5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.
There are a couple of curious phrases in these two verses. To fully understand them we have to go back to the first 4 verses of the Psalm. There, we find that the Psalmist says that the man who avoids wicked company and wisdom is blessed (vs 1). Furthermore, the blessed man takes joy (delight) in the Word of God (vs 2). The word becomes his foundation and nourishes (prospers) his spirit (vs 3). The wicked, though, at times, they may seem to prosper in a worldly sense, do not have these blessings. Their joy and foundation are not only insecure, they are fragile and fleeting (vs 4).
Therefore (vs5), they “will not stand”…what does that mean? A strong case can be made for it to mean that the wicked will not be present with the righteous at the final judgment. This would clarify the rest of verse 5 as well. We know there will be a judgment, that will take place within the assembly of believers and that God will preside over it (Psalm 82:1 God takes His stand in His own congregation; He judges in the midst of the rulers.) This divine council is a convening of godly authorities (Ps 89:6-9) to pronounce judgment upon the wicked who will, apparently, not even be present at the hearing, their infractions so severe. In short, the wicked have no place in the assembly of God’s people, now or at the final judgment. Why not? “Because the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish”. Without repentance and heart transformation, the wicked are doomed. There is no opportunity to plead their case, no appeal, no bail, no commutation of their sentence. All that remains is for their sentence to be pronounced. Praise God, “Therefore, here is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!” We are delivered from that judgment by His grace!