Bible Study

Avoiding the Errors of the Wicked

Michael Beck

The Holy Spirit gave David a unique understanding into the error of the wicked.

The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.
The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.
He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil. (Psalm 36:1-4)

David knew that unless he involved God in the meditations of his heart, he was not beyond falling into the “error of the wicked” and “great transgression.”

Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.
Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:12-14)

After he fell, David realized more than ever his need and God’s desire to have truth and wisdom in the “hidden man” of his heart.

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (Psalm 51:6,7)

By letting his heart become “unclean,” David had made the presence of God’s Holy Spirit unwelcome.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. (Psalm 51:10,11)

David did not deceive himself concerning his relationship with God. He recognized that engaging in the actions or holding the attitude of the wicked disrupted his fellowship with God.

I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person. (Psalm 101:2-4)

Because he realized how thoughts led to actions, David gave God permission to scrutinize and correct any wicked thinking he might have.

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23,24)

The essence of a wicked attitude is a refusal to seek God’s input and involvement in our thoughts.

The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. (Psalm 10:4)


1. ERROR Concerning ONE’S SELF: “I can manage without God.”

His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them.
He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity. (Psalm 10:5,6)

A False SECURITY based upon a False CONFIDENCE.

2. ERROR Concerning GOD: “God doesn’t see or care what I do anyway.”

He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net.
He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones.
He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it. (Psalm 10:9-11)

An Evil PLAN based upon an Evil ASSUMPTION

3. ERROR Concerning SIN and JUDGMENT: “What I think in the privacy of my heart is my business and won’t have consequences.”

Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble.
Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it. (Psalm 10:12,13)

contemn > Hebrew – na’ats > despise, spurn, abhor

A Foolish CRIME based upon a Foolish MYTH (The Myth of a “Little” Sin)

A foolish person refuses to take the consequences of sin seriously.

Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour. (Proverbs 14:9)

Whenever the righteous adopt the erroneous attitudes of the wicked they are seduced and led astray into evil acts.

The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them. (Proverbs 12:26)

The Apostle Paul warned us against the deception that sin is without both temporal and eternal consequences.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Galatians 6:7,8)

By adopting a wicked person’s attitude toward sin and judgment, a believer can easily return to the vomit of their sin.

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (2 Peter 3:3,4)

The reason why the first generation, who had been saved out of Egypt, died in the wilderness was because they “erred in their heart.”

Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways (Psalm 95:10)

I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. (Jude 1:5)

If we are not growing and being led into all truth, we are in danger of being led away into the error of the wicked.

Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:17,18)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.