Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Promises Of Psalm 37

Psalm 37 is one that I have read on numerous occasions, but this week it has really been a blessing to me. Normally one will read it as David wrote it, when you are feeling like everyone that is ungodly seem like they are really living large and just skate by, while the Christian seems to always be under attack. So, in Jeffenese, when you are feeling like unbelievers are having a better life than you are and you are wishing you could just knock them down a few rungs on their ladder.

Admittedly I have read this wonderful Psalm that was a few times or ten, but most of the time I do not dwell on the "evildoers" or the wicked that David is speaking of. Believe me, this week has had some "evildoers" surface in my life and I have really prayed for God to rain fire down from Heaven (in a send these people to jail kind of way, not kill them). While I may have initially been drawn to this Psalm for that reason, to be reminded that God will ultimately judge those that sin against His children, I did not stay in this Psalm for that reason.

When I really began to read Psalm 37 this week I began to focus more on God's promises TO me and to His children, not on what the eventual plight of the lost and "evildoers" is. Just look at verses 3-6 Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.Delight yourself also in the LORD,And He shall give you the desires of your heart.Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light and your justice as the noonday. Those promises alone can be dwelt on for hours, if not days. If we simply delight in the Lord, something that any Christian should be doing anyway, He will give us the desires of our heart. And a resounding NO! not that God will give me a new Dodge Challenger or John Deere tractor, but that God will place into our hearts His desires, namely that we rest in Him and delight in His handiwork and His love for us, which is circular actions, they cannot be separated.

Then skip down to verse 11, which Jesus quoted in His Sermon on the Mount. "The meek shall inherit the Earth". Then on to verse 18, The LORD knows the days of the upright and their inheritance shall be forever which is eternity with God. On down to verses 23-26 , which once again show that God will direct His children's paths, and thereby delighting in us in that path. How awesome is that? The God of the Universe, Creator of all things delighting in our path of obedience that He has set before us. That is good stuff right there. And verse 24 lets us know that when we do fall and sin that He still holds us up and sees us through the times when we even might have doubt for whatever reason. This reminds me of Peter when He walked on water, as he took his eyes off of Christ and started to disbelieve Jesus still reached out to him and pulled him back up, refocusing Peter's gaze on Him.

Verses 27-31 are rich in promises that when we turn from evil, stay fixed on the Lord, which is the natural thing for a Christian to do, then we will stay fixed in our walk with Him. Right into verse 34 which promises us that when we wait on God's timing that He will take care of everything for our good. Often times we try to persuade God to do things our way, but that is looking internally instead of looking to Him.

Then skipping to the closing of the Psalm in verses 39-40 39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked and save them, because they trust in Him. - Again the promise of God's saving grace, not only in saving us from hell, but also Him saving us from persecution from the evildoers.

So, this Psalm is full of promises to us as believers, not only against persecution and the workers if iniquity, but also promises that stand alone, without contrasting them to the plight of the lost. Sure, David had a lot of enemies and he often called out for God to strike them down, but he also knew that God was in control and was always there directing his path. May this be our joy as well, to totally rest in knowing that God is firmly in control and we need to firmly have the faith that no matter how bad things look or how bad circumstances are that God is bigger than them all and He has you in the palm of His hand and all we need to do is look up and fix our gaze upon Him.

1 comment:

Whitt Madden said...

There is so much encouragement woven between the verses in this Psalm. I think the most encouraging (for me) is verses 23-24 that say

"The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand."

I have heard many discussions from people who struggle whenever they see "evildoers" seeming to have their way, this entire chapter is a somber reminder to me, that we need to pray for them.

I also have heard many misrepresent the verse that says "He will give us the desires of our heart" to mean many things other than what this verse is intended to mean.

I believe that if we are delighting in Him, the desires of our heart will be for His glory alone, instead of "more stuff for me."

Great post Jeff, it was worth the wait!