As the people of God we often use labels and short-hand expressions for many aspects of our faith. Of course labels and short-hand expressions are not unique to the church. Every field or discipline has them.
Within the church we often talk of the ungodly. Or we talk about those who are wicked. But what does it mean to be ungodly or wicked? Psalm 10 gives us a description of the ungodly.
One of the most striking feature of the ungodly is pride. The psalmist says, “In pride the wicked hotly purse the afflicted” (Psalm 10:2). The ungodly are proud. But the Lord is opposed to the proud. The Lord gives grace to the humble.
In addition to being proud, the ungodly pursue the afflicted. The ungodly has a tendency to push down the poor. The ungodly is willing to kick the afflicted when he is already down.
In addition to being proud and abusive, the ungodly is a braggart. The psalmist says, “For the wicked boats of his heart’s desire” (Psalm 10:3). The ungodly is a boaster. This person is always the best at all that he does. This person is always playing the one-upmanship approach to life. Tell a story and the braggart has a better one.
In addition to being a proud, abusive braggart, the ungodly is greedy. This is the individual who wants more. He desires more. Covetousness is the darling sin, or one of the darling sins, of the ungodly. And its also one of the most difficult sins to address through church discipline.
Furthermore, the ungodly spurns the LORD. This individual will not seek the LORD. He sees no reason to seek the LORD. The ungodly is already the best at anything that is attempted. And so there is no need for help from anyone. There is no need for help from God.
In addition, the ungodly is vile in his or her speech. “His mouth is full of curses and deceit and oppression; Under his tongue is mischief and wickedness” (Psalm 10:7). The words of the ungodly are destructive. Divisive. Abusive. Acidic. There is not just a little evil here. His mouth is FULL of curses, deceit, and oppression.
And ultimately, the ungodly is violent. What he devises in his heart, what he says with his mouth, when the opportunity arises, then he will do those things with his actions. The ungodly lurks or lies in wait to be violent.
Having walked through this description of the ungodly, it is important to ask the Holy Spirit now to search our hearts. How many of these descriptions are found within us? I know it is more comfortable to look at the people around us. But the call of the gospel is to look within. And when we find these things in our hearts, then we need to repent of our sins and ask God to forgive us.