Psalm 37:1 Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers.
BGT Psalm 36:1 τοῦ Δαυιδ μὴ παραζήλου ἐν πονηρευομένοις μηδὲ ζήλου τοὺς ποιοῦντας τὴν ἀνομίαν
NET Psalm 37:1 By David. Do not fret when wicked men seem to succeed! Do not envy evildoers!
LXE Psalm 37:1 <A Psalm of David.> Fret not thyself because of evil-doers, neither be envious of them that do iniquity.
NLT Psalm 37:1 A psalm of David. Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong.
KJV Psalm 37:1 <A Psalm of David.> Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
ESV Psalm 37:1 Of David. Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers!
NIV Psalm 37:1 Of David. Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong;
ASV Psalm 37:1 Fret not thyself because of evil-doers, Neither be thou envious against them that work unrighteousness.
CSB Psalm 37:1 Davidic. Do not be agitated by evildoers; do not envy those who do wrong.
NKJ Psalm 37:1 <A Psalm of David.> Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
NRS Psalm 37:1 <Of David.> Do not fret because of the wicked; do not be envious of wrongdoers,
YLT Psalm 37:1 By David. Do not fret because of evil doers, Be not envious against doers of iniquity,
- Fret: Ps 37:7 1Sa 1:6-8 Pr 19:3 24:1,19
- Be not envious: Ps 73:3 Pr 3:31 23:17 Ga 5:21 Jas 4:5,6
- Psalm 37: What To Do When The Bad Guys Win
DON’T FRET OR
This is an especially interesting psalm as it was written by David when he was older and gives us a perspective on life from a man after God’s own heart. Therefore we would all do well to read and meditate often on this great psalm to hear the wisdom of an aged man.
David addresses a question that has plagued the people of God in every age and that question is why do the wicked seem to prosper while the righteous suffer? This same problem is a theme in Psalm 73, Psalm 49 and the book of Job. And frankly, no matter how godly you are, chances are excellent that you have struggled with this problem from time to time.
Spurgeon introduces this psalm with these words “May the Spirit of God graciously apply this Psalm to our hearts, comforting us as no one else can! Is he not the Comforter, and what better cordial has he for our spirits than his own Word?” (Exposition)
Spurgeon – The Psalm opens with the first precept. It is alas! too common for believers in their hours of adversity to think themselves harshly dealt with when they see persons utterly destitute of religion and honesty, rejoicing in abundant prosperity. Much needed is the command, Fret not thyself because of evildoers. To fret is to worry, to have the heartburn, to fume, to become vexed. Nature is very apt to kindle a fire of jealousy when it sees lawbreakers riding on horses, and obedient subjects walking in the mire: it is a lesson learned only in the school of grace, when one comes to view the most paradoxical providences with the devout complacency of one who is sure that the Lord is righteous in all his acts. It seems hard to carnal judgments that the best meat should go to the dogs, while loving children pine for want of it. (Treasury of David)
NET Note – The psalmist urges his audience not to envy the wicked, but to trust in and obey the Lord, for he will destroy sinners and preserve the godly. When the smoke of judgment clears, the wicked will be gone, but the godly will remain and inherit God’s promised blessings. The psalm is an acrostic; every other verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
Ludovic de Carbone, quoted by John Spencer – Would it not be accounted folly in a man that is heir to many thousands per year that he should envy a stage player, clothed in the dress of a king, and yet who not heir to one foot of land? And though he has the form, respect, and apparel of a king or nobleman, yet he is, at the same time, a beggar, and worth nothing. Thus, wicked men, though they are arrayed gorgeously, and fare deliciously, wanting nothing, and have more than a heart could wish, and yet they are but only possessors for the godly Christian is the heir. What good does all their prosperity do them? It only hastens their ruin, not their reward. The ox that is the laboring ox lives longer than the ox that is in the pasture; the very putting of him there hastens his slaughter; and when God puts the wicked men into fat pastures, into places of honor and power, it is but to hasten their ruin. Let no man, therefore, fret himself because of evildoers, nor be envious at the prosperity of the wicked; for the candle of the wicked shall be put into everlasting darkness. They shall soon be cut off, and wither as a green herb.
One cause of fretting – Want of faith in God. I have read that one of Cromwell’s friends was a fretting Christian, to whom everything went wrong. On a certain occasion, when unusually fretful, his sensible servant said, “Master, don’t you think that God governed the world very well before you came into it? Yes; but why do you ask? Master, don’t you think God will govern the world very well after you go out of it?” “Of course I do.” “Well, then, can’t you trust Him to govern it for the little time you are in it?” (J Scilley)
Do not fret because of evildoers – CSB = Do not be agitated. NJB = Do not get heated. If there was ever an exhortation for our modern world as we enter a new decade (the decade in which Jesus might return – setting no dates of course), it is this exhortation/admonition “Do not fret.”
