Psalm 37, part 1

As posted on my old blog.

In church yesterday the sermon came from the first half of Psalm 37. This was such a timely Psalm for me. I have broken it down into several parts, and will post my thoughts as I pray through it.

Psalm 37:1-9 (ESV)

He Will Not Forsake His Saints
Of David.

37 Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.

  • Fret not… to fret or worry is to think a lot about something I have no control over. Fret to me has a connotation of a fussy child – one who is uncomfortable and tired and incapable of being reasoned with. You have to make them calm down. This Psalm says three times, “Fret not”. It is a command, and it requires deliberate action on my part.
  • Concern is different, concern is “what I am supposed to do, and how do I do it?” Concern leads to action of some kind.
  • Evildoers – anybody or anything that goes against God. Sometimes they seem to prosper on this earth, but their prosperity will not last into eternity.
  • Life on earth is indeed fleeting in the light of eternity.

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.

  • Trust is knowing that God will do it. God will take care of whatever this situation is.
  • Often it’s really not my problem, or it’s something I have NO control over.
  • Go do the next thing – Do good. If there is nothing I can do in this situation, maybe my role here is to simply pray and give it to God, and then walk away and trust Him to handle it.
  • “Befriend faithfulness” is better translated “cultivate faithfulness”. The deliberate daily task of trusting God rather than fretting grows faithfulness in me. Live life faithfully. How do I do that? Stay in the Word. Pray about everything. Go do the next good thing.

Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

  • If I am delighting in the LORD, then the desire of my heart has become Him, and He promises to give me Himself. This is key. But how do I delight in the LORD?
    • I recognize what He has done for me: life, salvation, the sun coming up today, and everything in between. And I thank Him for it all. I spend my day looking for things to thank God for. I keep a list in the back of my journal, and I add to it daily. Big things, small things, people, things that make me happy – it all goes in my list of thanksgiving.
    • Stay in the Word. This is crucial, it gives me the perspective I need to direct my thinking.

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.

  • Commit my way – I am all in: heart, mind, and soul. Sometimes my emotions don’t agree, but that doesn’t matter if I am committed.
  • He will act – it is not something I do, it is something God does. That has been a recurring theme here, right? I am fretting over a situation that I have no control over; it is not something I fix, it is something God will do.
  • And what will He do? He will give me the righteousness of Christ, and He will bring justice to evildoers. The rest of the Book, and experience, tell me that it may not happen right away, but remember, this life is fleeting. Eternity is forever. God’s justice is forever.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!

  • Be still
  • Wait patiently
  • Fret not
  • These are things to deliberately do. To be still and wait patiently are the opposite of fretting. And it’s not just be still and wait, but be still before the LORD and wait patiently for the LORD. He is the object. When we focus on the prosperous evil man we begin to fret.

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
For the evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

  • Fretting, being anxious, leads to a cycle of depression and anger; is that really what I want?
  • Fretting leads to evil, so what does that mean if I am fretting about someone else’s evil deeds?
  • Wait for the LORD. He will cut off the evildoer, and He will reward His own children.

©Rebecca Givens, 01/30/16

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