The Bible is full truths that fly square in the face of typical human thinking. Scripture’s description of a blessed and happy life stands as a perfect example. Man seeks blessing in wickedness. For many, life is about self-actualization and fulfilling the desires of the flesh. Psalm 1 teaches us that such a life is destined for ruin. The Psalmist said the ungodly “are like the chaff which the wind drives away.” The ancients brought their grain to the threshing floor and threw it into the air so that the wind could blow the chaff away. This practice teaches us three truths about an ungodly and wicked life.
– An unblessed life. The Psalm highlights the contrast between the blessed and the unblessed man. The blessed man is like a tree planted by a river (v. 3). He enjoys stability, longevity, nourishment, and abundance. The wicked man enjoys none of these blessings.
– A temporary life. The wind blowing the chaff away is a perfect picture of a short-lived existence. A wicked man may live to be 100 years old and sow seeds of wickedness that will bear fruit for twice as long, but in light of eternity his impact is almost nothing. Job said “Man that is born of woman is few days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1). He could have said “The wicked are few days and full of trouble.”
– A meaningless life. Farmers allow the wind to blow the chaff away because chaff is worthless. The ungodly are like the chaff in the sense that a life of wickedness is an empty and worthless existence. There is no real meaning or lasting satisfaction apart for glorifying God (cf. Ecc. 12:13).
Two people and two different ways of life are contrasted in Psalm 1 and each of us fit one of the two pictures. Which one best describes you?