Today's devotion from Psalm 69.
Psalm 1 is probably my favorite of the psalms. That said, I often turn to Psalm 23 to comfort families in distress. I encourage college students to study the words of Psalm 37 in order to get the right priorities. I've preached and taught through the beauty and masterful language of Psalm 119 for weeks. I enjoy and find extreme value in many of the psalms, but the first has always been particularly important to me. I think it is because its combined promises and warnings help me navigate through life.
In Psalm 1, we see a journey that takes place. You are blessed if you do not make this trip. It begins with listening to the advice of the confused. Then, once they've caught your attention, you find yourself standing around with them, participating in the conversation. Finally, before you realize what has happened, you catch yourself sitting with the elders of mocking as they openly deride God and His way.
Psalm 69 taps into this imagery when the psalmist writes, "I am the talk of those who sit in the gate, and the drunkards make songs about me." (Psalm 69:12, ESV) In doing so, we see a sharp reality presented. When you decide which path to take, the one blessed by God or the one easily traveled, it will lead you to a destination that stands in stark contrast with the other.
In other words, Psalm 69 laments the fact that David is scorned and looked down on because He has chosen to follow God. That means that the elders among the mockers will also mock him. They cannot stand anything or anyone of God. Therefore, they ridicule those who are "foolish" enough to not embrace the wisdom and logic of the world.
This was written by David. He was the golden example of Israelite success. He won battles, had fame, wealth, and power. He was ridiculed for his faith. People couldn't understand why he wouldn't defend himself from Saul. They couldn't fathom how he could allow his faith to inform his decisions. Even the king of the golden age felt the sting of reproach.
If he felt it, then know that you and I will. People will laugh and mock. They will ridicule and gossip. They will do all this and more because they don't understand. They can't understand because they chose a path on the advice of the confused and have learned logic from those who miss the mark. They are on their way to leadership among those who stand in opposition to God and His ways. Stay the course. "For God will save Zion and build up the cities of Judah, and people shall dwell there and possess it; the offspring of his servants shall inherit it, and those who love his name shall dwell in it." (Psalm 69:35,36, ESV)