Psalm 37 (New American Standard Bible)
1Do not fret because of evildoers,
Be not envious toward wrongdoers.
“The words ‘do not fret’ literally mean ‘do not get heated,’ which is also how we might express it. Or we might say, ‘Don’t get all worked up.’ Or even, ‘Be cool.'”
–James. M Boice
2For they will wither quickly like the grass
And fade like the green herb.
3Trust in the LORD and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
4Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
–from Tozer on the Holy Spirit
Admiration . . . is appreciation of the excellency of God. Man is better qualified to appreciate God than any other creature because he was made in His image and is the only creature who was. This admiration for God grows and grows until it fills the heart with wonder and delight.
“In our astonished reverence we confess Thine uncreated loveliness,” said the hymn writer. “In our astonished reverence.”
The God of the modern church person rarely astonishes anybody. He manages to stay pretty much within the constitution. Never breaks over our bylaws. He’s a very well-balanced God and very denominational and very much one of us, and we ask Him to help us when we’re in trouble and look to Him to watch over us when we’re asleep. The God of the modern church person isn’t a God I could have much respect for. But when the Holy Ghost shows us God as He is — we admire Him to the point of wonder and delight.
5Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
Spurgeon wrote: “They said of Martin Luther as he walked the streets, ‘There comes a man that can have anything of God he likes.’ You ask the reason of it. Because Luther delighted himself in his God.”
6He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
And your judgment as the noonday.
7Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
8Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
–from My Utmost for His Highest,
by Oswald Chambers
ONE OF GOD’S GREAT DON’TS
“Fret not thyself, it tendeth only to evil doing.” –Psalm 37:8
Fretting means getting out at elbows mentally or spiritually. It is one thing to say “Fret not,” but a very different thing to have such a disposition that you find yourself able not to fret. It sounds so easy to talk about “resting in the Lord” and “waiting patiently for Him” until the nest is upset – until we live, as so many are doing, in tumult and anguish, is it possible then to rest in the Lord? If this “don’t” does not work there, it will work nowhere. This “don’t” must work in days of perplexity as well as in days of peace, or it never will work. And if it will not work in your particular case, it will not work in anyone else’s case. Resting in the Lord does not depend on external circumstances at all, but on your relationship to God Himself.
Fussing always ends in sin. We imagine that a little anxiety and worry are an indication of how really wise we are; it is much more an indication of how really wicked we are. Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way. Our Lord never worried and He was never anxious, because He was not “out” to realize His own ideas; He was “out” to realize God’s ideas. Fretting is wicked if you are a child of God.
Have you been bolstering up that stupid soul of yours with the idea that your circumstances are too much for God? Put all “supposing” on one side and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty. Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about that thing. All our fret and worry is caused by calculating without God.
9For evildoers will be cut off,
But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.
10Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more;
And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there.
11But the humble will inherit the land
And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.
Matthew 5:5 (NIV)
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
“The ‘meek’ are they who bear their own adversities, and the prosperity of their enemies, without envy, anger, or complaint.”
–Thomas Hartwell Horne
12The wicked plots against the righteous
And gnashes at him with his teeth.
13The Lord laughs at him,
For He sees his day is coming.
14The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow
To cast down the afflicted and the needy,
To slay those who are upright in conduct.
15Their sword will enter their own heart,
And their bows will be broken.
16Better is the little of the righteous
Than the abundance of many wicked.
“A little blest is better than a great deal curst;
a little blest is better than a world enjoyed;
a pound blest is better than a thousand curst;
a black crust blest is better than a feast curst;
the gleanings blest are better than the whole harvest curst;
a drop of mercy blest is better than a sea of mercy curst.”
17For the arms of the wicked will be broken,
Psalm 10:15 (CEV)
Now break the arms
of all merciless people.
Punish them for doing wrong
and make them stop.
But the LORD sustains the righteous.
18The LORD knows the days of the blameless,
And their inheritance will be forever.
19They will not be ashamed in the time of evil,
And in the days of famine they will have abundance.
20But the wicked will perish;
And the enemies of the LORD will be like the glory of the pastures,
They vanish–like smoke they vanish away.
21The wicked borrows and does not pay back,
But the righteous is gracious and gives.
22For those blessed by Him will inherit the land,
But those cursed by Him will be cut off.
23The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.
24When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.
Three benefits for the righteous man or woman: 1) The reward comes not only in the future age; in the present day God will guide our steps. 2) Believing in Jesus and being justified by faith through grace is reason to cause God to delight in us. 3) Even if we stumble on account of our own poor choices or mistakes, God is always there to help us get back on the right path.
25I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
Or his descendants begging bread.
26All day long he is gracious and lends,
And his descendants are a blessing.
27Depart from evil and do good,
So you will abide forever.
28For the LORD loves justice
And does not forsake His godly ones;
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.
29The righteous will inherit the land
And dwell in it forever.
How wonderful to have such a faithful God who will care for our every need and always do what is right! He is worthy of our praise! “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” is sung HERE by Cece Winans. The hymn was written in 1923 by Kentucky school teacher/newspaperman/pastor Thomas Chisholm; it was popularized around the world by George Beverly Shea and the choirs of the Billy Graham Crusades.
30The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
And his tongue speaks justice.
31The law of his God is in his heart;
His steps do not slip.
32The wicked spies upon the righteous
And seeks to kill him.
33The LORD will not leave him in his hand
Or let him be condemned when he is judged.
2 Peter 2:9 (NLT)
So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials.
34Wait for the LORD and keep His way,
And He will exalt you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
35I have seen a wicked, violent man
Spreading himself like a luxuriant tree in its native soil.
36Then he passed away, and lo, he was no more;
I sought for him, but he could not be found.
37Mark the blameless man, and behold the upright;
For the man of peace will have a posterity.
38But transgressors will be altogether destroyed;
The posterity of the wicked will be cut off.
39But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
He is their strength in time of trouble.
40The LORD helps them and delivers them;
He delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
Because they take refuge in Him.
Psalm 37:4 (KJV)
Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
There is satisfaction in serving the Lord Jesus; sweetness in suffering for His Name; blessing in bearing His reproach; pleasure in becoming a pilgrim; delight in doing His bidding. To have every natural delight: face, form, education, erudition, personality, position, achievement, and acclaim of others is to need the discipline of delight, that every gift be acknowledged as from the Giver, that every talent become a sacred trust, that every honor become a humbling of the heart before Him, in order that He have all the glory. Then, like Moses of old, with lowly heart and veiled face, we shall walk where He leads, shall be thankful for daily manna, shall endure as seeing Him who is invisible, shall believe Him when every other friend fails.
–Dr. V. Raymond Edman (president of Wheaton College 1941-1965)
in Stones of Remembrance
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
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