worthy of death, not only do the same, but take pleasure in them who do them."

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the eternal life you desire (Ps. 37:4), and take no pleasure in wickedness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will cause you to "ride upon the high places of the earth, and he will feed you the heritage of Jacob your father" (Isa. 58:14). Delight yourself in the law of the Lord, and be blessed (Ps. 1:1-2).

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