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! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:1-2
For as long as there have been roads and paths there have been markers along the way. This ancient practice of marking a journey has become a metaphor used to indicate expected events on a given path in any number of disciplines. Ms. Kitty and I became grandparents this year – twice. There are probably more developmental milestones in the first year of life than in the next ten years combined. Who knew that blowing bubbles was a developmental milestone? It has been an exciting year for our family and for many of our friends (2014 was a big year for babies).
Many have commented upon the progressive opposition toward the man of Psalm One. He does not walk, then he does not stand, and finally he does not sit.
He does not walk in the counsel of the wicked. From the first sin in the garden until now, it all starts with questioning the goodness of God. The true revelation of God is rejected and the wisdom of man is embraced. I am reminded of the young King Rehoboam that refused the advice of his father’s wise counselors and instead turned to his young friends (1 Kings 12). The path he chose resulted in the division of Israel. Instead, the righteous man is encouraged to walk “circumspectly” (Ephesians 5:15). He takes great care. He is ever watching the path before him without ignoring the dangers that may be beside or even behind him.
He does not stand in the path of sinners. The danger of lending your ear to the wicked is that you may stop moving forward and join them on their path. There were men who had travelled with Jesus and the disciples but turned back. John says, they went out from us (1 John 2:19). They stopped moving forward and took a stand against the apostles. The progress is from rejection of the revelation of God to the resistance of His Truth. This is often the state of unbelieving man.
And finally, he does not sit in the seat of the scornful. While we may think of sitting as a passive position, it is actually not. In ancient times the teacher sat, kings sat, and even now judges and others in authority are “seated”. These have progressed from rejection and resistance to open hostility to the revelation of God’s Truth.
Now what does this have to do with babies and milestones? It usually escapes our notice that the development in this passage is the reverse of normal human development. I just saw a picture of my grandchild sitting up. Her cousin was standing on her own quite recently, but now she is walking. Those are milestones in their physical development.
The man who rejects the Truth (God’s revelation of Himself) is actually reversing the natural order of things. This is precisely what the serpent did in the Garden. Man was to rule under God and over the Garden – including the beasts. He was to rule with his wife. However, it was all reversed when a beast caused his him and his wife to question the revelation of God. He followed the counsel of the wicked beast. This placed man below the authority of the beast – reversing the natural (created) order. What man sees as progress is in fact digression.
The righteous man begins meditating and delighting in God’s Word. Babies sleep, eat, and watch (repeat). One of the first milestones is the recognition of their parents. Then they follow the parent with their eyes, and eventually smile and laugh (or even squeal with delight).
His next milestone is to be planted near nourishing and refreshing waters (standing). This is a time of growth and strengthening. It should not be rushed.
HIs final milestone is that The LORD knows his way (walking). The righteous are in motion, walking in the counsel of The LORD.
Where on the path are you now?