Do Not Be like the Chaff

(Psalm 1:4)

Mike Johnson

Psalm 1:1-3 describes a godly person.  This passage tells us that righteous people do not walk in the council of the ungodly; they do not stand in the path of sinners; they do not sit in the seat of the scornful.  Instead, they delight in the Law of God and meditate on it day and night.  As a result, the writer describes them as being blessed by God, and they are as a fruitful tree by an abundant supply of water on which the leaves do not wither.  In addition, we are told, whatever the person represented by the tree does, he shall prosper.  Psalm 1:4 says, “The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away.”   In Instead of being like a fruitful tree by the water, the ungodly are like chaff driven by the wind.  This marks a strong contrast (continuing in verse 5) between the blessedness of the righteous and the cursed state of the ungodly.

What is chaff?  Smith’s Bible Dictionary describes it as, “the husk of corn or wheat which was separated from the grain by being thrown into the air, the wind blowing away the chaff, while the grain was saved.”  In biblical times, a farmer would go out on a windy day, often on a hill, and throw grain into the air and the chaff would blow away.  Chaff was of no value; it was something to be gotten rid of, unlike the living tree by the water which bore fruit.  Chaff will not grow no matter how much it is watered.

The Bible uses the term “chaff” to refer to something worthless, and associates it with judgment (Mt. 3:10-12, Hos. 13:3, Dan. 2:35). Those represented by the chaff walk in the council of the ungodly, they stand in the path of sinners, and they sit in the seat of the scornful.  In addition, they do not meditate constantly on the law.  In fact, they may not even give it a casual glance.  Instead, they may make fun of it, rejecting it as God’s divine revelation.  Thus, those who reject God’s Word are like the chaff as they have no spiritual value, and they will continue in this state as long as they reject God’s Will.  We must center our lives on the Word of God, being obedient to it, and God will truly bless us.  Do not be like chaff!