Spurgeon rightly says this is “A common temptation. Many of God’s saints have suffered from it. Learn from their experience. Avoid this danger. There really is no power in it, when once the heart has come to rest in God. But it is a sad affliction until the heart does get its rest. “Fret not because of evildoers.”
Fret (02734)(charah) means to burn or be kindled with anger, and in the Hithpael, charah is used 4x (Ps 37:1, 7,8, Pr 24:19) always meaning “to worry” and describing the agitation, irritation or vexation resulting from active worry. Charah is used in reference to the anger of both man and God.
The Septuagint translates fret or charah with parazeloo which literally means to stimulate alongside and speaks of emotional excitement or reaction and thus means to be provoked to jealously, rivalry or anger. This root verb zeloo is derived from the verb zeo which means to be hot, to seethe, bubble, boil, from the sound of boiling water. So we get quite a picture of a heart which is fretting because of evildoers! The verb parazeloo is a command in the present imperative with a negative, which means stop letting this happen or do not allow it begin! The implication is that some of David’s readers had begun to fret over evil doers.
Gilbrant – Chārāh is used in several stems in the OT, us ually having the implied meaning of “to be angry.” The verb emphasizes the kindling and burning aspects of anger. This primary nuance is attested in Talmudic and Middle Hebrew. There is evidence of the translation “rage” found in Yaudic, Middle Hebrew, Targumic, Arabic and Syriac.
In the Qal stem, the noun ʾaph (HED #653) is usually the subject, yielding the Hebrew idiom, “nose was kindled.” Although ʾaph is often omitted, e.g., “it was kindled.”
Often the anger of a human is kindled. When Potiphar’s wife made the false claim that Joseph had made sexual advances on her, Potiphar’s anger was kindled, and Joseph was thrown in prison (Gen. 39:19f). Moses’ anger burned when he came down from Mount Sinai after receiving the Ten Commandments because of the sin which the Israelites committed in making a golden calf (Ex 32:19).
When the Philistines extorted the answer to Samson’s riddle from his wife, Samson’s anger was kindled, and he killed thirty men in Ashkelon (Judg. 14:19). When Saul heard that Nahash the Ammonite had threatened to gouge out the eyes of the Israelites, he became angry and raised an army to defeat the Ammonites (1 Sam. 11:6).
Often the Lord is the One Who becomes angry. While the Lord met with him at the burning bush, Moses tried to make excuses for not going to Egypt, and the Lord became angry with him (Exo. 4:14). The Lord was so angry at Israel for making a golden calf that He threatened to destroy them (Exo. 32:10). The Lord was angry at Miriam and Aaron for opposing Moses (Num. 12:9). The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah for touching the Ark (1 Chr. 13:10), and He was angry at Judah for their continual idolatry and rebellion (2 Ki. 23:26; cf. Ps. 106:40).
Chārāh is used twice in the Niphal stem, meaning “to be angry” or “to rage.” Isaiah prophesied that everyone who raged against Israel would be ashamed and disgraced (Isa. 41:11). In another passage, Isaiah notes that all who are incensed against the Lord shall be put to shame (Isa 45:24).
The verb is used in the Hiphil stem once in the sense of kindling wrath (Job 19:11), but in another passage it means “earnestly.” Baruch, son of Zabbai, earnestly (literally, “burned with zeal”) repaired a section of the wall of Jerusalem (Neh. 3:20).
In the Hithpael, the verb means “to worry.” David enjoined people to not worry over evil people because they will soon wither like the grass (Ps. 37:1f). Proverbs contains similar advice: “Fret not thyself because of evil men… for there shall be no reward to the evil man” (Prov. 24:19f).
