January 27, 2011

Sit or Don't Sit

I do not sit with men of falsehood,
nor do I consort with hypocrites.
 I hate the assembly of evildoers,
and I will not sit with the wicked.

 (Psalm 26:4-5 ESV)
As you can see, I have quoted verses 4 and 5 from Psalm 26.  This Psalm was a part of the daily Bible reading plan that I am working on this year.

Here is the dilemma:  How do we mesh these verses with the concepts promoted by Christ when he reclined at tables with the "tax collectors and sinners" of his day?  Here is one example from the Gospel according to Matthew:
And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
(Matthew 9:10-11 ESV)
Obviously, from the rest of scripture, there were issues with the Pharisees; problems with their interpretation and application of scripture.  But, what is the relationship with the Psalm and Jesus's ministry?  How do they work together?  In other words, how do you sit with but not sit with?

I have my thoughts on this, but the line is still a little hazy.  What do you think?