4Do good, O LORD, unto those that be good, and to them that are upright in their hearts.
5As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the LORD shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel.
(Psalm 125:4-5, King James Version)
The Psalmist presents two camps of people: those that are upright in their hearts and those that turn aside unto their crooked ways. In other words, only two classes of people exist in the world: the righteous and the wicked. We do not like to think in such simplistic terms, but from God's perspective, that is the reality that exists.
From the Psalmist's own words, he calls God to do good to the righteous, while admitting that the Lord will lead forth all those who turn aside unto their crooked ways with the workers of iniquity. Yet, in all of this, peace shall be upon Israel.
In the Psalmist's day, the righteous were equated with the nation Israel, even though it was never true that all Israelites were righteous. Righteousness is actually an impossibility with man. The only true righteousness we can know is the righteousness of Christ which is imputed to us as believers.
How, then, can we even tell the difference between the Godly and the ungodly? Actually, we cannot, for it is a matter of the heart, and only God can see into each and everyone's heart. We can see the outward actions of believers, but we cannot know their true heart.
It is not our works that make us righteous. Our works may identify the true nature of our hearts, but our works do not bring us merit before Almighty God. Only the blood of Christ, which covers the sins of the righteous, can bring us any merit before God Himself.
It is good for us to think upon these things, for each professing believer must ask himself, on what am I depending for my righteousness before God? If I am depending upon my own works, I will fall short of God's requirements. However, if I am depending upon the righteous blood of Christ, shed upon the cross for my sins, then I will stand righteous before a pure and holy God. It is rather amazing, is it not?
Yet, how many miss the mark for they would rather depend upon their own merits, rather than to rest wholly upon Christ. Does that mean there is no place for good works? No! The true mark of a believer is their desire to live in servanthood to the Lord Jesus Christ, doing what is honoring and pleasing to Him. His good works do not save him, but they do identify him as one of God's children.
Realistically, however, two people can work side by side doing what they believe is pleasing to God. Yet, if one is resting upon those works for salvation, his works will be rejected by God. The other, who rests totally upon Christ for his salvation, will produce works pleasing to God.
It is the exact same example we see in Cain and Able. Able, who worshiped God, produced an offering pleasing to God. Cain, who served only his own interests, produced an offering not acceptable to God. What was the difference between the two? The difference was in the hearts of Cain and Able. Able loved and worshiped God, but Cain only worshiped himself.
Let us, then, go before Christ and secure our position in Him, by accepting His shed blood as a complete payment for all of our sins. From our heart of hearts, let us worship and magnify His name all of the rest of the days of our lives.
There are only two camps? To which camp do you belong?
God Bless You,