I have started to read The Treasury of David by C.H. Spurgeon. This fascinating commentary on the Psalms dates from 1869, but nonetheless has much to say to me and you in the twenty-first century.
Designed to be a help to both ministers and lay people, Spurgeon’s commentary serves up quotes from other scholars such as Martin Luther and Matthew Henry, and summarizes passages succinctly in sidebars labelled “Hints to the Village Preacher.”
Psalm One begins with a contrasting description of the one blessed by God. The first verse is a negative description of a godly man; the second verse is a positive description.
Here, from the first verse, is what the godly man does not do:
He does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
He does not stand in the way of sinners
He does not sit in the seat of mockers
This is what Spurgeon says about the progression implied in this verse:
When men are living in sin they go from bad to worse. At first they merely walk in the
counsel of the careless and ungodly, who forget God – the evil is rather practical than
habitual – but after that, they become habituated to evil, and they stand in the way of open sinners who wilfully violate God’s commandments; and if let alone, they go one step further, and become themselves pestilent teachers and tempters of others, and thus they sit in the seat of the scornful.
Just a note to those who aren’t familiar with this archaic language: “stand in the way of sinners” doesn’t mean “be in their way,” as in stopping them. Just the opposite, it means “hang out on sin street.”
Also, the idea here of “sitting in the seat” of the scornful carried with it the notion of sitting down to teach someone. So, having learned initially from the counsel of the wicked, an ungodly man would then move into teaching others the same dangerous practice.
Stay away from this kind of person! And especially, do not be this kind of person!
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