Rambling 2 – April 10, 2023 (101/365)

Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,

but righteousness delivers from death.

Proverbs 10:2

As I was glancing over this earlier this morning I thought, that’s pretty peculiar to put righteousness as a direct comparison to the treasures gained by wickedness. But before I go any further, I think it’s proper to at least present my own understanding of what righteousness is, and to derive what wickedness is from there.

Simply put, righteousness is not defined primarily by what ‘good’ we do, or the righteous deeds we do, or the virtuous things we say; No, regardless of what we do or what we don’t do, righteousness is right-standing with God – favorable relationship status with God. In other words, if we say we’re righteous, we’re saying that we are good with God. And this stands no matter what we do that we and/or others would see as bad, or what we fail to do that we and/or others would say is good.

And from how I see it, righteousness is a boolean variable – that is, it’s either you are righteous or you are not. It’s not measured in percentages, i.e. you’re only 92% righteous. No, God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, is what determines our righteousness. Unlike other religious systems that would have you ultimately work for right standing or favor with the divine, Christianity is saying that you’re made righteous by believing in Christ, whose finished work reconciled you to God… And there it is. If I was to be asked who a Christian is, I’d say it’s someone who believes and naturally appreciates how Christ worked for us to be reconciled to God.

See, for the Christian I believe at this time that it is extremely important for us to understand the importance and the necessity of our reconciliation. The disobedience of Adam and Eve brought sin into this reality, separating us from God – and creation separated from its Creator is separated from life. Much as we try with our best efforts to prove ourselves to God, we would fall short, because even our best efforts do nothing to change the root problem – that is, sin ingrained and engulfing our entire identities. From another point of view, what we or others think is good is nowhere near worthy of God’s attention, simply because it doesn’t change who we are. We’ve heard it so many times – it’s not that we sin that we’re sinners, but it’s because we’re sinners that we sin.

We just came from celebrating Resurrection Sunday, and one reason why we celebrate is because we recognize that by Christ’s resurrection, we are assured that He has taken all the death that there was to take, and has therefore addressed all the sin that we were – we are assured, through Christ’s resurrection, that we have not only been fully reborn and renewed, but more importantly, we have been made righteous, reconciled to God, and reconciled to life.

This is why we say that righteousness delivers from death.

Considering how proverbs are mostly presented as contrasts, we can therefore say that wickedness is in contrast, or the opposite of righteousness. Wickedness is ‘not’ righteousness. It’s not as shallow as us doing bad – no, a wicked man is not one who does wicked things, but a wicked man is one who refuses to believe in Christ and His finished work. A wicked man is one who intentionally refuses to believe that Christ paid the price for our righteousness and reconciliation to God, and is therefore one who insists that he and he alone is able to reach God through His performance.

And obviously, even if he knows that he couldn’t he insists that he could anyway. This is why the proverbs also define a fool as one who says there is no God – In another perspective, a fool is one who says that he can reach God and/or God is within man’s reach. Foolishness has its roots in wickedness, and wickedness has its roots in sin.

This is why, no matter how many people rally to make certain endeavors seem profitable, or no matter how people report how certain things are good or bad, even if they seem to convince more and more people, it does not change the fact that on a long enough timeline, it all leads to death – as is everything that exists apart from Christ.

…and Christ is certainly who I need at this moment. In the light of recent movements, I have nothing more to say than to just say, that all my trust is in the One who loves me, and gave His Son that I would be reconciled to God. My trust is in Christ, who paid the ultimate price – He gave everything, down to all of His being, lay it all down in my place, taking all the sin that I was, and all the death I deserved, and all the fear, pain and anxiety that would have torn me apart. At the cross He cried, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken me!?’, that I could run to God, and with a new Spirit run to Him, calling Him more than God, but my Abba, Father!

In the light of all the movement happening around me, and all the uncertainty and the risk and the danger it all presents, I place my trust in Christ, who holds me together, and whose Spirit reminds me that I am never separate from Him.

In the light of all the movement happening within me, and all the confusion and anxiety and the condemnation I face on my own, I sincerely place my trust in Christ, who took my torment, that I would have peace beyond all understanding.

My trust is in Christ, whose righteousness has become my own. My trust is in Christ, who lives in me, and delivered me from death.

My trust is in Christ, who alone is responsible for everything to work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

My trust is in Christ. Whether I have treasure or not, or whether I have the comforts of this world, or am in the greatest of pain, HE is my profit.

My hope is placed on nothing less

than Jesus Christ, and His righteousness.

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