God gave me a word and scripture the other night. The scripture is Psalm 1 and the word is reviling. Well, I had no idea what reviling meant so I looked it up in the dictionary. It means scorn, mockery, ridicule, or contempt.
Scorn in the Greek/Hebrew dictionary is katagelao (kat-ag-el-ah’-o); to laugh down, i.e. deride.
What it means is to disrespect or insult someone.
God is trying to tell me something so let’s look at the scripture He gave me.
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. Psalm 1:1-6
I took a step back when I read this. And then I read it again and again. Wow! God is giving us instruction. This is so cool! Let’s look at it.
In verse 1 we see the words ungodly, sinners and scornful. There are three types of people we should avoid if we are to be blessed. The ungodly are those that deny God or disobey God. They reject his word and are morally wrong. The sinners are those who knowingly do wrong that is not just every know and then but constantly. The scornful are those that participate in mockery, whether it is mocking God or mocking other people.
Now, let’s not misunderstand what God is saying in this. Because we all know we are supposed to love one another and we are supposed to love the sinner, not the sin. What I understood this to say is to not continually interact with these people. If you continually interact with them then you risk becoming like them. That doesn’t mean your not supposed to try to help them. It doesn’t mean your not supposed to still show them love. What it means is to not enjoy their company – don’t hang out with them. It also means to not condone continual disobedience or insubordination or disrespect. Do not feed their need to be the center of attention.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5
When you accept Jesus and repent your sins you become a new person and you are protected by God’s power. You are also given the desire to be a better person. Sometimes this doesn’t show itself at first, it may take time, but you will see the person change if they are getting into the word as they are supposed to. But there are some who don’t want to change or they don’t accept Jesus. These are the ones that we need to confront. Because we are protected we are able to confront these people.
When we confront these people we give them the truth of the word. This is repeated in Titus when it says to give them warning and then a second warning. If they don’t heed the warning then have nothing to do with them.
Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. Titus 3:10-11
So… what are we to do? Well we pray for them. Pray that God has mercy on them. Pray that their eyes will be washed clean so they might see the truth. And then leave them for God to deal with. This is protection against falling into the same trap that they are in. They will be subject to judgement for their actions.
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, `Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, `You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. Matthew 5:22
Raca according the the Greek/Hebrew dictionary is rhaka (rhak-ah’) O empty one, i.e. thou worthless (as a term of utter vilification):
And fool is moros (mo-ros’) dull or stupid, i.e. heedless, blockhead, absurd:
Jesus is saying is that if you fight with your brother instead of loving him, then you will be subject to judgment because God’s word says we are to love one another. He says you will stand before the supreme council and tribunal of the Jews if you call your brother worthless. I imagine you would have to answer to God for that also since you are raising yourself above another person. And those that say YOU FOOL will be in danger of the fire of hell… Now that doesn’t mean literally saying you fool. It means if you treat others as though they are fools. That means treating people like they are stupid. Playing with people’s emotions as a game would also be treating people like they a fools.
And what do you get when you leave these people to God? Well verse 3-4 says we will be blessed and prosper. But if you’re ungodly then you will be blown away with the wind. I found a description in the Wycliff commentaries that compares this to a threshing room where you are swishing the chaff away from the grain. The chaff here would be the ungodly and the grain would be the righteous. And in verse 6 it tells us the way of the ungodly will perish.
So what God was doing was telling me how to deal with the people who mock us and mock him by not following his word. He is saying to confront those people who don’t listen with the truth. He is saying its ok to leave them alone and not feed their self pity and self righteousness.
We are to look after our own salvation first because if we loose our salvation not only are we not going to heaven, but we will loose the blessing God has given us to be able to help those in need.