Now-days, in the midst of the continuous existence of sin and sickness, the only thing that has changed is God’s grace; His undeserved favour to those who accept Christ as their Saviour. We no longer have to earn His blessing. This means that every sin may now be forgiven without punishment, for the penalty has already been served on Christ His son. A rough deal for him, but a “let out of jail” card for us. How then should we approach today’s verse with New Testament eyes?
We begin by recognising that “wickedness” exists. That being so, justice demands that it be addressed. A Holy God cannot be expected to look the other way; by whatever means, wrong has to be righted before it can be acceptable to Him. For those who choose not to bring their wickedness (= sin generally) to God for forgiveness, can only expect that there will be a record of it held over for the final judgement in the time to come. (2 Cor. 5:10,11) A fear of the Lord is the handbrake that comes to the aid of the Christian in times of temptation and trial. The non-believer has no such restraint, for there is no awareness of the affront to God that his/her sins have caused. Without the fear of the Lord, sin goes unchallenged and unchecked. “Wickedness” reigns.
We can do better than to skip over this verse.