Psalms 1:1-3 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. –ESV
There is much discussion about how to live a blessed life. And there are many different scriptures we can draw from to have that discussion. The one referenced above is one that has spoken to me, convicted me, and helped me more than most others though. It covers a lot of ground with only a few words.
Hindering Blessed Living
How many times had I walked in the counsel of the wicked before reading this with new eyes? We can have a tendency to categorize some areas of our lives as secular or unspiritual, like work or hobbies. This being the case, it might seem harmless to receive counsel in some of these areas from wicked people who don’t know God. And sometimes it is harmless. Sometimes there is no believer available with the expertise we need in some areas. But I have personally been convicted to cut out secular influence in any of my doings when possible, and to use humble caution when resorting to it.
There was also a time when I considered myself able to stay strong spiritually when ‘standing in the way of sinners.’ I considered myself an independent thinker and non-conformist enough to be able to cast aside caution as to who I rubbed shoulders with. This is an arrogant attitude. I was relying on flesh to fight flesh, which is not possible. Though I found myself able to stand externally in many ways, there were bad things going on inside of me. Dark thoughts. Secret attitudes that weren’t right. Temptations that though I wasn’t always fulfilling, brought me unnecessary battles.
I understand that as Paul wrote, we would have to be removed from this world to avoid being around sinners. But I have also come to realize there is no good that comes from consistently surrounding ourselves with them casually.
Sitting In The Seat Of Scoffers
As to scoffing, well that’s certainly one that seems to have crept into many lives in the church. I’ve been a scoffer. I still catch myself scoffing more often than I’d like to admit. But scoffing is a tool of the enemy to belittle whoever or whatever we’re scoffing at to get them to conform to our own desires. The reason we have this problem among believers is because we’ve been sitting in the seat of scoffers.
All three of these points drive home a need to avoid surrounding ourselves with evil. We have to come to grips with the fact that we are vessels. What goes in, must come out. So what is the remedy?
I believe it is given to us right after these three things. ‘but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.’
If we want to be blessed, we need to avoid surrounding ourselves with evil so it won’t flow through us and corrupt us. And we need to fill ourselves with scripture and meditate on it constantly so that holiness is flowing through us and cleansing us day by day. This causes us to yield fruit in its season. It keeps our leaf from withering. It causes us to prosper in all that we do. That is what the blessed life is made of.