Psalm 1: 4
The wicked are not so but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
In verse 4, we see the palmist shifting from the godly person to the ungodly person. The positive things about the godly person that are mentioned in verses 1-3 are a reverse of the ungodly person mentioned from this verse onwards. Chaff in this case is a simile of an ungodly person. It resembles a wicked person. Chaff refers to the husks of grain that are tossed into the wind and blown away in the winnowing process. The context of this verse is the ancient method of threshing grain, the chaff being worthless was blown away by the wind or burned. According to Spurgeon chaff refers to something “intrinsically worthless, dead, unserviceable, without substance, and easily carried away.” This is what a wicked person is like in the eyes of God.
The Hebrew word for wicked is ´Rasha´ and it is an adjective meaning unrighteous, unjust, evil person, guilty, criminal, transgressor. The word describes people who do not belong to God and are controlled by their passion. In summary, it describes unbelievers, who hate God and are habitually hostile toward him. The wicked person unlike the fruit tree mentioned in verses 1-3 which is firmly-rooted and flourishing, the chaff on the threshing floor is worthless and liable to be swept away by every passing wind. According to David Guzik, “it may often seem like the ungodly have these things mentioned of the godly person and sometimes it seems they have them more than the righteous. But it is not so! Any of these things are fleeting in the life of the ungodly; it can be said that they don’t really have them at all.” Let it be our prayer that we are not like chaff before God.
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