Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Not So the Wicked - Psalm 1:4

The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Just a reminder - pray as you begin and ask the LORD to grant you understanding, to give you grace to hear His Word and to give you the grace to believe and obey.

In the Hebrew this verse begins with the emphatic "NOT SO the wicked!" We miss some of the power behind the author's words when we translate it "the wicked are not so...." We soften it when the author intended to get our attention by saying, "everything that we just said that is true of the righeous is emphatically not true of the wicked. In fact the opposite is true of those who hate God."
Who are these wicked people, what are their characteristics, what do they choose and what do they believe (or disbelieve)?
The wicked (rasah - 7563 TCWSDOT pages 1080 - 1081) refers to those who are guilty, criminals, transgressors. It is often used in direct contrast to the righteous and is almost exclusively used in a legal sense. The wicked person has been tried for their wicked deeds and has been found guilty. An even stronger use of the word is how the wicked are seen by God. The wicked are God's enemies and those from whom God rescues the righteous. They are evil and do not learn righteousness. They willfully choose to follow after and find ways to offend God and His people. Here in Psalm 1 and in other OT passages the wicked are noted by their path, way, counsel, tent, and life.
Who are they? God's enemies!
What are their characteristics? They willfully choose to reject God's laws, reject God's ways and more than that seek to lead others in the same life.

What do they choose? They choose condemnation and ultimately death, God's wrath abides on them.
What do they believe or, more precisely, what is their unbelief? They do not believe that God is holy, righteous, just, and glorious. The root of their unbelief is that they do not fear God! (see Psalm 73 for how the wicked live and what they think)
Their unbelief has consequences. Instead of being a tree firmly planted with continuous refreshement and promised fruitfulness the Scripture says they are chaff (mots - 4671), just husks of wheat that are worthless and useless having no roots.

Now this next part is way cool! The husks of wheat actually have a purpose. Can you believe that their intended purpose is to protect the wheat until it is time for harvest! Once the wheat is cut, the threshing process requires that the chaff be broken off so that the wheat germ can be ground and used for food or meal. Did you get that? The chaff's only purpose is ultimately to serve the good of the wheat! Once the chaff has fulfilled its purpose in protecting the wheat it is thrown away while the true wheat goes on to feed, nourish and provide seed for more wheat harvests.

Are you ready for the next absolutely amazing thing? What separates or drives the chaff away from the wheat? Wind! BUT - not just any old wind. The word used in Psalm 1: 4 is ruach - 7307 - the word used to describe God's Holy Spirit. At the right time God's breathes into the life of the unbeliever separating them as chaff and in order to reveal His Harvest.

And - don't think of this as a gentle breeze. The word is nadap - 5086 and carries the idea of being driven by a strong or mighty wind. Get this - this verb is most often used in the passive tense. The chaff has no choice and no power over the wind. The wind accomplishes the work of separation and the chaff obeys (finally). The wicked cannot control the wind of God's Spirit; His judgement blows at His command.

Let's make some application. The enemy of God chooses unbelief and even in his willful rebellion actually serves the purposes of God to protect the true harvest for the right "season". The chaff serves at God's pleasure for the blessing of the joyful - happy - free man and can serve to increase the fruit-bearer's fruitfulness.

Only God can do that! Only our Heavenly Father can use rebellious, wicked, enemies and criminlas for His glorious work. Want an example? Go Read Acts 4 - I'd love to hear what the Holy Spirit teaches you.


  1. Sept. 14, 2009
    Excellent...I am loving it too.

  2. I guess we get lazy/apathetic in our work for Christ if we don't face opposition/trials/persecution. I like how Peter & John said they could not help but speak about what they had seen & heard. Open my eyes, Lord.....I want to see Jesus! Then Holy Spirit show me when to speak up!