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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 37

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-40

Psalms 37:0

Characteristics Note several characteristics of Psalms 37:0.

A. Acrostic Poem - This is an acrostic psalm, with every other verse beginning with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. However, the acrostic is not followed consistently in the case of several letters.

B. Common Phrases - The phrases “dwell in the land,” or “inherit the earth,” is used eight in Psalms 37:0.

Theme - In this world of evil, it is easy for the child of God to become frustrated and even angry because of persecutions and jealous at the prosperity of the wicked. In order to live with peace within our hearts, we must learn to cast our cares upon Him, and trust that He will take care of us and bring us through every trial into a place of blessing and prosperity. Note these words from Frances J. Roberts:

“Behold, My hand is upon thee to bless thee and to accomplish all My good purpose. For this hour I have prepared thy heart; and in My kindness I will not let thee fail. Only relinquish all things into My hands; for I can work freely only as ye release Me by complete committal both of thyself and others. Even as was written of old: ‘Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass’ (Psalms 37:5). I will be thy sustaining strength; and My peace shall garrison thy mind. Only trust Me that all I do is done in Love. For adversities must of necessity come. They are part of the pattern of life’s pilgrimage for every individual; and who can escape them? But I say unto thee, that for those who walk in Me, and for those who are encircled by the intercessory prayers of My children, I shall make of the suffering, yea, I shall make of the trials a steppingstone to future blessing.” [46]

[46] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King’s Farspan, Inc., 1973), 63.

A summary of this Psalm can be found in Proverbs 23:17-18.

Proverbs 23:17-18, “Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long. For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.”

Psalms 73:0 carries the same theme.

Psalms 73:3, “For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”

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

Psalms 37:1 Comments The wicked are striving to fulfill their fleshly desires, while the righteous trust in the Lord and rest in the promise that He will give them the desires of their hearts.

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

Psalms 37:2 Comments From the divine, eternal perspective, the lives of the wicked are for but a moment.

Psalms 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Psalms 37:3 “Trust in the LORD, and do” - Comments In the midst of corruption, it is tempting to compromise God’s Word. We are to trust in the Lord by realizing that He is divinely orchestrating our lives in the place where we are living; He is at work every day in our lives. We are to do works of righteousness and trust God to prosper our lives where He has planted us.

“so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed” - Comments The food of which God’s children partake is not the pleasures of earthly riches obtained by corrupt means.; rather, our food is the peace and contentment that God gives us as we trust in Him.

Psalms 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Psalms 37:4 Comments Our delight is not in earthly riches, but in a person, the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us. He searches our hearts and knows our desires. God created mankind for intimate fellowship with Him. As we delight in the Lord in loving devotion and spend time with Him and in His Word, we fulfill the desires of His heart. He in turn will give us the desires of our hearts. This is the principle of sowing and reaping.

In his book Heaven: Close Encounters of the God Kind Jesse Duplantis was told by King David that in Heaven God will give us the desires of our hearts. [47] In fact, God knows the makeup and interests of each human being. Thus, in heaven each mansion will be built and furnished according to the desires of those individuals while they are still alive on the earth.

[47] Jesse Duplantis, Heaven Close Encounters of the God Kind (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Harrison House, 1996), 102.

If we delight in Him, He shall give us the desires of our heart, but not necessarily the desires of the flesh. Note these insightful words from Frances J. Roberts:

“Turn thy face toward Me, and leave to Me the responsibility of probing thy soul. I am the Master Surgeon. I am skilled in all cures of the soul as well as those of the body. Let Me care for thy health. Delight thyself in Me, and I shall bring about that which ye desire to see in thy character and personality . Feed upon My Word. It is there that ye shall come to a clearer understanding of My Person. Only as ye know Me can ye come to be more like Me. In association with others, man taketh to himself a measure of the mannerisms and ideologies of these other persons. So shall it be likewise to those who spend much time in My company. Silently, and without conscious effort, thou shalt be changed.” [48]

[48] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King’s Farspan, Inc., 1973), 168.

Psalms 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Psalms 37:7 “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him” - Comments - We must learn to wait on God and let Him bring to pass our destiny in His own time and way.

Psalms 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Psalms 37:11 Comments - In Genesis 13:10-18 we have the account of Abraham and Lot dividing the Promised Land among themselves and God revealing to Abraham his inheritance; however, the Lord did not reveal this to him until he had developed the humility to trust in God’s divine providence, which Abraham demonstrated by letting Lot choose between the portions of land. This is what is meant by Jesus’ statement in the Beatitudes that the meek shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). The word “earth” in this verse describes our earthly, possessions in this life. Meekness is how a man demonstrates his faith in God’s divine providence and divine provision. In contrast, pride is demonstrated when a man looks to himself for material possessions and ignores divine principles to live by. There is such a peace that comes when a man learns to trust God for his provision in this life.

Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”

Psalms 37:12 The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.

Psalms 37:13 The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.

Psalms 37:13 Scripture References - Note:

Psalms 2:4, “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.”

Psalms 37:20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.

Psalms 37:20 “as the fat of lambs: they shall consume” - Comments - Some Modern English translations translate the phrase “the fat of lambs” as a reference to the splendor of grassy meadows.”

God’sWord, “But wicked people will disappear. The LORD's enemies will vanish like the best part of a meadow. They will vanish like smoke.”

NKJV, “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.”

Note a similar theme in James 1:10-11:

James 1:10-11, “But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.”

Psalms 37:20 “into smoke shall they consume away” Scripture Reference - Note:

James 4:14, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

Psalms 37:21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.

Psalms 37:22 For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.

Psalms 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

Psalms 37:23 Comments - It is the office of the Holy Spirit to lead and to guide our steps, and not the office of man. We are not to be guided by man’s voice, although we are to seek counsel from the wise. Frances J. Roberts writes, “My child, hear My voice, and give no heed to the voice of the stranger. My paths are straight, and they are narrow, but ye shall have no difficulty in finding them if ye watch Me. I am guiding thee. Ye need not look to man for direction. Ye man learn much by fellowship with the saints, but never allow any to take the part that is rightfully Mine to direct thy steps . As it is written, ‘The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord ’ not by the preacher, not by some Christian worker, but by the Lord.” [49]

[49] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King’s Farspan, Inc., 1973), 15.

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Psalms 37". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/psalms-37.html. 2013.
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