Chārāh is found in two occurrences in the rare, causative Tiphel stem (same force as Hiphil). Jeremiah speaks of “burning to outrun” horses (Jer. 12:5) and “burning to outdo” others by having more and more cedar (Jer 22:15). (Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary)
Charah – 90v – angered(1), angry(18), angry*(5), became(1), became angry(4), became furious(1), became…angry(3), burn(5), burned(29), burns(1), compete(1), competing(1), distressed(1), fret(4), kindled(15), rage(1), very angry(1), zealously(1). – Gen. 4:5; Gen. 4:6; Gen. 18:30; Gen. 18:32; Gen. 30:2; Gen. 31:35; Gen. 31:36; Gen. 34:7; Gen. 39:19; Gen. 44:18; Gen. 45:5; Exod. 4:14; Exod. 22:24; Exod. 32:10; Exod. 32:11; Exod. 32:19; Exod. 32:22; Num. 11:1; Num. 11:10; Num. 11:33; Num. 12:9; Num. 16:15; Num. 22:22; Num. 22:27; Num. 24:10; Num. 25:3; Num. 32:10; Num. 32:13; Deut. 6:15; Deut. 7:4; Deut. 11:17; Deut. 29:27; Deut. 31:17; Jos. 7:1; Jos. 23:16; Jdg. 2:14; Jdg. 2:20; Jdg. 3:8; Jdg. 6:39; Jdg. 9:30; Jdg. 10:7; Jdg. 14:19; 1 Sam. 11:6; 1 Sam. 15:11; 1 Sam. 17:28; 1 Sam. 18:8; 1 Sam. 20:7; 1 Sam. 20:30; 2 Sam. 3:8; 2 Sam. 6:7; 2 Sam. 6:8; 2 Sam. 12:5; 2 Sam. 13:21; 2 Sam. 19:42; 2 Sam. 22:8; 2 Sam. 24:1; 2 Ki. 13:3; 2 Ki. 23:26; 1 Chr. 13:10; 1 Chr. 13:11; 2 Chr. 25:10; 2 Chr. 25:15; Neh. 3:20; Neh. 4:1; Neh. 4:7; Neh. 5:6; Job 19:11; Job 32:2; Job 32:3; Job 32:5; Job 42:7; Ps. 18:7; Ps. 37:1; Ps. 37:7; Ps. 37:8; Ps. 106:40; Ps. 124:3; Prov. 24:19; Cant. 1:6; Isa. 5:25; Isa. 41:11; Isa. 45:24; Jer. 12:5; Jer. 22:15; Hos. 8:5; Jon. 4:1; Jon. 4:4; Jon. 4:9; Hab. 3:8; Zech. 10:3
Alan Carr notes that “In verses 1-2, envy is condemned! Especially when the object of that envy is a lost person. Sometimes, it does seem like the wicked prosper while the godly suffer, yet, we always need to remember that our earthly existence is as close to Hell as we are ever going to get. For the wicked, however, their few days of pleasure are short and they have no future beyond this life. In fact, this world is as close to Heaven as they will ever be!”
Be not envious toward wrongdoers – NET Note comments that “The context indicates that the psalmist has in mind the apparent power and success of sinners.” Later David says “Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.” (Ps 37:7) Envy speaks of a a feeling of grudging admiration and/or desire to have something that is possessed by another. Why would we be envious? Because some wrongdoers seem to be “getting away with” their doing of wrong. Our problem is we look at their supposed temporal gain, and forget that their temporal gain will yield a dividend of eternal loss! We need a proper perspective of their passing prosperity!
Envious (jealous)(07065)(qanah from qin’ah = zeal, ardor – from color produced in face by deep emotion) means to be jealous, to be envious, to be zealous. The picture is that of intense fervor, passion, and emotion. Zeal is an eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something and implies energetic and unflagging pursuit of an aim or devotion to a cause. Even a godly man like Asaph fell into the “envy trap” in Psalm 73:13 (see also Ps 73:13, 14)(see note below). And how did Asaph escape this pit of envy? Ps 73:17 gives us the answer for Asaph (and for all of us who fall into envy like he did) – “Until I came into the sanctuary of God; Then I perceived their end.” There it is – the presence of God reversed the perversion of envy! It did then and it does now, which fits perfectly with David’s command in Psalm 37:4 to “Delight yourself in the LORD!” That is in essence what Aspah did.
THOUGHT – Take a moment to read the “fruit” of Asaph’s renewed perspective in Psalm 73:17-28 (And consider memorizing Ps 73:25-28 – you won’t regret it – the Spirit has repeatedly brought these words to my mind over the years), for this can also be our experience if we imitate Asaph’s pattern.
The Septuagint translates be not envious with the verb zeloo which means to be filled with (controlled by – what fills you, controls you!) jealousy, to be moved with envy (this “movement” is not in a good “direction”!), or to have intense negative feelings over another’s achievements or success. The Greek in fact is a command in the present imperative with a negative, which means stop letting this happen or do not allow jealousy to creep into your heart (read the rotten fruit of zeloo in James 4:2+ = “You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel.”).
