The Willow Tree: Psalm 1 (Pt 5)

A Study of Psalm 1: (Part 5: Exposition IIA-B)

II. God does not bless the way of the wicked.

A.  The wicked man is fruitless and worthless: The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

The Psalmist uses the analogy that the wicked man is like chaff driven away by the wind.  Chaff is an agricultural term that describes the fragments of stalk and husk that accompany the grain gathered during harvesting.  The grain is valuable, the chaff is not.  When farmers harvest a crop, they would have to separate the grain from the chaff by throwing it into the air.[1] Since the chaff was nearly weightless—light and lacking in substance—the wind would drive these worthless fragments away, leaving only precious morsels of grain to fall to the ground.

The point of the Psalmist is that the wicked man is as useless and unnecessary as    the chaff.  As the wind drives the chaff away, so shall the wicked man be unable to remain.  He has no value in the sight of God, because he is worthless and good-for-nothing besides wickedness.  He has no staying power, but will be driven away by the wrath of God.  He is unlike the righteous man who will flourish in hard times.  The wicked man will be unable to endure the difficult that he will face on Last Day.  His life will be fruitless and unstable, and he will be completely at the mercy of the destruction that befalls him.

In what ways does your life resemble the wicked man and lead you to confess your sin as you practice faith and repentance in the gospel to deliver you and make you fruitful?

Not only is the wicked man fruitless and worthless, but he is unstable and unwelcome.

B.  The wicked man is ultimately unstable and unwelcomeTherefore, the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;

1.  He will not stand in the judgment. This is in contrast with verse one where the wicked man has a way of standing.  In this life, the way of the wicked seems prosperous as though it will forever stand.  Yet, such behavior is only temporarily unpunished.  The way of the wicked is that they will ultimately be unable to stand in the final judgment.  Spiritually, he will have “no leg to stand on.”  He will be cast down for his wickedness, and have no excuse by which to hold himself up.  He will be forced to bow the knee to Jesus, because his legs will have been broken from under him and never restored to their temporal, worldly strength.

2. He will not be included among the righteous.  This is in contrast with verse one where the wicked man has an assembly of mockers among whom he is seated.  While the company of the wicked may seem to prosper in this lifetime, there will be no room for them among the God’s people in the Day of Judgment.  They will be expelled from God, and by extension, from the people of God.  They will find no assembly among the righteous, and have no refuge for their souls.  They will suffer the eternal torment that awaits all who did not confess Jesus Christ as Lord and live for Him in their lifetime.

Might you now take time to thank God that He has accounted you among the righteous and that you will stand in the Day of Judgment.  Celebrate His mercy by praising His name.  If you are not sure that you will be among the righteous who stand in the last day, then confess your sin and cry out to God to have mercy on you and save your soul.  Christ will save you, if you but trust in Him.

*This is the fifth part of a series on Psalm 1.


[1] Cf. Matthew 3:12 uses this analogy as the Father winnows the wheat from the chaff.  The same is seen in Matthew 7 where Jesus says, “Depart from me you workers of lawlessness, I never knew you.”

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