Not so the wicked! They are like the chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the day of judgement, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
Psalm 1 v.4-5
These are salutary words These are strong words – ‘wicked’, ‘sinners’ and ‘judgement’. These are words that mark a huge gulf between the first and second parts of this Psalm.
It is clear to those who will look, that we live in a seriously broken world and that this brokenness is caused by sin. Simplistically, we fail to follow the makers instructions and end up in a mess. But it more serious than simply ending up in a mess for whereas the man who delights in the law of the LORD will stand and endure the wicked are described here as chaff (the useless part of the harvesting process) good for nothing. But again it is more serious than this for one day there will be ‘judgement’ and at that judgement the wicked will have no plea to enter, unless they have come to the ‘tree’ on which Jesus died and accepted him as Saviour and Lord, thus discovering that there their ‘nothingness’ as chaff, is turned into something of infinite value.
The Psalmist doesn’t allow for a halfway house although many appear to rely on such a position. The situation is unarguably binary. In or out. Righteous or wicked. Life or death. Prosper or perish!
Paul reminds us in Romans 10 v.8ff
“The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11 As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
What a great commentary on Psalm 1.4-5.
There is hope for the wicked! That hope lies in confessing Jesus is Lord and believing that God raised him from the dead! Where do we find that hope? In the word! How do the wicked find that? As it is preached to them! Who does that? Those of us who know the truth, whose delight in the law of the LORD is such that we have to pass it on!
I wonder if Paul had Psalm 1 v.3 in mind when he wrote
“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news’.
Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
James 5 v.20
Is there a more beautiful thing than that?