A Reflection on Psalm 37
Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb. 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. 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. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth.Psalm 37:1-9 NKJV
Would it be crazy to review the riches of a psalm we mined during our small groups last week?
In a polarized world where at the moment it seems might makes right, it doesn’t matter if evil is evil or good is good. Both sides claim they are good and the other evil.
As believers in Christ, we have a God’s eye view of what is evil and what is good, provided for us in Scripture. And the psalmist lets us know that sometimes evil looks like it is going to win; that evil will finally be established and the good stamped out. The conniving spouse will get the kids, the slacker on the job will not be the one fired, and the government that oppresses gets put into place.
This psalmist says, not so. In fact, it says not to fret over those who work iniquity. They will not just lose; they will either be cut down suddenly like grass or wither away like a heretofore green herb that slowly shrivels up. We are told that God makes the difference. He sees to it that justice and truth have the last word.
So, we are instructed from a variety of angles what to do in view of our sovereign God. Trust, do good, dwell, feed, delight, commit, rest, cease, fret not. We are to trust God to bring down evil and exalt that which is good. We can do good with confidence, knowing that the arc of history bends towards the triumph of good not evil. We are to commit our way of life in Him and what we do to fulfill his written will for our lives and let Him bring forth the fruit of our labors to pass. We can rest in Him rather than be controlled by the circumstances around us. We can cease from carrying the anger against God or others who seem to have the upper hand. Evil will ultimately crash and burn. God and all the good He has promised will come to pass, most completely at the end of the age. We can trust Him now to be at work, even if it is not yet as complete as we would like. Trust, Commit, Rest. These three alone will takes us a long way towards peace in our hearts with or without peace in the moment.