Psalm 1.1: Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
Richard D. Phillips writes: Did you notice the definite progression contained in these words? First the person is walking, then standing, before finally taking his seat as he settles into the sinful life he has chosen for himself. This is the slippery slope of sin, a progression that leads to a settled godliness. (Walking With God, 4)
He will go on to say: Furthermore, there is a progression in the nature of sin's influence. First, there is the counsel. This is advice and persuasion, the way sin begins with our minds coming under the influence of the world. Next it is a way. The ideas have taken root in the mind and now bear fruit in behaviour and habits. Then, lastly, we have the seat of scoffers. Now the man is seated in depravity, his character has been warped and he is at rest and at home in this way of sin. (5)
It is no wonder we read elsewhere in Scripture Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage (1 Corinthians 16.13). It takes courage to live for Jesus and avoid the path of sinners - courage when lived by faith - brings blessing: But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on hi law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. (Psalm 1.2-3)