Westside Baptist Church of York  

Welcome to West Side Baptist Church of York

Kermit L. Minnick, Pastor


"The LORD is far from the wicked ... " Proverbs 15:29

  Proverbs 15:29



In what sense is the LORD "far from the wicked"? We know that regardless of one's moral status, "He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being." God's providence blesses each person's life every day. "He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." "Upon whom does His light not rise?" "The LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works." "For He is kind to the unthankful and evil." Yet, at the same time, though in a different sense, "The LORD is far from the wicked." He is far from those who resent His authority over them, expressed in His commandments to them, and to be enforced by His judgment of them. The LORD and the wicked are polarized, alienated, and distanced from each other.

The wicked "say to God, 'Depart from us, for we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways.'" Consequently, God is not pleased with them, will have no fellowship with them, and will not hear when in their troubles they pray. Indeed, our full text reads: "The LORD is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous." Again, we read, "Though the LORD is on high, yet He regards the lowly; but the proud He knows from afar." God will not admit the proud person into His presence, much less into His intimate felowship. To be known "from afar" is to be far from God's favor and friendship. "The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth." However, in yet another sense, the LORD is near the wicked in that He is still within reach. "Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near." "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon."

When a sinner dies impenitent and unbelieving, God is forever far from him. Then the LORD can never be found. In these three senses God is near, and far, and near to the wicked. "God has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation."


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