Scripture Text: Daniel 12:10 Title
Question of the Day: How are the righteous and the wicked contrasted throughout Scripture?
From the beginning of time just after the Garden of Eden it has become clear that there are two distinct kinds of people on earth—the righteous and the wicked, the saved and the lost. Note the contrast between Cain and Abel: Cain was self-willed, rebellious, defiant, had to fear of God, and careless in bringing God “whatever worship I want, and He better accept it” attitude, and then was angry with God when He refused his sacrifice; on the other hand Abel found out what was acceptable to God, brought the proper sacrifice by faith, had a deep reverence and respect for God, and showed distinct characteristics of a “righteous man”.
Since that time in history the wicked has always tried to wipe out the righteous. This distinction has become more marked throughout history, and will continue right up to the very end. In today’s text the angelic being speaking made a statement about this contrast. Daniel had just been instructed about a series of events—especially pertaining to world powers and as they came to destroy God’s people and the land of Israel. What would happen from Daniel’s time right down through to the “latter days”, the “day of the LORD”? Here is today’s text: “Many will be purified, made crystal clean, and thoroughly tested; on the other hand the wicked will do very wickedly. None of the wicked will understand what hit them, but those who are wise will understand the events as they unfold.”
In that statement the angelic being was summarizing what would happen from God’s perspective down through time: many would be righteous and purify their lives; while others will be in a contest to see who can act more wickedly. Many people will have a passion to live a clean pure life, and will find the answer in the cross and death of Jesus Christ and become “refined and white”; that is, their souls will be cleansed and they will be ready to enter the presence of God sanctified and ready to be used by their Master in His service forever. However, the wicked people of the world will act more wickedly—and none of the wicked will understand. The wicked actually think that they are “building a bigger and better world” to live in; but what they don’t know is that are setting themselves up for judgment and devastation and destruction.
When anyone or any governmental position—or any position of leadership—does not seek God, what they do will only make things worse—and they are blind and cannot see that. There are those in this country today who believe that America is salvageable; but God has given edict that every nation on earth will be destroyed when He comes in judgment and He is coming soon, and America will be no exception! This world today is on a collision course with the judgment of God, and He will totally destroy all that man has tried to do, and because it is all futile and sin-cursed, it will all be burned up and destroyed. You see, in judgment God does two major things: He wipes out the wicked, and He purifies the righteous. The wicked are so evil and they have so turned away from God and His righteous character, the only thing left for them is to be destroyed.
But the angelic being went on to say that the wise will understand. God gives wisdom, understanding, and insight to those who are righteous. Christians today who are alert and in the Word of God searching for God’s answers to the complex evil plans of this world are well aware that we are right on the doorstep of what the Bible calls “the latter days” and “the day of the LORD”. They are striving to live a pure and clean life in a lost, confused, wicked, and God-hating world, and it is these peoples that the angelic being said would understand. We know clearly where this world is headed, and it breaks our hearts because so many have not yet repented and accepted the gift of God’s Son, eternal life, before He judges them and sends them to eternal death in the Lake of Fire. So the contrast between the righteous and the wicked will be fully realized as God’s wrath is poured out on a sinful and wicked world, and at the same time rescues the righteous and completes redemption in their lives so that they are fit to be with Him forever in heaven.
Prayer: O God, to look forward with glee to what is going to happen to the wicked in this world is to fail to understand Your heart—a heart where You “are not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to eternal life”. We look forward to being all cleaned up and living in Your presence forever, but we turn our heads away in disgust and horror as You give the wicked what we really deserve—eternal death and condemnation. The gift of Your love—though underserved—is the greatest gift any man can ever embrace, and I embrace it; I accept it as mine! May my life be a contrast far different than the wicked world around me. Amen!
David B. Virts has written a book called “Knowing, Seeking Worshiping — a study of the character of God.” It is available by calling 615-945-0611.