by Peter G. Feenstra
The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. (Ps. 1:4–6)
Does being a Christian put you at a disadvantage? Is the Christian faith a liability? You may be struggling with the fact that your obedience to the will of God seems to stifle the possibility of doing those things you would like to do. Yet the Lord assures us: obedience never puts us at a disadvantage.
The author of Psalm 1 illustrates the advantage of the righteous over the wicked. The status of the righteous is compared to a tree planted by a stream of water which yields its fruit in its season. A tree may flourish or fade, depending on its location and access to water. Just as a tree flourishes when fed by a constant water supply, children of God will thrive when they delight in the law of the Lord.
Expecting everything from the gracious hand of our covenant God and being connected to the source of life provides true happiness. The righteous are satisfied with living water, from streams that never run dry. They grow and bear fruit. Young and old trust that God will give them what they need to be fruitful in His service.
The natural eye does not always see the advantage of the righteous. The natural mind does not always understand what the LORD is doing. But with the mind of Christ and with the eye of faith we believe that the Lord will send His salvation. The way of the righteous is a way of life in spite of struggles and trials.
Compare that to the ways of the wicked! The life of the wicked is summarized succinctly in the comparison of verse 4. They are like chaff which the wind drives away. Just as chaff is something light and useless, the ways of the wicked are futile, empty, and worthless. The Lord will sift the chaff from the wheat. Within the church that happens through the process of church discipline. All individuals who do not follow the instructions of the Lord in their thinking or conduct may not and cannot stand in the congregation of the righteous. There is no advantage in being wicked. In the end they will come under the curse of the Lord. “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes.” (Jer 17:5–6)For further information about this resource, click here.