Psalms 1:4

4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Psalms 1:4 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 1:4

The ungodly [are] not so
They are not as the good man is; their manner and course of life are different; they walk in the counsel of ungodly men, like themselves, and take counsel against the Lord, his Anointed, and his people: they stand in the way of sinners, and steer their conversation according to the course of the world, and sit in the seat of the scornful; laugh at divine revelation, lampoon the Scriptures, deride good men, make a jest of religion and a future state: they have no delight in the law of the Lord, they cast it away from them, and despise it; and are so far from a constant meditation on it, that they never read it, nor so much as look into it, nor is it ever in their thoughts. They are not like to a tree, as described in ( Psalms 1:3 ) : if they are like to trees, it is to dry trees, and not green ones, to trees without any sap, moisture, and verdure, and which are only fit fuel for the fire; to the trees of the wood, to wild olive trees; to trees on an heath, in a desert, in parched land, and not to trees by rivers of water, but to trees that have no root, and are without fruit, ( Jude 1:12 ) . And though they may be in a seeming prosperous condition for a time, may be in great power, riches, and honour, and spread themselves like a green bay tree; yet suddenly they are cut down as the grass, and wither as the green herb; and even their outward prosperity destroys them; so that not anything they have or do in the issue prospers: and therefore they are not blessed or happy as the good man is; yea, they are wretched and miserable, nay, cursed; they are cursed now, and will be hereafter; they are cursed in their basket and store, their blessings are curses to them; the law pronounces them cursed; and they will hear, "go ye cursed", at the day of judgment, see ( Matthew 25:41 ) . The Vulgate Latin, Septuagint, and Arabic versions, repeat the words "not so", and read "not so the ungodly, not so:" which seems to be done for the confirmation of the truth of it:

but [are] like the chaff which the wind driveth away;
they are like chaff, which has no root, moisture, greenness, nor fruitfulness; they have nothing in them solid and substantial; they are destitute of all that is good; are vain and empty; without the knowledge of God and Christ; without faith in Christ and love to him; and are sensual, not having the Spirit, his graces and fruits: they are like chaff for lightness, vain in their imaginations, light in their principles, frothy in their words, and unstable in all their ways: they are never long in any position, unsettled, disquieted, and tossed to and fro; and there is no peace unto them: they are like chaff, useless and unprofitable, nothing worth, fit only for everlasting burnings, which will be their case. For when Christ will gather his wheat, the righteous, which are of value, into his garner, the heavenly glory, he will burn the chaff, the wicked, with unquenchable fire. They are now like chaff, driven and carried about with every wind of doctrine, with divers and strange doctrines, and entertain every light and airy notion; and are easily drawn aside and carried away by the force of their own lusts, and with every temptation of Satan, who works effectually in then: and particularly they are like chaff before the wind of terrible judgments and calamities in this life, and of the awful judgment hereafter, when they will be driven away from the presence of the Lord into everlasting destruction. The metaphor is often used in this sense; see ( Job 21:17 ) ( Isaiah 17:13 Isaiah 17:14 ) ( 29:3 ) ( Hosea 13:3 ) ; and denotes the secret, sudden, sure, and easy ruin of the ungodly, which comes upon them like a whirlwind, in an instant, which they cannot avoid; and they can no more stand before God and against him, than chaff before the wind. It follows,

Psalms 1:4 In-Context

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
The King James Version is in the public domain.