A Waste of Time
|Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans? Psalm 2:1.|
I love Revelation 20. It is my assurance that righteousness wins out over evil, not just in Hollywood movies, but in the grand scheme of things seen and unseen.
The wicked will arise from their dusty graves a thousand years too late. The righteous will have been reigning with Christ for a thousand years. By contrast, the wicked will arise as they went to sleep -- wicked. When the wicked are resurrected their minds will still be fixed on evil. Unlike the righteous who during their lifetimes meditated on God's law day and night (Psalm 1:2), they spent their days planning evil and doing evil. (The wicked spent their days breaking God's law. According to 1 John 3:4: "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.")
In life the righteous honored their fathers and mothers while the wicked disrespected them. In life the righteous respected human life while the wicked murdered people who they feel disrespected them or who they didn't like. In life the righteous respected the marital vow while the wicked justified sleeping with whomever they choose to sleep with (Heb. 13:4). The righteous respected other people's property while the wicked stole. The wicked stole from God (Malachi 3:8), they stole from their government (taxes), they stole from each other. The righteous spoke the truth (Ephesians 4:15) while the wicked lied whenever the truth got inconvenient. The righteous were content with the blessings that God bestowed upon them (1 Timothy 6:6) while the wicked coveted his neighbor's house, his neighbor's wife, his neighbor's servants/employees/business.
The wicked man couldn't thank God for what he had because he was too busy wanting what his neighbor had!
The wicked (the rest of the dead) lived not again until the thousand years had ended (Rev. 20:5). Verse 7 of Revelation 20 says that Satan will be let out of his prison and verse 8 says that he will go out to deceive "the nations" and that Satan will gather them together for battle. It's going to be a mighty army, as numberless as sand along the seashore. (Jesus did say, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.") Verse 9 prophesies that they will go up on the plain of the earth and surround God's people and the beloved city. But fire will come down from heaven and consume them.
Psalm 2:1-2 is right! The Psalmist asks why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against his anointed.
I've been thinking about the practical aspect of serving the Lord. We ought to serve Him because we love Him and He first loved us. That ought to be the basis of our relationship of love, trust and obedience with the Lord. (2 Cor. 5:14: "Christ's love constraineth [or controls] us.") But from a practical standpoint, fighting Him is futile. He is all powerful. And He is right! There is nothing wrong with God or His law (Romans 7:12). The problem is with us. So a refusal to serve and obey God is, as the Psalmist says in Psalm 2:1, a WASTE of time.
Nothing the wicked do will ultimately succeed. This is in contrast to the righteous. The leaves of the righteous never wither (Psalm 1:3). The wicked, on the other hand, may enjoy a level of success for a time, but eventually (if not in this life, at the judgment) the wicked will lose because Satan is the captain of a doomed team! The last verse (v. 12) of Psalm 2 says, "Submit to God's royal Son, or ... you will be destroyed." I'm not being negative. I'm just telling the plain truth.
Some want to have their own way, but that way ends in death (Proverbs 14:12). I admit, it may not be an immediate death. But death is coming. And the death that is spoken of in Rev. 20:6 is the second death. All of us have to die once and then stand in judgment (Hebrews 9:27). That's no big deal if you're on the Lord's side. You'll get up in the first resurrection. It's that second death that ought to be kept in mind!
It's September 22, 2009. Today, you and I are alive. Today, we have the power to choose right from wrong (which is known by the law of God). Don't believe the enemy of our souls who lulls people into complacency with evil by thinking that they don't need to make a choice for Christ today. Let's practice righteousness TODAY. Abandon those evil plans (sin is the transgression of the law) and meditate on that law day and night. (It is by keeping God's law in our minds that we know right from wrong.) Meditating on that law should be coupled with talking to God in prayer. For when I see the law, I am made aware of my sin and of my need for a Savior. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you strength to do God's will TODAY (Luke 11:10-13).
Know that carousing on the devil's playground is a waste of time. That ain't goin' nowhere. God is going to win this thing. You have seen how this story ends. The righteous are victorious! Who is on the Lord's side today?