“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful.” – Psalm 1:1
Psalm 1 is a prologue to the entire book, depicting the two paths of life: godliness and wickedness, and the dramatic results of each. No middle ground is presented. Interestingly, the Psalm opens with a trifecta of actions to avoid.
The three actions are steps in a process, progressing from bad to worse. First, the psalmist instructs us not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly. In other words, don’t act on worldly advice. Don’t conform to its lifestyle patterns, no matter how prevalent. Secondly, it says not to stand in the way of sinners. Standing implies a greater firmness of purpose – through self-centered patterns of living, the person has begun to plant his feet firmly in the world’s camp. He may not only follow worldly wisdom (ignorantly, perhaps), but defend it to others. Finally, the psalmist advises not to sit in the seat of the scornful. This is the final stage of apostasy – the person now resides in world’s arena and fully identifies with it. Notice that in this arena are scorners – those openly hostile to the truth.
Hopefully you do not find yourself today in the third category, but what about the first or the second? In what ways do you conform to the world’s wisdom and lifestyle patterns rather than the God-exalting, self-denying, fruit-producing, joyful living described in the Scriptures?
Lord, reveal to us where we have been deceived by the enemy and walked in the counsel of the ungodly. Deliver us from the bondage of unholy lifestyle patterns to the glory of Your Name, Jesus. Amen!