Psalm 1 says the ones who are blessed (or, literally “happy”) are those who meditate day and night on the Lord’s words and who avoid a few scenarios. One such scenario is avoiding “sitting with scoffers.”
To scoff is to mock, or jeer. When the Bible speaks of scoffers, I wonder just exactly what is in view. I imagine the Bible has in mind those who mock the existence of God, the reality of morality, the truth of brokenness, despair, and sin, and other fundamental truths of the Bible. The wisdom the Bible speaks of seems to have rather practical implications. People have profound impact on our own outlook. So, be careful.
Well, as I read this Psalm I wondered whether or not there are practical ways this could be carried out. One particular practical outworking would be this: be careful the types of media I engage with. Sitting with scoffers does not simply mean physical location. The proliferation of social networks, the ability to share ideas through video, movies, books, and music, the rather open social borders of our world bring to our living rooms worlds our parents and grandparents couldn’t imagine. Not all of it is beneficial.
St. John writes “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 Jn 2:15-17) We live in a world that so promotes living for the moment, gratifying the eyes and the flesh, we forget how different the world operates than the church.
So, Christians, ponder the implications of Psalm 1. Consider ways of applying the text to our contemporary world. Consider ways we might avoid sitting with scoffers and maintaining a simple, authentic faith in our overly complicated, commercialized world.