There is likely a distinction that needs to be made here between ungodliness and unrighteousness.  Ungodliness is, in fact, the worst of all, for it means that we have become utterly unlike that glorious and holy God in Whose image we were created.  We were created to reflect His glory and to exercise dominion under Him upon this earth.  But man believed a lie, allied himself with the Devil, and turned his back on God.  He is now opposed to the authority of God, to the person of God, and to the worship of God.  He had rather serve a dying and impotent creature than bow himself before the God Who created the heavens and the earth.  He prefers to worship the sun, the moon, or even a cow or a bug, rather than to worship God.  How unlike God man has become by sin!  This is the greatest tragedy of man’s fall, that we have grossly distorted the image of our Maker with which we were made, and become more like Satan than like God.  Against this ungodliness of ours, God’s wrath is revealed, and the fact that it is not constantly being poured out in wave after fiery wave only serves to illustrate His remarkable patience with His rebellious creatures.

Against our unrighteousness God also reveals His wrath, though here also He bears wonderfully long even with the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.  Our unrighteousness we may take to refer to every act, every thought, every motive that is in opposition to the revealed will of God.  We know that He has commanded us to honor our parents and other legitimate authorities, to refrain from idolatry and blasphemy, from murdering and stealing, from lying and coveting.  Nevertheless, the ways of man are right in his own eyes, and when his way contradicts what God has commanded, he throws God and His law aside to pursue his own ends.  He cares not how he may hurt others, so long as he satisfies his own lusts and desires.  He pursues that which is evil, because he thinks it will give him pleasure and satisfaction, little knowing that he is treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath.  A man may think it no big deal when he tells a lie, when he lusts after a woman, when he commits a theft; but scripture says that God’s wrath is revealed against every unrighteous act and thought.  While it may be largely restrained, we still see signs of it in the earth, and need to be ever aware that the day is coming when His wrath will be poured out in full measure, in righteous vengeance against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.

 

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