Allure Of Sitting With Scoffers

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Happy Are The Loving Souls

by Eric Elkin

Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers;
— Psalm 1:1

The "seat of scoffers" can often be the most entertaining seat in the house. The best one-liners in the crowd are more apt to come from scoffers than the righteous. If you doubt my opinion, I would like to remind you of Statler and Waldorf, the two grumpy old men in the balcony of the Muppet Show.

Initially, the two old curmudgeons offered momentary comic relief criticizing Fozzie Bear while he performed on stage. The popularity of their segments forced the show to increase their air-time. Eventually, Waldorf and Statler became featured performers in an award-winning web show on Movies.com.

Let’s face it, the seat of scoffers is an entertaining seat a lot of people wouldn’t mind sitting in. Where else would you hear comments like these, except in the seat of scoffers?


Waldorf: “What was that?”
Statler: “They call that a medium sketch.”
Waldorf: “Why’d they call it that?”
Statler: “Because it certainly isn’t rare and it definitely wasn’t well done.”
— The Muppet Show

One summer at camp, we had s staff full of scoffers. The most vocal leaders on staff were extremely funny and charismatic. They drew everyone into their humor, including me. The summer had all the potential of being one of the funniest summers of all-time.

Except, their humor was so heavily grounded in sarcasm that it didn’t take long for it to become destructive.

Few people saw it coming, and even those who did were criticized for not having a sense of humor. However, by the end of the second week of the summer, our staff meetings were cruel and vindictive. The entire atmosphere was toxic and destructive.

As we gathered together to begin the third week of summer, we asked the staff to stop being scoffers. By then, everyone was eager to give it up.

Psalm 1 ends by saying, “The way of the wicked will perish.” Some may read that as though God will punish the wicked. Except, perish, in Hebrew, communicates a decision made by the wicked. God is not the one punishing them. Instead, they choose to go their own way. In going their own way, they become lost and isolated. The way of scoffers can do that kind of thing.

When that staff abandoned their sarcasm and returned to mutual respect and love, the summer was once again full of life. I thought about that this morning when I read Psalm 1. It brought the words; Happy are those who do not sit in the seat of scoffers to life.

Click to read: Psalm 1

Reflection Questions:

  • When have you been burdened by sarcasm?
  • How do you give in to cynicism?
  • Where have you experienced joy through mutual respect?
  • How can you choose to love today?

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