Weds 30 September - Psalm 37
1 Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy peace and prosperity.
12 The wicked plot against the righteous
and gnash their teeth at them;
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows their day is coming.
14 The wicked draw the sword
and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose ways are upright.
15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.
16 Better the little that the righteous have
than the wealth of many wicked;
17 for the power of the wicked will be broken,
but the Lord upholds the righteous.
18 The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care,
and their inheritance will endure forever.
19 In times of disaster they will not wither;
in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.
20 But the wicked will perish:
Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field,
they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.
21 The wicked borrow and do not repay,
but the righteous give generously;
22 those the Lord blesses will inherit the land,
but those he curses will be destroyed.
23 The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
25 I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
26 They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be a blessing.
27 Turn from evil and do good;
then you will dwell in the land forever.
28 For the Lord loves the just
and will not forsake his faithful ones.
Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed;
the offspring of the wicked will perish.
29 The righteous will inherit the land
and dwell in it forever.
30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,
and their tongues speak what is just.
31 The law of their God is in their hearts;
their feet do not slip.
32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous,
intent on putting them to death;
33 but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked
or let them be condemned when brought to trial.
34 Hope in the Lord
and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land;
when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.
35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man
flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,
36 but he soon passed away and was no more;
though I looked for him, he could not be found.
37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright;
a future awaits those who seek peace.
38 But all sinners will be destroyed;
there will be no future for the wicked.
39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
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Meditation on Psalm 37
This Psalm is the final one of a small group of 4 Psalms which contain wisdom-like teaching for the righteous and warnings concerning the wicked.
Wisdom literature is usually associated with sages who were a vital part of Israelite society, along with priests and prophets.
Sages were well-versed in matters relating to the created world and to human affairs.
Sages tended to deal with the practical aspects of living.
The main theme of Psalm 37 is the contrast between the righteous and the wicked, which follows on from Psalm 36 where David is very clear about the wicked … “I have a message from God in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
The phrase, ‘who will inherit the land’ comes 4 times. It refers to those who will live on and enjoy the blessings of the LORD in the promised land – will it be the righteous or the wicked?
Note the characteristics of the wicked.
- scheme 7
- plot 12
- use force to bring down the poor and needy 14
- have wealth 16
- have power 17, v.33
- don’t repay what they borrow 21
- are wrong doers 28
- try to ambush the righteous 32
- they seem to flourish 7, v.16, v.35
Isn’t this an up-to-date picture as we look around the world, as we listen to the news and as we search our own hearts?
Note the characteristics of the righteous.
- trust in the LORD 3, v.5
- do good 3, v.21
- take delight in the LORD 4
- wait patiently for the LORD 7
- hope in the LORD 9, v.34
- enjoy the LORD’s blessings 11, v.21
- are cared for by the LORD 18
- are upheld by the LORD 24
- are loved by the LORD 28
- have an eternal home 29
- have the Law of God in their hearts 31
- have a future 37
- enjoy the LORD’s salvation 39
- are secure in the LORD 39
- have the LORD’s help 40
In summary, their focus is IN THE LORD.
This is an up-to-date picture of the relationship between the LORD and His people and we are in that relationship.
There’s just one conclusion from all this – Read vs. 37-38 again.
‘A future awaits those who seek peace. There is no future for the wicked.’
The phrase, ‘who will inherit the land’ is answered emphatically.
verse 9 ‘those who hope in the LORD’
verse 11 ‘the meek (the humble)’
verse 22 ‘those the LORD blesses’
verse 29 ‘the righteous’
We rejoice in the love, the mercy, the grace and the faithfulness of our God – read Psalm 36:7-9
We are stirred into action to share this good news with those who, as yet, ‘have no fear of God before their eyes.’
‘Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.’
Thursday 1 October - Psalm 38
Friday 2 October - Psalm 39
Saturday 3 October - Psalm 40
Sunday 4 October - Psalm 41
Monday 5 October - Psalm 42
Tuesday 6 October - Psalm 43