Wiersbe also asks “Why do we envy the wicked? They seem to be prospering; they seem to be so happy. But what do they have that we need? In God we have everything we need. Whenever we find ourselves fretting, it’s probably because we are measuring ourselves against others. That’s the wrong thing to do. Instead, measure yourself against yourself. You’re not competing with others; you’re competing with yourself. Also measure yourself against the Lord Jesus Christ, because He is the One you are to be like: “The measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13).
John Trapp – Queen Elizabeth envied the milkmaid when she was in prison; but if she had known what a glorious reign she should have had afterwards for forty-four years, she would not have envied her. And as little needeth a godly man, though in misery, to envy a wicked man in the ruff of all his prosperity and jollity, considering what he hath in hand, much more what he hath in hope.
Spurgeon – Neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. The same advice under another shape. When one is poor, despised, and in deep trial, our old Adam naturally becomes envious of the rich and great; and when we are conscious that we have been more righteous than they, the devil is sure to be at hand with blasphemous reasonings. Stormy weather may curdle even the cream of humanity. Evil men instead of being envied, are to be viewed with horror and aversion; yet their loaded tables, and gilded trappings, are too apt to fascinate our poor half opened eyes. Who envies the fat bullock the ribbons and garlands which decorate him as he is led to the shambles? Yet the case is a parallel one; for ungodly rich men are but as beasts fattened for the slaughter.
J H Jowett – “Fret not thyself.” Do not get into a perilous heat about things. Keep cool! Even in a good cause fretfulness is not a wise helpmeet. Fretting only heats the bearings, it does not generate the steam. It is no help to a train for the axles to get hot; their heat is only a hindrance; the best contributions which the axles can make to the progress of the train is to keep cool.
2. How, then, is fretfulness to be cured? The psalmist brings in the heavenly to correct the earthly. “The Lord” is the refrain of almost every verse, as though it were only in the power of the heavenly that this dangerous fire could be subdued.
Shall the imperial eagle, whose undazzled eye drinks in the splendours of a cloudless sun, envy the worm that never rose an inch beyond its native dust? Shall the sun itself envy the flickering rush-light which the feeblest breeze can extinguish? Shall the heaving ocean, bearing on its bosom the richest merchandise, and reflecting from its deep blue eye the glories of the firmament, envy the little summer pool, which a passing cloud has poured into a foot-print? Sooner shall such envy be called into existence than the true child of God envy the “workers of iniquity.”
1. Fretting in many cases supposes envy. “Fret not thyself because of evil-doers, neither be thou envious,” etc. Asaph did this, and ha forcibly describes this painful and injurious process in Psalm 73 (Ps 73:2 “But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling, My steps had almost slipped. 3 For I was envious [same verb used in Ps 37:4 by David = qanah] of the arrogant As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”). It became too painful for him. He questioned the rectitude of Providence and the wisdom of God. Just then he was stopped; like Job, he said, “Once have I spoken, but I will proceed no further”; he fell on his face, confessing, “I am foolish,” “I was envious!” and soon the scene changed from darkness to light, from complaining to communion, from fretting to rest in God.
2. While the fretting mood lasts, while we are troubled because God withholds certain things from us which He gives so abundantly to others, expectation from God is excluded. Hope pines when the heart frets, and peace flutters outside that soul which care corrodes, and which complainings fill with discord.
3. Yet many excuses are often made for this line of conduct; and the more it is indulged in, the more it is justified. “Wherefore should a living man complain? If a sinner, he has no right to do so; if a saint, no reason:” for a sinner deserves hell at any moment, and a saint, though most unworthy, is on his way to a glorious heaven; and his very trials and deprivations are a means of preparing and training him for that better world.
Do not fret—it only causes harm. —Psalm 37:8
Today’s Scripture: Psalm 37:1-11
Does it bother you to see how much attention is paid in today’s culture to people who stand for all the wrong things? Perhaps it is entertainment stars who get the headlines while espousing immoral philosophies in their music, movies, or programs. Or it could be leaders who openly thumb their noses at right-living standards.
It would be easy to fret about this and wring our hands in despair, but Psalm 37 suggests a better way. Listen to David’s wise advice: “Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity” (v.1).
While it is right to be “salt and light” (Matt. 5:13-14) in this tasteless, dark world—attempting to counter sin by reflecting Jesus’ light wherever possible—we cannot let negative forces cause us to live in anger and wrath (Ps. 37:8). Instead, we must rely on God to have the ultimate say about evildoers: “They shall soon be cut down like the grass” (v.2). Beyond that, we should take David’s approach: (1) “Trust in the Lord, and do good.” (2) “Feed on His faithfulness.” (3) “Delight yourself also in the Lord.” (4) “Commit your way to the Lord.” (5) “Rest in the Lord” (vv.3-7).
