“Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.” (Prov 10:17)
Christians are distinct people. They are not the same as the heathen who has never trusted in Christ. Jonathan Edwards has said,
“They who are truly converted are new men, new, creatures; new, not only within, but without; they are sanctified throughout, in spirit, soul and body; old things are passed away, all things are become new; they have new hearts, new eyes, new ears, new tongues, new hands, new feet; i.e., a new conversation and practice; they walk in newness of life, and continue to do so to the end of life.”
In this succinct statement by Solomon from Proverbs 10:17, we see a few differences between the man of God and the heathen.
First, the man of God is known by reaction to God’s Word.
- He obeys. He heeds. He loves. He submits. He delights. Or as Psalm 1:3 says, “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”
- Not so the heathen. The heathen rejects. The heathen hates. The heath disregards. The heathen rebels. The heathen disdains. Or as Psalm 1:4 says, “The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away.”
Second, the man of God has a different destiny.
- Heaven. Blessing. Glorification. Light, joy. Or as Psalm 1:6 says, “For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
- Not so the heathen. Darkness. Banishment. Despair. Pain. Hell. Or as Psalm 1:5 says, “Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.”
Father, filled is with delight. We want to be happy in you. Give us the strength to stray from the path of the wicked. Give us the strength to not plan for evil or mock or scorn your law. Make your Word our delight all the time. Ground us deeper in Your Word so that fruit is abundant in our life and so we produce more fruit next week than we did before. Protect us from being worthless and dead. Bring ungodly men to justice. And be merciful to us so that we don’t perish.\