As the Psalmist spends verses 2-11 describing the ways of the wicked, I thought it would be a good test for us to take. We all think that we are pretty good people, so let’s look at the description of the wicked person, and ask, “could this be said of me?” Take a few moments to honestly answer these 9 groups of questions from The Wicked Test.
“The wicked hotly pursue the poor” (v.2). How do you treat those who have less than you? Your employees, your children, that person in your study group who isn’t as smart as you? Do you give them out of your abundance? Or do you require from them more than they have?
“The wicked boasts of the desires of his soul” (v.3). Is your boasting in the Lord, or is it in your own accomplishments? When you share your dreams with people, are they dreams of what you want, or dreams that God has given to you regarding His purposes?
“The one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord” (v.3). Are you greedy for gain? Have you spoken against God in order to get more? Are you willing to sacrifice for God, or simply trying to use Him to get what you want?
“The wicked does not seek Him; all his thoughts are, ‘there is no God’” (v.4). Do you seek God every moment of every day? Or do you live your life as if there is no God? If someone were to follow you around for the day, could they tell by your actions that you believe in God?
“He puffs at them. He says in his heart, ‘I shall not be moved’” (v.5-6). Do you consider God’s ways and judgments before taking action? Or do you insist on having your own way? When you read God’s Word and learn that something you do is a sin, do you humbly submit to God’s will, or do you keep doing what you want?
“His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue are mischief and iniquity” (v.7). We could break this down, but all of these are descriptions of the words of the wicked. What do your words say about you? Do you use curse words? Do you lie? Do you manipulate people for your own gain?
“He murders the innocent” (v.8). Jesus said that hatred for a brother is like murdering them in our heart. Is there someone that you hate?
“He lurks in ambush” (v.9). This is talking about malice aforethought. Have you planned out a way to harm someone or manipulate someone? This doesn’t require you to actually act on that plan, but do you think about it?
“He says in his heart, ‘God has forgotten’” (v.11). Do you think God doesn’t know about your sin? Have you tried to cover it up and acted like God has forgotten?
The truth is that all of us are sinners. All of us have walked in the way of the wicked at some time or another. Maybe you think you passed this test—you answered ‘no’ to almost every question. But was there a single question to which you could answer ‘yes’?
James points out that “whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘do not murder.’ If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law” (James 2:10-11).
If just a single description of the wicked could describe you, then you stand condemned as “wicked,” just like every human who has every walked the face of this earth.
This week, we think back to people in David’s day, in Abraham’s day, in Isaiah’s day, and in all the days of the Old Testament. All of these people were wicked on some level and were rightly deserving to be judged by Almighty God. Yet, their sacred text of Scripture promised that a Messiah would come to deliver them from their wickedness. So, they faithfully practiced their sacrifices and looked forward to the day when that Messiah would come.
This week, we rejoice that our Messiah has already come! Jesus Christ is born!
“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25a)
I may be wicked, but my Messiah has died in my place. Through my trust in Him, I am delivered from my sin; I am made holy. Glory to God!