September 21 2022
Today, Tuesday September 21
“The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
Psalm 1 describes at least three individuals. The one who is blessed (vv. 1-2)). The one who is a blessing to others (v. 3), and the one who needs a blessing (vv. 4-6). Psalm 1 puts everyone in one of two categories. We are either godly or we are ungodly. We are either a saint, or we are a sinner. We are either righteous or we are unrighteous. We are either in Christ or we are still in Adam. It is up to us who are the “blessed ones”, to take the Gospel to those who are considered ungodly, sinners, or unrighteous. How desperately these people need to know God and receive His blessings in Christ!
This section of Psalm 1 starts with the statement, “The ungodly are not so.” “Not so”. The Psalmist makes a contrast between the godly and ungodly. "Not so!" This means that all that the godly person enjoys and experiences is not true in the life of the ungodly. The godly are compared to a tree—strong, permanent, beautiful, useful, fruitful. The ungodly are compared to chaff—they have no roots; they are dead; they are blown with the wind; they are useless to the plans of God; they are neither beautiful nor fruitful; they are destined for the fire.
Chaff is worth nothing. When the grain is winnowed, the wind blows the chaff away, and what chaff remains is thrown into the fire. John the Baptist used these same images in Matt. 3:7-12 when he described God as a harvester, visiting the threshing floor and separating the grain from the chaff. The wicked of this world seem rich and substantial, but from God's point of view, they are cheap, unsubstantial, and destined for judgment. (See Ps. 73.) What a tragedy for people to spend their whole life on earth as chaff and, as far as eternal things are concerned, amount to nothing.
Jesus concluded His Sermon on the Mount with this picture (Matt. 7:13), and we see it mentioned throughout the Book of Proverbs (Prov. 2:20; 4:14; 4:24-27; etc.). Why are the ungodly lost? Because they will not submit to Christ and His Word. They prefer the counsel of the ungodly to the "whole counsel of God" in the Word (Acts 20:27). They prefer the friendship of godless people to the congregation of the righteous. They spend their days thinking about sin, not about the Word of God (Gen. 6:5). They think they are secure in the earth—but they are only chaff!
Is there a future judgment? Verse 5 informs us that there is. Of course, in the OT we do not find the full explanation of the future judgments as we do in the NT. For the believer in Christ, there is no judgment of sin (John 5:24; Rom. 8:1), but for the unbeliever, there is "a fearful looking for of judgment" (Heb. 10:27). This judgment of the lost is described in Rev. 20:11-15. There will be no Christians at that scene, only unsaved people.
The true character of the wicked will be revealed at that judgment; they will be seen as chaff, worthless lost souls. When v. 5 says the wicked "shall not stand" in the judgment, it does not mean they will be absent; rather, it means they will not be able to endure the judgment. When the books are opened, these individuals will be flung to their knees in confession of sin and of the truth of God's Word and God's Son (Phil. 2:9-11). These ungodly people will never be allowed to enter the heavenly congregation of the righteous, even though on earth they might have been members of religious groups. See Matt. 7:21-23.
This psalm begins with "blessed" and ends with "perish." True believers are blessed in Christ (Eph. 1:3). They have received God's blessing, and they ought to be a blessing to others, especially to the chaff that will one day be thrown into the fire.
But until that happens, we have the opportunity to witness to them and seek to bring them to Christ.