Sunday, May 8, 2016

"Two groups of people in the world … which group are YOU in?"

Day #130

Scripture Reading:  Psalms 12 - 14 ...

In reality, there are only two groups of people in the world:  those who have believed in the one true God, our Creator, and those who haven't.  Today we know that this one and only true God revealed Himself in His Son Jesus Christ, sending His Son, the promised Savior, the “Seed of the woman,” the “Seed of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob,” the promised Ruler from the tribe of Judah, the “Son of David,” to offer Himself as the perfect and only sacrifice for sin and that only those who believe in Jesus are God's people - His children.  I know the world says this is not true, declaring that all people are God's children, but God says otherwise.  Why is that important?  Because as you read these three Psalms the only way to understand what David was talking about is to realize the distinction between these two groups of people.

He begins Psalm 12 by declaring that there are hardly any godly people left. "Everyone lies to his neighbor; their flattering lips speak with deception" (12:2).  These people declare that they can say whatever they want ("freedom of speech"???) ... "We will triumph with our tongues; we own our lips - who is our master?" (12:4).  Such is the pride of those who do not know God.  If you had any doubt that people have not changed read the eight verses of this Psalm.  At the same time, recognize how “politically incorrect” David’s words are in our society and our world today where everything is tolerated EXCEPT the truth!  People might agree with the assessment of mankind’s depravity, but most certainly reject the solution:  the LORD’s protection of His people.  Surely God cannot choose sides!!

Isn’t it amazing today that many people would rather accuse those who preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ of speaking evil than call those who do violence against others evil?!  It seems that the worst evil anyone can do is to accuse others of doing evil or being evil.  Therefore, what David describes in verse 8 goes on all around our nation and around the world every day:  "The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men” (12:8). Even Satanic rituals, witchcraft and sexual immorality are not only accepted today, but protected.  God is watching and tells us this is a sign of His judgment, especially when those who say they know Him are the very ones who are condoning and even promoting what God has declared evil:  “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:32).

But there is another group of people who grieve over the sin within themselves and in the world.  These cry out to God, “How long, O LORD?  Will you forget me forever?  How long will you hide your face from me?  How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?”  David is struggling with what appears to be God’s absence!  Where is God in the face of evil?  Why doesn’t God DO something?  How quickly people arrive at such thoughts, while all the while rejecting the NEED for God’s sovereignty in other areas of life.  People who don’t know God want to be free to live their lives without Him … UNTIL they are overcome by evil.  THEN they want Him to act on their behalf.  But those who truly know God understand the words of David as he declares,  “But I will trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation.  I will sing to the LORD, for He has been good to me" (13:5-6).  Such is the hope of those who know the God of salvation.

On the contrary, "the fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'  They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good" (14:1). Included in this group are those who, while claiming to believe in “a” god, reject the God of creation who reveals Himself in His Word and in the Living Word, His eternal Son, Jesus Christ.  These devise their own ideas and theories of a god or gods of their own making, and then attempt to declare themselves righteous by the very standards they themselves have manufactured in order to justify themselves.  The Apostle Paul quotes from Psalm 14:2-3 when he declares that there are none righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10).  Yet, "God is present in the company of the righteous" (14:5) ... those who are declared righteous by God through faith in the coming Savior, the One we know as Jesus, the Christ.

As David contemplates these two groups, he utters an amazing prayer:  "Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!" (14:7).  WE who by God’s grace have believed in Jesus Christ know that salvation DID come from Zion, from Jerusalem, from the house of  David.  Jesus was descended from Abraham, from Isaac, from Jacob, from Judah and from David.  God heard David's prayer and He will also fulfill the final hope of Psalm 14:  "When the LORD restores the fortunes of His people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!"  When will that happen?  When Jesus returns.  Jesus will send His angels to gather all who have believed in Him.  The dead in Christ will rise first, those who believe and who are still alive will be transformed, and they will meet the Lord in the air (I Thessalonians 4:13-18).  This will be the final separation of these two groups.  Those who do not know Jesus Christ, who reject God’s testimony concerning His Son, who worship false gods, ignore the promise of Jesus’ return and the destruction of all who do evil.  But those who are "HIS PEOPLE" look forward to His coming, anticipating His victory over evil and the new world He will bring into being.

So which group are you in?  The differences could not be greater - now and in the future.  Either you find hope and peace in the knowledge of God’s coming victory over evil, or you live in despair or arrogance, far from God and the life He offers.  I pray that you have come to know God, to believe in His Son Jesus Christ, to trust His unfailing love and to rejoice in His salvation, for then you will not be overcome by the enemies of your soul, but will find your refuge in God alone!!

"Heavenly Father, as I watch with sorrow the spread of evil and darkness all around, I confess that I, too, am a sinner and am unworthy of Your love.  But I believe in YOU!!  I rest in Your love through Your Son Jesus Christ and trust in Your mercy, grace and forgiveness.  Thank You, O God, for Your precious promises, for sending the Savior out of Zion, and for the promise of eternal life with You!  I praise You ... I give You my life, today and every day.  In Jesus' name, Amen"

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