"How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!"
This is one of those verses that I usually just read over and keep moving till I get to something that has to do with godly people cause I don't think I am this guy. Yet, a few days ago God hit me with a brick of understanding with this verse.
If you notice there is a progression or a pattern if you will. The guy goes from walking, to standing and then to sitting. Here are some thoughts on this and how this verse applies a whole lot more to me than I thought or would dare to admit.
Walking - Walking is a daily activity, and everybody does it. This guy walks (daily lives) in the counsel of the wicked. How often do I let the influence of the world and what it deems important, significant counsel my daily life? Alot more than I care to admit. This counsel affects what i think and what I say. This guy is carried away, I don't think this is intentional, he probably goes to church on Sunday. However, in his daily life he is counseled by the world and carried along on the streams of worldy desires, that take him farther away from God.
Standing - If you are standing somewhere, you pretty much aren't doing anything. You stand when you wait for something or can't make a decision. I think that this guy has grown passive. He stands in the path of sinners. He doesn't turn and move towards God. He may actually get in the way of people that are trying to see God. To me, standing represents passivity in our relationship with God. This guy has/is growing cold. He may be tired, or something may have happened that he doesn't like. For whatever reason he has chosen to stop. This is a critical juncture in our life where faith is key. Faith in God, even when we don't understand, grants perspective. Perspective grants hope, lack of perspective/faith breeds despair.
Sitting - In this culture when you sit somewhere, it was understood that you were identifying with it. So this guy has moved from being counseled, to growing passive and now he is identifying with a scoffer. Now if you were to think of a scoffer you would probably think of a heckler at a comedy club that is being rude. However, I think we scoff at things everyday. When you scoff at something you deny it's power or value and diminish it. How many times do I do this with God? This guy has moved to a place perhaps from despair or lack of faith, perhaps from disobedience, where he identifies more with a scoffer than a believer. If you look at how he lives, you would identify him as a scoffer. You can't distinguish between the two. Not because he is in the back of the church heckling the pastor, but because his life if void of faith and instead filled with actions that show he does not trust God in any way shape or form.
So take some time to think about a verse that we would usually skip over. Don't be afraid to see yourself in it, because that is when life change happens. Remember that if God is showing you something it is because He loves you and wants to draw you closer to Him, not because he is out to make you feel miserable.
Application ?'s take a few minutes to process through these:
- How am I letting myself be counseled by the world instead of God? Usually i try to justify these things, I am a terrific justifier, unfortunately.
- How have I grown passive and why? At the intersection of faith, doubt and unbelief, which way am i headed and what needs to change?
- How have I started to identify with a scoffer? Is there something that I think God's power is limited in? If somebody looked at my life, what would they identify me as: a scoffer or a believer?
Thanks for reading!