It has been said that a murder hornet has the potential to kill a human with a single sting. Seems like this fact has something to do with why they’re called murder hornets. An important question is, what does the process look like for a person that is about to die because of the sting of a bee?
I have never experienced this, but I can only imagine this person being out in the field and getting stung. He yells and runs away from the vicinity of the hornet. Then we see him walking with pain, as time passes by, his walk is a little bit slower, and slower. Then the person goes from walking to standing. Then from standing to sitting. From sitting to laying down, and eventually dying.
This is the kind of image that comes to my mind when I think about the description of the wicked person in Psalm 1:1. Here is what it says:
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers — Psalm 1:1
It has been said that Psalm 1 is an index to the entire book of Pslams. If this is the case, special attention needs to be paid to the words of the first Psalm.
Notice first that the author is saying; “Blessed is the one…”
He is about to give us an idea of what it means to be a blessed person. This is a beatitude. Just like the ones found in Matthew 5:1-12 when Jesus gave us his Sermon on the Mount, he starts with the Beatitudes or blessednesses, so too the author of the first Psalm is giving us a beatitude.
But this beatitude is different because it’s an apophatic beatitude. Apophatic is the practice of describing something by stating which characteristics it does not have. It’s also known as Negative Theology. In other words, sometimes, when you want to describe what something is, a good way to describe what that is, is by describing first what that is not.
This is what the author of Psalm 1 is doing here. He is about to tell us that a blessed person does not do the following things. What are those things?
Blessed is the one (1) who does not walk in step with the wicked (2) or stand in the way that sinners take (3) or sit in the company of mockers.
First, the person that is blessed does not walk in the step with the wicked. Second, the person that is blessed does not stand in the way that sinners take. And finally, the person that is blessed does not sit in the company of mockers.
Notice the regression you see in the person that is partaking of sin. This person first starts with walking, then we see this person standing, and eventually we see this person sitting.
A complete rhythmic regression.
If life is like running a race (Hebrews 12:1), then sin is like running with a rope tied to your ankles. It doesn’t let you run. Sin completely stops you and makes you sit. Sin paralyzes you. First, you start walking in sin, but then sin makes you stand, and eventually, it makes you sit. And then it also kills you.
There is good news though. Just like a murder hornet, sin in the Bible is represented by a deadly sting. Paul asked:
O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?
— 1 Corinthians 15:55
Where is the sting? I know where it’s at – it was left on Jesus. He took upon the sting of sin and cut the stinger from the bee so that the bee, though it may still scare you, cannot sting you anymore, for it left its stinger on Jesus.
Jesus took upon our sins and nailed them to the cross so that all those who place their trust and faith in Jesus will be saved and have everlasting life. The Holy Spirit comes into your life and gives you a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind so that you don’t have to be controlled and moved by sin, rather the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth.