But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.
- Proverbs 2:22
There is a phrase I love, “it’s not where you start that counts, but where you finish.”
The twelve disciples didn't commence life as great followers of Christ but ordinary people. Some had distasteful histories, yet the Bible tells us that their lives were dramatically changed due to Calvary. It wasn't where they started that counted at all, but where they finished.
What about the man possessed by unclean spirits? Every time they bound him with chains he broke them. What use was he in that state? Christ came, removed the spirits within, and the man lived a different life from then on. His beginning was of no value, but his finish was.
People come to the Lord through repentance from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures. Some appear very unlikely to succeed in anything let alone a ministry of the Lord God Almighty. Yet, we read stories of humble beginnings blossoming into great and exciting finishes.
But not so the wicked and transgressors. They purposefully deny Christ, with some working hard to repudiate His Word and His existence. Our key scripture states that the wicked shall be cut off from the earth and transgressors shall be uprooted out of the same earth. We see different punishments for these two groups.
Let’s look at their meanings just give us a less general opinion. The Hebrew interpretations make the discussion more interesting.
Wicked = H7563 rasha` morally wrong; concretely, an (actively) bad person:— condemned, guilty, ungodly.
This group is bold about their sin. They are known by everybody to be immoral and anti-christ, remaining unrepentant. Their wickedness is obvious to all. They are actively open about their sin and prefer to remain like that.
Transgressor = H898 Bagad to act treacherously, deceitfully, deal treacherously
These people are a little different. They prefer the shadows of deceit. These unbelievers who live two lives have no qualms about transgressing God's commands, providing it remains a secret. They prefer their wrongdoings to remain unknown as they wear cloaks of respectability to cover the truth. I am not talking about a believer who has faults or is struggling. I am referring to those who believe with their mouths but their hearts are far from Christ, to those who appear honourable but their affections are ghoulish. Some even think they own much of the earth we live on.
God is gracious and gives all of us time to repent and change our lives, enjoying a finish that is totally different from our start. The sad fact is, some have little interest in that.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, please help me with my finish line. You have changed my heart to energise me toward your purposes. I have no idea what my finish will be, but please guide me as I put more focus on it.