Archive | May 29th, 2013

See Through the Chaff

May 29, 2013


Le vanneur (The Winnower) - 1846-1847 - Jean-François Millet

Le vanneur (The Winnower) – 1846-1847 – Jean-François Millet

He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. – Psalm 1:3-4

His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire. – Luke 3:17


Chaff is the husks of the wheat seed that is removed before being ground into flour. It is used throughout the Bible as a metaphor for the sin, or sinful people and the treatment they will receive at the judgment.

We know who or what chaff is, but what does it do?

For just a minute, I want to think about the military version of chaff rather than the husks and stems in wheat. Chaff is a very simple and effective defensive weapon used to fool missiles and other devices that use radar. It is comprised of flakes and strips of material that are highly reflective to the radar signals. The net result is when chaff is launched into the air, a cloud of this stuff forms around the target and is obscured in a way that causes the weapons to miss it.

Let’s look at all of the opportunities that the world offers us for diversions and time wasting

  • TV
  • Video games
  • The Internet
  • Hanging out with Friends that don’t share our godly goals

To keep our chaff metaphor going, one might say that Satan is launching chaff to counter our goal to get to heaven. Nothing is wrong with these activities in and of themselves, but how much is leeched from our visitation, our Bible study or our family time?

Now think about some of the “overlooked” sins

  • Social drinking
  • Clothing that isn’t as modest as it should be
  • The lottery
  • Dancing

Even if we are good time managers, many of today’s activities are desensitizing us to things that should be offending us. Even so called family shows and cartoons are riddled with innuendo and “mild” curse words.

In the end, an active Christian in good standing with his peers might find himself off target when it is all said and done. Just like an experienced radar operator can pick out his target in the midst of the chaff, we need to keep our sights on the target. We became Christians when salvation became our objective. When the chaff is “burned away,” will you still be on course?

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