4  The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind drives away. 

5  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 

6  For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, 
But the way of the wicked will perish.  (
Psalm 1:4–6)
          Of course, the next section of Psalm 1 is built upon and is really a continuation of the first 3 verses.  The theme of those first three verse was the blessedness of the righteous man.  David gave us 3 negative and 3 positive reasons why this blessedness is so.  
         In verse 4 here David begins the contrasting section of the Psalm, telling us that the wicked are not so.  He begins with a graphic description of just what the wicked are actually like from God’s point of view.  The righteous are blessed from His perspective as well as from the view of other believers around them.  The end of the above section told us that they prosper by God’s hand like a tree by a good water source.  It is such that its’ intended function, producing fruit at an appropriate season, is accomplished.  He finished up, at the end of verse 3, by suggesting the fact that this tree would never wither, with the implication that it would not happen no matter what circumstances came to pass.  
         Verse 4 sets up the contrast by carrying on the picture from the end of verse 3.  They will not prosper and they indeed WILL wither with the implication, against what the very end of verse 3 said, that no prospering will occur.  It is interesting that David does not leave the matter to have its’ conclusion drawn by the reader.  He puts the conclusion in very definite terms, as well as quite personal terms:

  • He says the wicked “are not so”.  The language here is very personal.  He is talking about the group defined as the “wicked” but the statement about what is their destiny is more direct and personal.  Drawing from the personal and singular nature of the end of verse 3, we ought to conclude that the same singular nature that the prior statement had.
  • He carries on the same individual sense that he finished the prior verse with.  Regarding the righteous…given the circumstance given in the first 3 verses, at the end of verse 3 David concludes that “…he prospers”. 
  • In verse 4 He starts talking about the wicked, a general form that speaks all of the “wicked”.  David is speaking of and describing is generally so regarding all of those who fall into that category. 
          He then goes on further and makes a very dramatic and visual description of the specific end of these wicked ones.  They are not planted near any source of water and thus cannot draw any of the sustenance so desperately needed in order to be able to accomplish the function for which they were/are intended.  Thus, David says, they end up like “chaff”.  Chaff was the husk of wheat once it was harvested and dealt with to enable the farmer to have access to the core of the wheat, the only valuable part of what had grown. 

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Psalm 1:4-6 - The Lord Knows the Way of Righteousness
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