“Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night.” (Reference: Psalm 1:1-2 )
Five years ago I wrote, “Twenty years ago if you would have told me I was going to be mediating on the Lord’s law day and night I would have said you were daft. But here it is late at night and I am thinking and pondering on scripture, and I will be again tomorrow. Furthermore, if you were to have told me that I would be looking up the word ‘meditate’ in the Hebrew to find out that it indeed did mean ‘to ponder’, I would have considered you more than slightly loony. But that just happened.“ And nothing has changed in the intervening five years. I still meditate or ponder on “the law of the Lord” day and night. And have daily for the past five years.
What’s more, as I said five years ago, “I do not follow “the advice of the wicked,” or at least I strive not to. And if I “take the path that sinners tread” I backtrack and go the proper Godly direction as soon as I realize that I have made a misstep. And as for “the seat of the scoffers,” well I scoff at the scoffers!” Actually, not quite sure what it is meant by sitting “in the seat of the scoffers.” But I looked it up – it means to not associate with people who look down or are dismissive of religion and religious ideals.
Finally, five years ago, I posed the question as to whether I am happy or feel blessed because of this type of behavior. At the time I said I was very happy. But as I think about these verses as applied to the theme of separation, I feel another type of answer is needed. John Claess wrote to his wife, “Think not of what is past, but persevere with a firm confidence in the Lord; He will help you in everything for the best; give yourself up to this and always join yourself to those who fear the Lord, for this will be for your best interests.” I have put in bold the last thought phrase that Claess, that one should separate one’s self from those who do not believe. We read this same sort of thinking yesterday under the theme of not serving two masters. The implication in Psalm chapter 1 is that the true follower of God does not associate with those who are not, . . well . . . , true followers of God. They separate themselves.
So to answer the question, am I happy doing and being what I am? Yes! But does my happiness come from holding myself apart from those who follow the advice of the wicked? Or avoiding those who take the path of sinners? Or sitting apart from where scoffers sit? (By the way, I have realized it is NOT a virtue to scoff at scoffers.) Not really. As I said yesterday, you can not make disciples out of people you do not associate with. Five years ago I was living my life in sort of a cushioned bubble. Life was pretty good. But further down the road of the year 2009, life got tough. And then tougher. And then a few years after that, tougher. Bringing me to my present. And I have to say it is being with people who are different from me and ministering to them in a myriad of ways has given me a different kind of “happy” and “blessing.”
Keep your faith strong, and maintain your Christian lives and the direction you are called by God. But do not wall yourself away from the world that may be wicked, sinning and scoffing. Show them what it means to meditate and ponder on the law of the Lord and the blessings it can bring. Selah!