An important principle of Bible interpretation is progressive revelation. Progressive revelation means that a doctrine which is introduced in an early portion of the Bible is unfolded more fully in later sections. A good example is the Bible's doctrine of what lies beyond death. Ideas of the afterlife are rudimentary and even scarce in the Old Testament, but they are developed at length in the New Testament after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The same is true of the doctrine of the atonement. Salvation by substitution is taught in the Old Testament, but it is only explained fully after Jesus accomplished it by dying for his people.

Joy. Our word for the second blessing is joy, though the word David uses here is "delights." The interesting thing about David's word is that it is the plural of the word "Eden" and undoubtedly looks backward to the joys of our first parents before the Fall.9

Faithfulness. The second attribute is faithfulness. Maclaren rightly argues that this has to do with God's verbal revelation, for only a God who has spoken promises to mankind can be thought of as faithful. This God has done. He has given numerous revelations and promises, and he has adhered unwaveringly to each one. Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote, "He never fails, nor forgets, not falters, nor forfeits his word.... To every word of threat or promise, prophecy or covenant, the Lord has exactly adhered, for he is not a man that he should lie, nor the son of man that he should repent.”7

Without any restraining influence from what is good, the wicked person becomes so abandoned to evil that he plots it by night as well as day and becomes thoroughly committed to an evil course. At this stage of his or her fall the evil person is not merely drifting into evil ways. He is plotting it, in contrast to the godly who spend the wakeful night hours meditating on God and his commandments. Psalm 1:2 says of the righteous man, "His delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night." David wrote of himself in Psalm 63:6, "On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night."

Denying that one will one day give an accounting to God has a profound impact on how the wicked person lives, which is what the next verses are about. As Arno Gaebelein says, "Loving darkness more than light, he calls evil good and good evil and is self-righteous and has an excuse for everything."3 David sees five steps in his decline.