We may not like what we see and hear from some aspects of society, but remember this: God is in control. Trust Him to do what is right. And don’t fret. By: Dave Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Reflect & Pray
When tragedy, heartache, and sorrow abound,
When evil appears to have conquered the right,
We center our heart on our Father’s great love,
For He will bring hope in the darkest of night.
—D. De Haan
Don’t despair because of evil; God will have the last word.
Habits Of A Healthy Mind
Trust in the Lord, and do good. —Psalm 37:3
Today’s Scripture & Insight: Psalm 37:1-8
There is much said today about improving our health by developing habits of optimism, whether facing a difficult medical diagnosis or a pile of dirty laundry. Barbara Fredrickson, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of North Carolina, says we should try activities that build joy, gratitude, love, and other positive feelings. We know, however, that more is required than a general wish for good feelings. We need a strong conviction that there is a source of joy, peace, and love upon which we can depend.
Psalm 37:1-8 gives positive actions we can take as an antidote to pessimism and discouragement. Consider these mood boosters: Trust in the Lord, do good, dwell in the land, feed on His faithfulness (v.3); delight in the Lord (v.4); commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him (v.5); rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him, do not fret (v.7); cease from anger, forsake wrath (v.8).
Because they are connected to the phrase “in the Lord,” those directives are more than wishful thinking or unrealistic suggestions. It’s because of Jesus, and in His strength, that they become possible.
Our one true source for optimism is the redemption that is in Jesus. He is our reason for hope! By: David C. McCasland (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Reflect & Pray
Lord, we can’t manufacture hope, and even if we tried it wouldn’t be real. Help us to find hope in You because of what Jesus has done for us. We know You are walking beside us.
When there’s bad news, our hope is the good news of Jesus.
Do not fret because of those who are evil. Psalm 37:1
Today’s Scripture & Insight: Psalm 37:1-9
Trying to stay aware of current events has its downside because bad news sells better than good news. It’s easy to become overly concerned about the criminal acts of individuals, crowds, or governments over whom we have no control.
Psalm 37 gives perspective to the daily news. David begins by saying, “Do not fret because of those who are evil” (v. 1). Then he proceeds to outline for us some alternatives to becoming overly anxious. In essence, David suggests a better way of thinking about negative news in our world.
What would happen if, instead of worrying about events beyond our control, we chose to trust in the Lord? (v. 3). Wouldn’t we be better off to “take delight in the Lord” (Ps 37:4) rather than fret without limits? Imagine the freedom from worry we could have if we would “commit [our] way to the Lord” (Ps 37:5). And how calm we could be by learning to “be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him”! (Ps 37:7).
News of trouble we cannot change offers us an opportunity to set boundaries for our concerns. As we trust God, commit our ways to Him, and rest in Him, our outlook brightens. The struggles and trials may not disappear, but we will discover that He gives us His peace in the midst of them. By: Dave Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Reflect & Pray
Lord, we see danger and trouble all around us. Help us not to worry but instead to trust and rest in You. Show us the peace that comes from waiting patiently on You.
Obstacles give us the opportunity to trust God.
Since we are told not to worry when we see the wicked prosper, how are we supposed to deal with this problem? Well, in verses 3-8, the Psalmist offers us an alternative to worry. There are some simple steps offered here, that if followed, will enable us to find peace, even during the most trying times of our lives. Now, notice with me these Steps To Peace In The Paths Of Life.
I. Ps 37:3 CONTROL YOUR WALK
The emphasis of this verse is for the believer to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. When this is accomplished, the result will be the Lord’s smile upon that life.
A. The Command – The Psalmist issues a two-fold command in this verse.
1. Trust God – That is, walk by faith and not by sight. We must remember that things are never as they appear to our human vision. Even when things look like they going totally wrong in our lives, God is still working out His eternal purposes in us, Rom. 8:28. Therefore, we must learn to trust the Lord in all of life!
(Ill. There are times when God’s way is difficult to figure out. During those times when you cannot trace God, learn to trust Him anyway. Remember, “The just shall live by faith“, Rom. 1:17. The life of faith is the ONLY way to please the Lord, Heb. 11:6!)
2. Do Good – this is a command to holy living! God expects His people to live a life that is honoring to His name! If God’s people could ever learn that God is pleased when we live for Him, we would see Him bless us in great ways. The formula for success in the Christian life is found in Matt. 6:33. It is as simple as trusting in the Lord and living for Him!
