“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, not sit in the seat of scoffers.” (Psalm 1:1)
Psalm 1 opens with a blessing for the person who does not “walk”, “stand”, or “sit” in ungodliness. Most of God’s people today would like to think that we have indeed avoided these worldly postures — but have we?
The third of the worldly postures here that the godly should avoid is sitting “in the seat of scoffers.” The Hebrew word for “scoffer” is used throughout the Book of Proverbs to describe a person who is proud, and critical, and who rejects God’s true wisdom. It seems to refer to a proud attitude of skepticism, a kind of opposite to faith.
Unfortunately, many today who would consider themselves to be very committed Christians, in fact exhibit this very attitude. They label virtually every Bible teacher as unorthodox; they shake their heads as others seem to constantly use scripture that is “out of context”; and they are often almost more hesitant to believe in miracles or the supernatural than many atheistic skeptics! What they fail to see is that in exercising what they consider to be a “superior” level of Christianity, they have actually seated themselves in the seat of scoffers!
While nothing in this text should cause us to cast aside Biblical discernment, and while there are certainly plenty of false teachings, questionable interpretations of scripture and “miraculous” testimonies to doubt in our world today, one must also be careful, lest “discernment” harden into a continuous attitude of skepticism — and he unwittingly find himself in an undesirable location: “sitting in the seat of scoffers.” Those who take that seat, although wise in their own eyes, are actually very foolish — for the blessing of God for which their hearts long is nowhere to be found there.