John W. Summerville, elder – (presently not serving on the board)
The Psalms really speak to the contrast of the wicked and righteous.
After reading this selection, I, for one want to be counted among the righteous. Even 3000 years ago it seemed the wicked (i.e. disobedient and living without God) seemed to have a good thing going. They were prosperous and confident in their happiness. They had a sense of domination and were not at all concerned about trampling on the weak (Ps. 10). They turned their noses up at any Godly counsel (Ps. 2). The Psalmist says, “Why does the prideful revile God?” And yet it just doesn’t seem to make sense to live without God. It really doesn’t.
So if the “wicked” are those that by choice turn their backs on God, defy Him, and in no way allow themselves to the directed by His will, then, who are the righteous? We could wax theological here. In Psalm 53 it says, “There is no one righteous, no one that does good, no not even one.” What is pivotal to us is that although “we like sheep have gone astray and each of us has turned to his own way, the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him (Christ). (Isaiah 53:6). Through our faith in Him we are made righteous. Whoa! Now that’s a good thing! “Sing joyfully to the Lord you righteous” (Ps: 33). As you read through this selection of Psalms, it is not difficult to recognize that there is a plethora of benefits to those who seek God.
Our God is a refuge, a shelter, our hope, our confidence and encourager, rock, fortress, restorer of life, our honor and comforter, source of wisdom, defender, and redeemer. And that is the short list.
Sometimes, children are a living illustration of our relationship with God. I watched my 4-year-old grandson, Finlay, at his first soccer clinic. All the little 4-year-olds were lined up, and as the coach was giving instructions, Fin tripped over his ball and fell flat on his face in front of everybody. He was embarrassed and started to cry and instinctively ran to his Daddy. Who do you run to when you fall? The Psalms tell us God loves the righteous and has an open arms policy to comfort, protect, and admonish.
So, as our encouragement for the day, let us consider the preface to the entire book of Psalms, Psalm 1.
“The Lord watches over the ways of the righteous but the ways of the wicked shall perish.”
Amen and amen.