Skip to main content

Psalm 1:4: The Wicked Are Not So


Psalm 1:4
[4] The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. (ESV)

The Psalms are beautiful Hebrew poetry. They have different rules of meter and rhyme, but one consistent them in Hebrew poetry is parallelisms and contrast. With parallelisms they will use different illustrations and words to repeat the same theme. We saw this in the first three verses of this first Psalm. After describing the righteous, or "blessed" man, verse 4 makes a sharp transition to contrast.

"The wicked are not so." The contrast of the blessed man is the wicked man.  Interestingly, the opening verse declared that the blessed man does not even walk in the same places as the wicked. They are not the same, and they do not associate as if they are. In verse 3 the Psalmist used an illustration from nature to describe the blessed man; a lush, fruitful, strong tree. In verse 4 the Psalmist also uses an illustration from nature. The wicked are described as chaff.

If you have an agricultural background you know what chaff is. Dr. John MacArthur gives us a simple definition:  "A frequent OT word picture from harvest time for what is unsubstantial, without value, and worthy only to be discarded" (Dr. John MacArthur, Online Study Bible Notes). Consider the contrast. The blessed man is a strong tree. The winds may blow, but it stands strong in righteousness. The chaff? They are blown away. The unrighteous will not stand in the day of Judgment.

What are you? A tree of righteousness, enjoying the blessed relationship of God? Or is your life being blown away as you chase after wickedness? Only following God is a life of blessing. If you call to him he will plant you by streams of His righteousness.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18
[18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV)

Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic.

Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison.

Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death, being ston…

Romans 15:14: I Myself Am Satisfied About You, My Brothers

Romans 15:14
[14] I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. (ESV)

The Apostle Paul was a strong man. His words to the churches in all of his letters are full of doctrinal truth and instruction that are not for the faint of heart. In this letter to the church at Rome he had to correct them in their understanding of how to deal with issues that could potentially divide them. Paul had never even been to Rome yet. He had not met these believers.

Paul is telling the church at Rome in this verse that the reason they were able to receive his strong words was because of their spiritual maturity. He declares that they are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. This is an incredible compliment that Paul would not offer to every church.

This concept of being filled with goodness and knowledge speaks of a group of believers who had listened to the Word of…

Romans 15:16: To Be A Minister Of Christ Jesus To The Gentiles In The Priestly Service Of The Gospel Of God

Romans 15:16
[16] to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. (ESV)

The time of the Early Church was a time of great transition. Up until Christ coming and bringing redemption to all who believer the people of faith were the Jews. If you wanted to worship God the only appropriate way was to go through a priest who would offer sacrifices on your behalf to God. All of the sacrificial system was fulfilled in Christ. Now, there was a new way to righteousness.

This time of transition was a challenge for all involved. The Jews had to move from an approach to God that involved keeping the Law. The Law was fulfilled in Christ. Now the way of salvation was a way of faith. There were some traditional aspects that were now gone. It was hard for them to move away from their traditions. It is hard for all of us to move from our traditions.

For the Gentile convert…