God’s Counsel in the Midst of Trouble

The eternal truth of God’s Word struck me again in reading this passage. It was true when the Psalmist wrote this, and it’s true today. I want to share the whole passage for those of us dealing with anger and who tend to “fret” about those who seem to harm others with impunity in this life. This is a passage that gives clear instructions NOT to “fret” over the seeming success of their schemes, but to trust and wait on God.

Psalm 37

A Psalm of David.

1 Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
And wither as the green herb.

3 Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.

7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret—it only causes harm.

9 For evildoers shall be cut off;
But those who wait on the LORD,
They shall inherit the earth.
10 For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more;
Indeed, you will look carefully for his place,
But it shall be no more.
11 But the meek shall inherit the earth,
And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

12 The wicked plots against the just,
And gnashes at him with his teeth.
13 The Lord laughs at him,
For He sees that his day is coming.
14 The wicked have drawn the sword
And have bent their bow,
To cast down the poor and needy,
To slay those who are of upright conduct.
15 Their sword shall enter their own heart,
And their bows shall be broken.

16 A little that a righteous man has
Is better than the riches of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
But the LORD upholds the righteous.

18 The LORD knows the days of the upright,
And their inheritance shall be forever.
19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time,
And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
20 But the wicked shall perish;
And the enemies of the LORD,
Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish.
Into smoke they shall vanish away.

21 The wicked borrows and does not repay,
But the righteous shows mercy and gives.
22 For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth,
But those cursed by Him shall be cut off.

23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the LORD upholds him with His hand.

25 I have been young, and now am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Nor his descendants begging bread.
26 He is ever merciful, and lends;
And his descendants are blessed.

27 Depart from evil, and do good;
And dwell forevermore.
28 For the LORD loves justice,
And does not forsake His saints;
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land,
And dwell in it forever.

30 The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom,
And his tongue talks of justice.
31 The law of his God is in his heart;
None of his steps shall slide.

32 The wicked watches the righteous,
And seeks to slay him.
33 The LORD will not leave him in his hand,
Nor condemn him when he is judged.

34 Wait on the LORD,
And keep His way,
And He shall exalt you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.
35 I have seen the wicked in great power,
And spreading himself like a native green tree.
36 Yet he passed away,[a] and behold, he was no more;
Indeed I sought him, but he could not be found.

37 Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright;
For the future of that man is peace.
38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together;
The future of the wicked shall be cut off.

39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
He is their strength in the time of trouble.
40 And the LORD shall help them and deliver them;
He shall deliver them from the wicked,
And save them,
Because they trust in Him.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 37:36 Following Masoretic Text, Septuagint, and Targum; Syriac and Vulgate read I passed by.

7 thoughts on “God’s Counsel in the Midst of Trouble

  1. Lori Glass says:

    It is hard not to fret over evil doers especially when they claim to be a Christian. When I am fussing about someone my husband will remind me that they have to answer to God for their actions and so do I. Our sin nature wants to keep dwelling on the bad stuff and I have to work hard not to do that and watch my attitude about the situation. Thanks for the reminder Ingrid.

    Lori

  2. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    Don’t I know it, Lori. The Lord really drove this passage home for me last night for personal application.

  3. Sharon says:

    Ingrid, thank you. This has been a meaningful passage to me for a long time. It is so easy to get distracted, and the days are becoming such that the distractions are increasing in number. Thank you for the reminder that my gaze should be on Jesus, not what’s happening around me! God bless you.

  4. carolynb says:

    Thanks, really. I echo Lori’s sentiments. Another good Psalm on this topic: 73. Like the psalmist, I have been senseless and ignorant at times…

  5. Jean Selden says:

    Thank you Ingrid for posting this Psalm. What a great testament to God’s promises in the midst of this world that seems to be producing more and more evil persons–the worst of all those within the church. We can rest assured that God does not let anything pass by that he is not aware of. Sometimes it seems as if justice is never rendered to those doing the most damage, but God is just and we can enter His rest through being in His Word and trusting His timing and His love for us.

  6. Joanne says:

    I love Psalm 37! So full of precious promises! Praise God for His infallible unchanging Word.

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