B. The Comfort – When we do His will, He will take care of us! How well David knew this! He was an old man who had seen the Lord allow him to sit on his enemies throne. He knew that serving God always paid off!
(Ill. The whole point here is this: if you will walk with your faith in God and will live your life to please Him, He will commit Himself to taking care of you – Phil. 4:19.)
II. Ps 37:4 CONDITION YOUR WILL
A. The Command – “Delight” yourself in the Lord! This word means to “take exquisite delight” in the Lord. When life goes bad, we tend to focus on the problems that arise around us. When this happens, we become defeated and depressed and fall into sadness. However, at all times of life, we are challenged to let the Lord be the focus of our attention! If we can focus on Who He is to us, what He has done for us, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:“, Eph. 1:3, where He is taking us, and how much He loves us, even the darkest day can be endured because we know something better awaits us down the road!
B. The Comfort – When we are lost in Him, then our will and our desires will be lost in Him as well. When this happens, He will lift us out of our sadness and fill us with His glory!
(Ill. By the way, I think that latter portion of that verse is a promise we can claim! When the Lord is our delight, we will only want the things which bring Him glory and which please Him. When we arrive at that place, God will open the windows of Heaven and give us every desire of our hearts!)
III. Ps 37:5-6 COMMIT YOUR WAY
A. The Command – “Commit” your way unto the Lord. This word means to “roll onto“. The idea here is that we are “roll” the burdens of life over onto the Lord. The Lord has not asked His children to carry the burdens of life alone. He tells us that bring them to Him, Matt. 11:28; 1 Pet. 5:7. We do not have to bear the heavy burdens of life all by ourselves. We have a God who cares ans commands us to bring our burdens to Him!
(Ill. In the middle of the storms of life, let us learn the truth that we are not in them alone! We are to commit our “way” to the Lord and trust Him to take care of us. This was the resolve of Job when he was called upon to suffer, Job 1:20-21, Job 23:10; Job 13:15. Let this also be the resolve of our hearts this evening!)
B. The Comfort – The whole emphasis here is that when we are walking in faith, placing our burdens on the Lord, He will take care of us. We may not like the way we are called upon to trod, but in the end, the faith of the child of God will be vindicated! Friends, God is never hurried by our worry! He does not get excited when we struggle against the situation we find ourselves in. What He is looking for is faith, obedience, and yieldedness in the midst of the struggles of life. His promise to us is that our faith will never be in vain!
IV. Ps 37:7 CONSECRATE YOUR WAIT
(Ill. We are told in this verse to “rest” in the Lord and wait for Him. The word “rest” means “to be silent“. Then, we are told not to “fret“. This words means to “to blaze, to get hot“. It carries the idea of getting ourselves worked up into a rage over the condition of the world and over the valleys we have to walk through. Our duty during the difficult days of life is to be patient and silent while the Lord works out His purposes in our lives.
(Ill. This is not easy, but this kind of attitude was modeled for us by the Lord Jesus Himself. When He was abused, mocked, crucified, etc, He did not respond, but endured His afflictions in yielded silence, Isa. 53:7, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” Therefore, regardless of the burden you are called to bear, learn not to whine, but to bear it for the glory of God, waiting patiently on Him to work out His will in your life. This isn’t easy, but it is an attitude that God can bless and use for His glory!)
V. Ps 37:8 CONQUER YOUR WRATH
(We are commanded here to refrain from anger. It is easy to get bitter at God, the church, etc, when the problems of life mount up against us. When we see the wicked live their lives of ease while we walk through the deep, dark valley, there is a tendency to become angry with the Lord. However, we must be careful that we do not abandon righteous for evil in the day of our affliction.
(Ill. God’s will for us is that we stay the course! There will be an end to our struggles down the line, but for the moment, we are to abide in the will of the Lord faithfully and allow Him to have His will in us. Ill. I doubt any of us will ever suffer like Paul did for the glory of God, yet when he reached the end of his life, he was able to say that he had fought a good fight, he had finished the course, he had kept the faith, 2 Tim. 4:7. I want to be able to say the same thing! How about you? If so, learn not to be angry with the Lord! Learn that righteousness does pay off in the end, just consider verses 9-11! God is working in you to develop His image more perfectly, sometimes, this require Him to put pressure on our lives. Never give up! Rather, give in to Him and He will see you through!
