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the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 37

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-40

Psalms 37:1-40

Psalms 37:1-40 is an interesting psalm of David in which he begins with the words,

Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity ( Psalms 37:1 ).

In verse Psalms 37:7 he also says, "Fret not thyself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devises to pass." In verse Psalms 37:8 , "Fret not thyself in any wise to do evil."

Now a common characteristic of our lives is that of fretfulness. How easy it is to fret over situations. How easy it is to worry. How easy it is to become anxious. And the things that create the fretfulness within my own heart are just these things that are spoken of here: the evildoers, those who are prospering in their wicked devises; the fact that wickedness seems to triumph, evil triumphs over good. These things cause me to fret. And yet, these are the very things that I am told I am not to fret over. God is in control, therefore I am not to fret over the evildoers nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. Why?

Because they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb ( Psalms 37:2 ).

The day of the wicked is short. He is going to be cut off. Therefore, don't be envious of him because, man, he has about had it. Why envy a person that is about ready to get cut off? So don't be envious of the wicked. But rather,

Trust in the LORD, and do good ( Psalms 37:3 );

Put your trust in God. Better to put your trust in the Lord than your confidence in man. God knows your situation. God knows your limitations. God loves you. God will take care of you. Just trust in the Lord. Don't sit there and worry and fret over the situations of your life. Don't fret because it seems like everything is going down the tubes. Just trust in the Lord.

and so shalt thou dwell in the land, and thou shalt be fed ( Psalms 37:3 ).


Delight thyself also in the LORD ( Psalms 37:4 );

Have you ever tried to just delight yourself in the Lord? This comes through praise and through times of thanksgiving. So many times I stop and reflect in the goodness of God that He has bestowed upon me. And as I think of God's goodness and as I look upon God's blessings, I just rejoice in the Lord. I just praise Him. I just delight myself in Him. "Oh God, it is so good to walk with You. It is so good to serve You. It is so good to know You. It is so good to be a child of the King. It is so good to have the hope of eternal life." And just delighting myself in the Lord and in the blessings and in the goodness of God is an experience that I indulge in too little. We should be indulging in this much more.

Now, "Delight thyself also in the Lord,"

and he shall give thee the desires of thy heart ( Psalms 37:4 ).

So here is a promise with a condition.

Commit thy way unto the LORD ( Psalms 37:5 );

And this is so important that we come to the place of commitment of our lives and the commitment of the situations of our lives. How important that we learn to just commit our ways into God's hands.

trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass ( Psalms 37:5 ).

Or, the Hebrew word asa, He shall assemble it. He shall bring it into existence. Commit your way, trust in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. And then finally, when you've gotten to the place where you can commit your life and the affairs of your life into God's hands, then you have arrived at the place of that glorious resting in the Lord. "God, I'm just resting in You. Whatever comes, Lord. However. It's in Your hands."

Rest in the LORD ( Psalms 37:7 ),

One of the greatest blessings of the Christian walk in life is to be able to rest in the Lord in the midst of the problems, in the midst of the trials, in the midst of a world of turmoil. Resting in the Lord.

Cease from anger, forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. Because the evildoers are going to be cut off: but they that wait upon the LORD, will inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked are not going to be: in fact, you will diligently consider his place, and it won't be. But the meek shall inherit the eaRuth ( Psalms 37:8-11 );

Jesus in one of the beatitudes said, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" ( Matthew 5:5 ).

and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace ( Psalms 37:11 ).

The glorious kingdom that Jesus establishes. A kingdom of righteousness and peace, and the meek will inherit the earth and be delighted with an earth that is filled with peace. Can you imagine? No, I don't suppose we can; we've never experienced it. But an earth that is filled with peace. I go by the school grounds and I see the little kids fighting. Seems like everyone is fighting. So much fighting in this world. What a glorious world it will be when we live together in peace, delighted in the abundance of peace.

The wicked plots against the just, he gnashes upon him with his teeth. The LORD will laugh at him: for he sees that his day is coming. The wicked have drawn out the sword, they have bent down their bow, to cast out the poor and the needy, to slay such as be of an upright manner of life. Their sword shall enter into their own heart, their bows shall be broken. For a little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholds the righteous. The LORD knows the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever ( Psalms 37:12-18 ).

It says concerning Moses that he chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Esteeming the riches... or the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt. So here we are told that the wicked are going to be cut off. But the inheritance of the upright is eternal.

They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs that are consumed into smoke. The wicked borrows, and he doesn't repay: but the righteous shows mercy, and gives. For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off. The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way ( Psalms 37:19-23 ).

How glorious when God orders our steps and God takes delight in our way.

Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD will uphold him with his hand ( Psalms 37:24 ).

Oh, I love this! God is going to lead me in the right path, and if I stumble He is going to pick me up.

I have been young, I am now old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor God's seed begging bread ( Psalms 37:25 ).

If you are a child of God you will never need to beg for food.

He is merciful, he lends, and his seed is blessed. Depart from evil, and do good; dwell for evermore. For the LORD loves judgment, and forsakes not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever. The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of judgment. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. The wicked watches the righteous, and seeks to slay him. The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged. Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it ( Psalms 37:26-34 ).

So several exhortations. From the negative standpoint: fret not, envy not, don't be angry, cease from anger, and forsake wrath. From a positive standpoint: trust in the Lord, delight thy self in the Lord, commit your ways unto the Lord, trust in the Lord, rest in the Lord, and finally, wait on the Lord.

Mark the perfect man [the complete man], and behold the upright: for the result of that kind of life is peace. But the transgressors will be destroyed together: the end of the wicked will be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. The LORD will help them, and deliver them ( Psalms 37:37-40 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 37". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/psalms-37.html. 2014.
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