Righteous or Wicked? (a Bible Definition)

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24 NASB)

While we are on the topic of servant-hood (see Friday’s post) I want to bring the surface a definition many miss.

Much is said in the Word about the righteous and the wicked. Proverbs contrasts the two on a regular basis. So how can you distinguish between the righteous and the wicked.

There is a clue in Malachi (the Italian prophet.) Check out this verse:

Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. “And they will be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him. (Malachi 3:16-18 NASB)

Notice a couple things: First, a man’s son serves him. This amplifies what I said yesterday about the place of a servant being augmented, not replaced, by sonship.

Next see that the way to distinguish between the righteous and the wicked is to look their service. Those the Bible calls wicked are not wicked by virtue of their evil deeds, but by lack of service toward God.

Can you let that sink in a bit.

Christianity is a life of servant-hood – not slavery mind you. The word in the Greek is doulos and usually implies a servant by choice. One who has returned to serve a master from a position of freedom.

The best modern-day example of this that I can think of is the Moravian missionaries who sold themselves into slavery to bring the gospel to an island of slaves. You can read about it here: Moravian Missionaries 

As you move into a more intimate relationship with Father God, don’t forsake the privilege of serving Him.

Thanks for reading today.

Ben

0 thoughts on “Righteous or Wicked? (a Bible Definition)

  1. Caddo Veil

    This is really good, Ben--very helpful, the way you clarify the fine points (so that I don't run away, screaming, "I can't do this, I can't do this! I'm a failure, doomed!" Kind of a Charlie Brown-iest version of believers like myself--). On a light note, I really love the images of Wheel of Fortune for this message series--can't explain why, I just do. God bless you and the fam--love, sis Caddo

    Reply
      1. Caddo Veil

        Howling with laughter over "young lady"! I'm not quick enough for those game shows--it takes me the whole movie, just to remember the name of the actor I've known forever...

        Reply
        1. Ben Nelson

          That is why they invented IMDB. This way you can spend the whole movie looking up each actor and eveything else they have done.
          The side benefit of this is that you can watch the same movie again in 3 months, and have no idea of what the plot is.

          Reply
          1. Caddo Veil

            You're killin' me, Bro--I'll never get myself under control tonight, and I still have a poem to write (maybe)! What is IMDB, pray tell? If it's something technical, forget it-- But on the subject of movies, have you seen "Secondhand Lions"? I love it, and am pushing it this week, for good entertainment (i.e., not much to offend, great acting/music/story)!

            Reply
            1. Ben Nelson

              Not sure i have seen it, but it gets on my list every now and then
              IMDB.com is a web site with tons of great movie info
              Internet Movie Data Base - IMDB
              Now - take a deep breath and stir up some poet magic for us!

              Reply
  2. Debbie

    Thank you, Mr. Ben, for showing us it was not the wicked deeds done . ..but the lack of service to God. That really hit me. Also, for some reason, as you talk about the importance of our servanthood, to not forsake the privilege of serving Him . .the thought of how we can slip into wanting Him to serve us, came to mind. God bless you and thank you for doing this series!

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      That is such a good point Deb. We have really become self centered these days, and our religion becomes about what God can do for me. He has done so much (everything really) already.

      Reply

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