All of this sounds difficult. It sounds like we are to just lay back and allow life to take us where it will. However, the truth is that the commands in these verse are a call to action – Trust, Delight, Commit, Rest, Cease! God is calling us to take control of ourselves as we yield to Him. He is calling us to be involved in the process! You see, I may not can control when happens in my life, but I can control how I respond to what happens! I am the master of what I do in these areas of life. Let us determine this evening that we will seek the Lord’s way through the valley and that we will take these five precious steps to peace in the paths of life.
The World We Live In – As the Lord’s return draws near, godlessness is increasing. Standards that have stood for decades are falling all around us. Crime, lawlessness, and disrespect all seem to be growing. If that’s the way you’ve been looking at things recently, the psalmist David has good news for you. There is hope! There is a positive way to look at life.
Here are David’s recommendations for facing a world marked by “evildoers,” whose day in the sun is as fleeting as grass in the desert (Ps. 37:1-2).
- Trust God (Ps 37:3). The alternative is to trust people with the future, and that leads to disappointment.
- Do good things (Ps 37:3). The more good we do, the less chance evil has to succeed.
- Delight in the Lord (Ps 37:4). Take delight in God and His will, and He promises to provide what you need.
- Commit your way to God (Ps 37:5). He will bless your efforts.
- Wait patiently for the Lord (Ps 37:7). He will prevail.
The more we immerse ourselves in God, His Word, and His promises, the less we will fret over the troubles of this world. Sure, it’s a tough world we live in, but with God we can be victorious! —Dave Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
For all His children, God desires
A life of calm, not flurry;
His will for every day is this:
That we should trust, not worry.
To make it in a tough world, keep in touch with God.
Psalm 37:2 For they will wither quickly like the grass And fade like the green herb.
BGT Psalm 36:2 ὅτι ὡσεὶ χόρτος ταχὺ ἀποξηρανθήσονται καὶ ὡσεὶ λάχανα χλόης ταχὺ ἀποπεσοῦνται
NET Psalm 37:2 For they will quickly dry up like grass, and wither away like plants.
LXE Psalm 37:2 For they shall soon be withered as the grass, and shall soon fall away as the green herbs.
NLT Psalm 37:2 For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
KJV Psalm 37:2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
ESV Psalm 37:2 For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.
NIV Psalm 37:2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.
ASV Psalm 37:2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb.
CSB Psalm 37:2 For they wither quickly like grass and wilt like tender green plants.
NKJ Psalm 37:2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb.
NRS Psalm 37:2 for they will soon fade like the grass, and wither like the green herb.
YLT Psalm 37:2 For as grass speedily they are cut off, And as the greenness of the tender grass do fade.
They will wither quickly like the grass – KJV = “they shall soon be cut down like the grass”. The KJV is so different because the Textus Receptus uses a different verb for “cut down” (namal), whereas the NAS, ESV, etc use the verb malal (below). As Spurgeon says describing the illogical nature of the reaction of envy of the wicked “No one envies the grass, let it be never so green; no one envies flowers, let them be never so fragrant, for we know that grass must be cut, and that flowers must wither. Let us look upon the wicked in the same light; their time of perishing shall soon come, their end hasteth on apace; therefore, let all envying be out of the question, since they are such short-lived beings. Evil cannot last. It is a feeble plant, like the grass and weeds which the mower’s scythe soon cuts down, and leaves to wither in the blazing sunshine.”
Treasury of David on wither quickly like the grass– The scythe of death is sharpening. Green grows the grass, but quick comes the scythe. The destruction of the ungodly will be speedy, sudden, sure, overwhelming, irretrievable. The grass cannot resist or escape the mower.
Wither (04448)(malal) means to languish, wither, fade and was used poetically to describe the mortality of humans, who bloom like a flower and then wither (Job 14:2; cf. Ps. 90:6), or a person who withers like the branch of a tree with dried up roots (Job 18:16). In Ps. 37:2, the evil person is compared to grass which withers according to seasonal cycles.
Thomas Tymme on wither – O bitter word, which will make the ears of them that hear it to tingle! O sentence intolerable, which deprives sinners of all good things, and bringeth them to all woe! The Lord sometime accursed the fig tree, and immediately, not only the leaves, but also the body and root were wholly withered (Mt 21:19-20): even so, that fearful curse of the last day shall be no less effectual; for on whomsoever it falleth is shall so scorch them (cf Rev 20:15), and shall so make them destitute of God’s grace, that they shall never more be able to do, to speak, think, or to hope for any good thing (cf 2 Th 1:8,9).
