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.
Let me say up front that this post is directed at me and it’s hurting me (in a good way I suppose) just to write it out. If it benefits you too that’s great, but if you’re wondering who I have in mind here, that’d be me.
Hebrew poetry does a lot with parallels (as I’ve mentioned before in my first of these meditations on this same verse) and here we have wicked, sinners, and scoffers in parallel with each other, each enhancing the meaning of the others. This really bothers me. I feel like I can say pretty truthfully that I am not a wicked person. I am a sinner (saved by grace!) but I feel like the Spirit has matured me beyond the ‘worst’ of my sinful habits.
But then there’s scoffing.
See the thing about being a graduate student is that you have to think critically and… [editing out remainder of lame excuse]
[searching for another rationale to overcome this parallel]
[Google not helping here]
I can’t get around it. The connection here is obvious and unavoidable. Wicked, sinners, and scoffers are all lumped together. What’s worse is that while the wicked are giving counsel (albeit wicked counsel), and the sinners have their own way, the scoffers are sitting on their butts doing nothing but scoffing. Great. Critical goes with wicked and lazy.
There is a solution here and only one. The person who doesn’t want to be with that wicked/sinning/scoffing group sets his or her delight and focus on the Word of God instead.
I encourage you (meaning me) to reflect this week on the parallels here:
And on how “delight” changes the whole tone of this poem, back to the initial “Blessed” which draws sharp attention to the “not” that stands in front of these parallels. The poetry here is beautiful and effective. The differences in how we think and act could not be more starkly portrayed. This is juxtaposition at its finest. Because this is a life-choice at its most important.