The Chaff

Psalm 1:4-5, “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.”

Greetings, Everyone!

We have a very important question to ask. Do you know who the chaff is?

Our focus verse says, the ungodly … are like the chaff…. Okay. But, that is not the answer. Oh well, since we did not know exactly, we decided to take a walk down chaff boulevard to the house of truth in order to find the answer … When we came to the front door of the truth and knocked, the door was opened and we found inside more to know about the chaff. It prompted us to identify and define its characteristics.

After a thorough search, we took a step back for a more broader view to see how it applied to us, and guess what? Adjustments were needed …and… the appropriate corrections were made, i.e., we were renewed in the spirit of our mind. Today, we are here to share what we have learned in hopes that you may be (edified and) comforted in the Lord … as He has comforted us. Amen?!

Let’s begin….

In scriptures, the chaff refers to the wicked. In the Hebrew, it is defined as winnowed or (rather) threshed loose; it is like tares separated from grain and driven by the wind. In the Greek, tares refer to a kind of darnel (weedy ryegrass), resembling wheat except the grains are black.

Insights on Chaff in Scriptures

The wicked and nations under God’s judgments are compared to chaff … easily blown away:

  • (Job 21:18) They are as stubble before the wind, and as chaff that the storm carrieth away.
  • (Psalm 35:5) Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them.
  • (Isaiah 17:13) The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.
  • (Isaiah 29:5) Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly.
  • (Isaiah 41:15) Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff.
  • (Hosea 13:3) Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney.

Biblical History (Chaff)—
When the wheat was winnowed, in Oriental countries, it was commonly performed in the open field, and usually on an eminence, and where there was a strong wind. The operation was performed, as it is in the United States, when a fan or fanning-mill cannot be procured, by throwing up the grain as it is threshed with a shovel, and the wind scatters the chaff, while the grain falls to the ground.

This process reminds us that, God’s reapers will separate the wheat from the tares. Jesus’ fan is in His hand … He will gather His wheat into the garner … He will burn up the chaff (wicked/tares) with unquenchable fire. He will make up His jewels (wheat):

  • (Matthew 13:30) Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
  • (Matthew 3:11-12) I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
  • (Malachi 3:17-18) And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

Worthless Chaff—
We can see from these scriptures the destiny of the chaff (wicked). Compared with the righteous, the wicked are like the worthless chaff driven away by the wind. The image is often found in the scriptures, and the idea here is, that the wicked are in no respect like the green and fruitful tree referred to in Psalm 1:3.

Psalm 1:3, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

  • The chaff (wicked) are not like a tree in any respect. They are not even like:
    • a decaying tree, nor
    • a barren tree, nor
    • a dead tree
  • for either of these trees would suggest some idea of stability or permanency at one time or another….

The wicked are like dry and worthless chaff driven off by the wind, and of no value to the farmer (the earthly Husbandman), for instance … a substance which he is anxious only to separate wholly from his grain, and to get out of his way.

This is a similitude of the will of God (the heavenly Husbandman) … for Himself and His trees of righteousness to be separated from the wicked, eternally. (See: Isaiah 61:1-3; John 15:1-6).

The Worthlessness of the Wicked—
Let’s read certain passages from Psalms which pertains to the worthlessness of the wicked:

  • (Psalm 7:11) God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
  • (Psalm 9:5) Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.
  • (Psalm 9:17) The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
  • (Psalm 10:4) The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
  • (Psalm 11:5) The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
  • (Psalm 26:5) I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.
  • (Psalm 27:2) When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
  • (Psalm 28:3) Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.
  • (Psalm 34:21) Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
  • (Psalm 37:20) But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.
  • (Psalm 37:28) For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
  • (Psalm 58:3) The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.
  • (Psalm 112:10) The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.
  • (Psalm 119:155) Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes.
  • (Psalm 125:3) For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.
  • (Psalm 145:20) The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.

See what God said about the worthlessness of the wicked? That’s downright scary! It should put us on an immediate and serious alert to strive to be righteous in the sight of the Lord; strive to be His perfect disciples; strive to be His wheat (saved to the uttermost); strive to be His trees of righteousness (bearing and bringing forth much good fruit); strive to be His precious jewels!

Intrinsic Worthlessness—
The wicked will be cast into outer darkness: there will be wailing, weeping, and gnashing of teeth:

  • (Matthew 13:41-42) The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
  • (Matthew 13:49-50) So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
  • (Matthew 22:11-13) And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The concept here is the intrinsic worthlessness of the wicked who will be among other things, driven away because they are worthless to the kingdom of God—worthless to all the purposes for which man was made—and will be hence, cast into outer darkness….

Agriculturally, at the same time, however, there may be an implied contrast between the chaff and the useful grain which is the object of the farmer to secure.

Where do you stand, walk and live, today? Are you an example of useful grain, or, the chaff? In other words, from God’s perspective, are you the righteous (grain) or the wicked (chaff)?

Don’t know, yet? Please, continue reading….

The righteous strive to live as they ought according to what is prescribed in God’s word:

  • they love righteousness and hate iniquity;
  • they love truth and hate every false way;
  • they love perfection and hate errors;
  • they love God because they have, keep, and live by His word;
  • they love the brethren….


The wicked live as they choose with no regard to the righteous standards set by God:

  • they do not think about God until trouble rises;
  • they hate the brethren who love God and speak of Him in fellowships;
  • they hate God’s word, entirely;
  • they hate righteousness but love iniquity;
  • they love the commandments, traditions, and doctrines of men….

And, because they hate the brethren, God said, they are murderers “…and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15).

So … which one are you? Wheat, or, chaff? Are you in the congregation of the righteous? Better be sure you know … before you go!

There is NO penitence after this life … it will be too late to repent. God is NO respecter of persons in judgment. Folks, now is the time to examine yourself to see if you are God’s wheat, or, the chaff which the wind driveth away….

He/She who is able to receive it, let them receive it.

In Christ We Do Remain
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