Psalm 1:4

What the heck is chaff? and what in the world does this mean? Psalm 1:4

“The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;”
We don’t often use the word chaff, and honestly if you just read over this verse, it doesn’t make alot of sense to us. Why won’t the wicked stand in judgement? It seems like they should. After digging around a bit, God allowed me to find out some things that really helped. Hope that they will help you as well.
But are like a chaff that the wind drives away – Chaff is the husk on the outside of a wheat kernel. You can’t eat it, and it basically doesn’t do anything. You have to take it off before you can make anything with the wheat. How they would do this is they would throw it up in the air and it would seperate from the kernel and the wind would blow it away while the wheat would fall back down. The chaff lacked weight. In this culture your name was closely related to your character, when it talked about respecting the name of someone, you can pretty much sub in character and be ok. Character was also often described as what gave a person weight. It is what the person is made off. When it describes the wicked here as chaff/weightless, I believe that it is saying that they are void of character. Easily blown away by the whims and influences of the world. So how much weight does our character have? Are we easily blown around and influenced by people or are we able to fall back down into God’s hands so that He can make us into something useful?
The wicked will not stand in judgement – now when I read this I was like, WHY NOT? It didn’t make sense to me at all because it seemed contrary to what scripture says elsewhere. The phrase to stand in this case is different then how we use it today. In courtrooms during this time you were able to stand if someone was behind you vouching for you. It ment that you had the support of someone, someone in your corner. What this verse is saying is that the wicked will have no one to vouch/defend/support them in judgement. I was reminded of this recently when a group of guys went out to party. One of them drank to much and got arrested for fighting. The friends just went home. Didn’t go to the jail, just went back home and went to bed. There was no one to stand with him. So many times this happens, we are influenced to do the wrong thing but when consequences or judgement comes, all the people that were with us quickly flee, often in fear of their own lives. The wicked to not stand in judgement means that they don’t have a chance. They will get the full weight of everything, the full weight of justice.
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous – still going with the metaphor of standing here. Standing also means to identify with. I believe this is talking about how if you choose to do what you want and live “in sin” then you will not be able to identify with the righteous. Upon closer inspection the difference will be seen. Or, going back to the original example, when you are thrown up, you will quickly be blown away. A chaff cannot pass as a wheat kernel.
So, I am left asking myself how much weight does my character have and what is it based on. It has been said that character isn’t defined in one or two major moments in your life, but in the countless daily moments that lead up to the big ones. What you do in secret will define who you will be when the light hits you. Just remember that God provides for us to walk with him daily and does not abandon us to live life alone.
Thanks for reading.

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