READ PSALM ONE
Yesterday we looked at the first descriptor of the Ideal Israelite: a life of blessing as she lives her life in the presence of God.
What is the next thing we’re told about the Ideal Israelite?
We’re first told what this person does not do: he doesn’t walk in the counsel of the wicked, stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of scoffers.
What do you think each of these means? Look up the correlating cross-references to help build up your understanding of each phrase.
Walk in the counsel of the wicked (Proverbs 4:14-15, Job 21:16):
Stand in the way of sinners (Proverbs 1:10):
Sit in the seat of scoffers (Psalm 26:4, Jeremiah 15:17):
This person of faith is not taking advice from those who are not following God, he is not walking through life shoulder-to-shoulder with those who are giving him ungodly counsel. He is also not hanging around with those who are intentionally seeking to do that which is opposed to God’s Law. To “stand in the way” is to go the way of those who walk in sin, and this person of faith does not do that. And, lastly, this person is not sitting in the seat of scoffers. This phrase “sit in the seat” is a turn of phrase in the original language, meaning to adopt someone’s practices. In other words, he has not taken up residence with those who mock God and defy His holy ways; he has not “moved in” and taken on their lifestyle.
Do you notice anything unique about the literary style of this verse? Think back to high school poetry class, and focus on the progressions of the verbs: walks … stands … sits.
This is the downward spiral of the life of the person who doesn’t seek God! The author wants you and me to see that the person who does these things is progressing downwardly, away from the life of blessed fellowship with God that we saw in verse one. It represents to you and to me the person who starts by seeking advice from someone who is wicked, who starts to adopt the ways of those who are blatantly sinning, and then, ultimately, who takes up residence with them. This is the downward progression of the person who does not walk with God. And, the person of faith presented here does not do that.
Are there areas of your own life where you are sitting in the seat of scoffers?
Are there areas of your own life where you are standing in the way of sinners?
Are there areas in your own life where you are walking in the counsel of the wicked?
Pray & Reflect:
Supplication: Ask God to reveal any area in your own life where you need to repent of any of this behavior. Ask Him to give you a moldable heart that seeks Him and follows His Word. Ask Him to give you a life of His blessed presence.
Submission: Confess to God any areas of your own life where you have been sitting in the seat of scoffers, standing in the way of sinners, and walking in the counsel of the wicked. Ask Him to give you a spirit that is sensitive to His voice and that chooses, instead, the blessed life of faith.