Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night.
Psalm 1:1-2 (NIV)
Read: Exodus 23:1-9
Consider: When God gave his commandments (Exodus 20) to the people of Israel he included things about their relationship with him, as well as things about their relationships with each other.
When he told them in Exodus 23 not to follow the crowd he knew that this command would affect their relationships with each other, but ultimately it would affect their relationship with him. God knows that when we are in tune with the world, we are out of tune with him.
Psalm 1:1-2 talks about walking in step with the wicked. This is a very visual image. You can probably relate to it when as a child you walked step in step with a parent, sibling or friend. Being in step is not in itself wrong, it is being in step with the world’s standards that is wrong.
Notice that the psalmist uses the words ‘walk’, ‘stand’ and ‘sit’ to convey the progression from taking the world’s views on board (walking), to identifying fully with the crowd (standing) and finally adopting the mocking attitude of the world towards Christ and God (sitting).
Thankfully the psalmist doesn’t leave it there. He contrasts the undesirable tendency to follow the crowd, with the desirable characteristic of delighting in and meditating on God’s Word.
The message to the Israelites was to be different from the nations around them. The same must be true of us today. We are not to follow the crowd, but to follow Christ.
Pray: Father, the world pulls and pushes us to conform to its standards. Help us to keep walking in step with you. Amen