Posted by: missionventureministries | July 16, 2012

PURSUE THE PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS – Psalm 37

This Psalm is filled with wisdom directed to the believer’s and teaches them how to act toward evildoers. It instructs us on the importance of maintaining the right perspective during our life.

David begins in the first two verses with a statement of consolation: “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.”  – He mentions the word “do not fret” several times in this chapter. So how do we accomplish this, how do we stay calm in response to the evildoer?  Our answer is found in the next verses: “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.

David encourages us with principles which should guide our lives.

Trust In The Lord (vv. 3, 5) – While the wicked trust in themselves, the righteous are called to put their confidence and hope in the character and promises of the Lord. We are to confide in God and rest on Him, instead of allowing the mind to be troubled because of the wicked; or because what they can or might do to us. We need to place our trust in the Lord. The wise, cling to the goodness and sovereignty of the One who “causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

And do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture (v 3) – The Bible teaches us: do “not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). The best way to keep the mind from fretting is to be always engaged in doing good; to have the mind always occupied in something valuable and useful. Philippians 4:8 states: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart  (v 4) – Here David is telling us that we should seek our happiness in God – in His being, His perfections, His friendship and His love. We are to let the nearness of God be our good (Psalm 73:28) and cultivate intimacy with Him. This cannot be done apart from the discipline of regular time with the Lord in the Word and prayer. When we seek Him first, He gives us the desires of our heart because our desires become conformed to His. “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14).

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this (v 5): – We are to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt us in due time, casting all our concerns upon Him, for He cares for us. (1 Peter 5:6-8). Without reservation we need to give all our plans, our dreams, our hopes, and our desires to the Lord (Proverbs 16:3). The only things that will really be ours are the things we freely give to God. Jesus told us: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24).

He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. (v 6) – The angel of God told Daniel: Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3)

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
. (vv. 7, 9, 34) –
Be still means waiting in silence patiently and confidently for God’s answer and intervention as we leave the whole matter under His control.

God’s timing is different from ours, and because of this, we are not to grow impatient, anxious, and frustrated with the adversities of life. We are to trust His character and we must trust His timing. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7)

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. (vv. 8, 9) – Repeatedly, David reminds us that the righteous should not fret over evildoers because it only leads to evil. He reminds us that those who are evil will be destroyed in the end but those who place their trust in Him will inherit the land.

The wisdom of this psalm is to adopt a perspective on life by embracing God’s purposes and ordering all of our affairs according to His will and instructions.

The bulk of Psalm 37 contrasts the pursuits and destiny of the wicked and the righteous. It grants that in the short run, those who refuse to acknowledge God may prosper, while those who seek God often suffer at the hands of evildoers. By contrast, the righteous will ultimately endure and inherit the land (vv. 3, 9, 11, 22, 29, 34). Jesus reiterates the teaching of Psalm 37:11 in the Beatitudes by declaring, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). The good news is that those who in meekness commit themselves to Jesus Christ and are blessed by the imputation of His righteousness not only will inherit the land, but they will ultimately inherit the entire earth.

 

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