Psalm 1 shows that there are two choices, two ways to live. The first is blessed of God. The person who seeks this way is like a tree planted along the streams of water. Its roots sink deep into the soil, and it is nourished. The person who follows this way is blessed. In all that he does he prospers.
But there is another way. It is the way that seems right but leads to destruction. This is what Jesus called the “broad” way with a large, open, inviting gate. It seems to be the right and easy and logical way, but it leads to sorrow. The person who follows this way will perish.
Those who follow this other way will not be like the blessed. Psalm 1:4 speaks about the wicked. The strongest thing that can be said about the wicked and rebellious is that they will not be like the blessed. The verse says in the Hebrew language, “not so are the wicked.“
The wicked are like the chaff which the wind drives away. It is a vivid picture of a life lived for self.
In Israel, at harvest time, the wheat would be gathered and left in the field. At night, when the wind blows, the farmer separated the wheat from the chaff and tosses everything in the air so that the wind blows the chaff away.
No one knows where it goes. So it will be with those who do not seek God and His ways. “The way of the wicked will perish“ (Psalm 1:6).
The point of the psalm is clear: we all have choices. To read the Psalms and obey is to find life, hope, and joy. To live in selfishness and disobedience is to be like the chaff which the wind drives away.
The conclusion of this psalm could not be any more pointed. “The Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
“To know“ in Hebrew means to know personally and intimately. It describes knowing by experience. What a wonderful thought! “God knows the way of the righteous.” But what a frightening thought. “The way of the wicked will perish.” Isaiah spoke of the intimate direction of God who says to us “this is the way, walk in it“ (Isaiah 30:21).
May we be those who seek God with all our hearts and desire to please and honor Him.