Do Not Stand in the Path of Sinners

(Psalm 1:1)

Mike Johnson

Psalm 1:1 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.”

Here we see a person must not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, and he must not sit in the seat of the scornful.  Also, the text says he must not stand in the path of sinners.  What is the meaning of this statement?

Standing implies a more fixed position than walking, mentioned first, conveying the idea that the godly will not wait for or linger with sinners.  The godly will continue moving to avoid associating with them.  The “path” involves places where they are found or usually go.  The person who stands in the path of sinners is looking for trouble.

It is impossible to completely avoid people of the world (1 Cor. 5:10), but worldly people are not to be our constant social companions.  1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.'”  (Note also Pb. 1:15, 13:20, 22:24-25.)  Christians are in the world, but they are not to be of the world (Jn. 17:11-17).  A righteous person does not stand “in the path of sinners” because of the dangers of becoming like them.