We now turn to the third and final aspect of what blessedness is not:
3) Blessedness will follow the man who does not sit in the seat of scoffers (mockers, the scornful).
Seat and scoffers
“I do not sit with deceitful men, nor will I go with pretenders” (NASB).
“I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites” (ESV).
“I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers” (KJV).
“I did not sit in the circle of merrymakers, nor did I exult. Because of Your hand upon me I sat alone” (NASB).
“I did not sit in the company of revelers, nor did I rejoice; I sat alone” (ESV).
“I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone” (KJV).
Scoffers, mockers, scornful, deceitful, false, vain, merrymakers, revelers. These are the ones the Psalmist urges the godly not to sit with; meaning, to be among of, to be surrounded by their company, to be in the midst of their assembly (congregation). It is a call for holiness (to be set apart of). It is a warning against even sitting where they are gathered. This leaves no room for compromise. If you truly are a son of God, you will not seek to be in the assembly of those who mock the law of the LORD so much that they make up their own law (counsel) and follow it in their stupidity. To seek to be among them for no other reason than the Gospel is to endorse and embrace wickedness, ungodliness, and sin.
The word “seat” carries with it an image of a teacher or a ruler. The Psalmist is probably saying one or two things (or both):
a) the ungodly scoff at the law of the LORD as self-proclaimed kings of their souls in their thrones of wickedness,
b) the ungodly sit in their seats of teaching to spread the pestilence of their counsel to all who do not listen to the Psalmist’s warning.
I believe it is both. The Psalmist uses very strong language to distinguish the godly from the ungodly. The ungodly are pretty much called the scum of the Earth, despised by the Holy and Just God of the heavens.
The ungodly are deceitful, spreading their poisonous words like gangrene. Every word they speak is filthy and conceives death. That is the picture the Psalmist wants to convey. Once more, Luther comments on this point, “For the pestilence in the bodies of men is not half so contagious as that of ungodly doctrine for their souls ; “their word,” saith the apostle, 2 Tim. 2:17, “will eat as doth gangrene.” As the wise are called the health of the world, so these ungodly are rightly called the pestilence of the world. And what mockery can be more pestilential, than to administer deadly poison unto souls that are thirsting after the purity of the truth? “(Kindle Locations 700-703).3
So, putting it all together. We have seen in this entry what blessedness is not. The Psalmist, as any other writer of Scripture, makes clear distinctions between godly and ungodly, saints and sinners, just and wicked. However, as mentioned somewhere above, this is not to say that the godly are godly because of their own inherent goodness; they are godly because God renders them godly based on the sacrifice of His perfect Son. Both Jews and Gentiles alike are scoffers, mockers, scornful, deceitful, false, vain, merrymakers, revelers, sinners, ungodly, corrupt, wicked men from the moment of conception; so there is no ground for boasting, even to him who walks not, stands not, and sits not on wickedness. Romans 3: 10-18 (NASB) is clear when it says that,
“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”
“THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE,
WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING,”
“THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS”;
“WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS”;
“THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD,
DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS,
AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN.”
“THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.”
1 The Reformation Study Bible. Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries, 2005. Print.
2 “genre”. Oxford Dictionaries. April 2010. Oxford Dictionaries. April 2010. Oxford University Press. 12 November 2011 <http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/genre?region=us>.
3 Luther, Martin, 1483-1546; Lenker, John Nicholas, 1858-1929. Luther’s commentary on the first twenty-two Psalms : based on Dr. Henry Cole’s translation from the original Latin (Kindle Locations 647-651). Sunbury, Pa. : Lutheran’s in All Lands Co..
4 Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for halak (Strong’s 1980)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2011. 12 Nov 2011. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?