The ability to repent and discern truth is a function of paternal pity. Repentance and discernment help comes and goes with minimal human intervention and their progress do much better when we stay off our neighbours’ field.
There comes a time, unlike all others, when God wants nothing but a one-on-one with those he wants close to him. They can short-circuit his intentions by hanging on to testimony that says they already know about the righteous and the wicked (the ungodly, the same guys from Psalm 1).
Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.Malachi 3:18
We in the 21st century have to revise our concept that people in antiquity always knew the difference between the righteous and the wicked.
- Consider that 400 years go by and no one discerns the difference; in Egypt
- Imagine that 40 years (an entire generation) go by and there is no consensus; in the wilderness
- Consider that three persons out of thousands stood resolute against idolatry; in Babylonian exile
- A millennium passes from the first king to the great passover; ending in New Testament times
Killing people as service to God
A man faces opposition, word traps from religious people, death threats, and accusations of wrongdoing for doing on demand a host of things that were either rare or nonexistent in the province of Judea. Even faith for a healing was scarce in Israel.
They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time comes, that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.John 16:2-3
This treatment of a neighbour, demonstrates poor community standards and a lack of direction, and it shows that having Abraham as ancestor and the four world-ruling powers are inconsequential.
Knowing the difference between the tsiddiqim and the reshayim is not so easy as singing a popular song (Ps 1) about the counsel of the the wicked/ungodly. It does not happen apart from God’s personal intervention.