And fade like the green herb –
Treasury of David on fade like the green herb . The beauty of the herb dries up at once in the heat of the sun, and so all the glory of the wicked shall disappear at the hour of death. Death kills the ungodly man like grass, and wrath withers him like hay; he dies, and his name rots. How complete an end is made of the man whose boasts had no end! Is it worth while to waste ourselves in fretting about the insect of an hour, an ephemeral which in the same day is born and dies? Within believers there is a living and incorruptible seed which liveth and abideth for ever; why should they envy mere flesh, and the glory of it, which are but as grass, and the flower thereof?
While this description in context speaks of the ungodly, this truth is just as apropos to the godly! The Bible repeatedly emphasizes the brevity of our earthly life, that we might be assiduous and judicious to redeem the precious moments God allots to each of us to prepare for eternity. This is a sobering thought as today is January 2, 2020, not only a new year, but a new decade. At age 73 this could well be the last new decade I experience on earth. This thought motivate me to not waste time of trivial, temporary pleasures and play toys, but to seek each day His Kingdom and His righteousness (Mt 6:33) and His good and acceptable and perfect will for my life (Ro 12:2b). My prayer for all who read these thoughts is that the first you would take some time to ponder this thought because it is so easy to procrastinate and secondly that you meditate on the following passages asking God’s Spirit to speak to your heart, not just your head. In Jesus’ Name. Amen
Psalm 37:2 For they will wither quickly like the grass And fade like the green herb.
Psalm 39:5; 6 “Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my lifetime as nothing in Your sight; Surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Selah. (39:6) “Surely every man walks about as a phantom; Surely they make an uproar for nothing; He amasses riches and does not know who will gather them.
Psalm 90:4-6; 9; 10 For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or as a watch in the night. 5You have swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep; In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew. 6In the morning it flourishes and sprouts anew; Toward evening it fades and withers away. (90:9) For all our days have declined in Your fury; We have finished our years like a sigh. (90:10) As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away.
Psalm 144:4 Man is like a mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow.
Isaiah 38:12; 13 “Like a shepherd’s tent my dwelling is pulled up and removed from me; As a weaver I rolled up my life. He cuts me off from the loom; From day until night You make an end of me. (38:13) “I composed my soul until morning. Like a lion–so He breaks all my bones, From day until night You make an end of me.
Isaiah 40:6; 7 A voice says, “Call out.” Then he answered, “What shall I call out?” All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. (40:7) The grass withers, the flower fades, When the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass.
James 1:10; 11 and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. (1:11) For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.
James 4:14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
1 Peter 1:24 For, “ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS, AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS. THE GRASS WITHERS, AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF,
2 Kings 19:26 ‘Therefore their inhabitants were short of strength, They were dismayed and put to shame; They were as the vegetation of the field and as the green herb, As grass on the housetops is scorched before it is grown up.
Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
BGT Psalm 36:3 ἔλπισον ἐπὶ κύριον καὶ ποίει χρηστότητα καὶ κατασκήνου τὴν γῆν καὶ ποιμανθήσῃ ἐπὶ τῷ πλούτῳ αὐτῆς
NET Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD and do what is right! Settle in the land and maintain your integrity!
LXE Psalm 37:3 Hope in the Lord, and do good; and dwell on the land, and thou shalt be fed with the wealth of it.
NLT Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
KJV Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
ESV Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
NIV Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
ASV Psalm 37:3 Trust in Jehovah, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on his faithfulness.
CSB Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD and do what is good; dwell in the land and live securely.
NKJ Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
NRS Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
YLT Psalm 37:3 Trust in Jehovah, and do good, Dwell in the land, and enjoy faithfulness,
- Trust: Ps 4:5 26:1 Isa 1:16-19 50:10 Jer 17:7,8 1Co 15:57,58 Heb 6:10-12
- Dwell: Ge 26:2 1Sa 26:19 Heb 11:13-16
- Cultivate: Ps 33:19 34:9,10 Mt 6:31-33 Lu 22:35
Trust in the LORD and do good – Trust and do are the first two of 4 commands in this verse.
Trust (Rely)(0982)(batach) speaks of being confident or trusting and pertains to placing reliance or belief in a person or object (Ps 112:7; Isa 26:3) Batach expresses sense of well-being and security from having something or someone in whom to place confidence. Most of the uses in the book of Psalms refer to trust in Jehovah. Trust is translated in the Septuagint with the verb elpizo which means to hope, to look forward with confidence, to express a desire for some good with full expectation of obtaining it. In short this verb is not the meaning in the common vernacular of “hope so,” but to the contrary describes a “hope sure!” Elpizo is in the aorist imperative which calls for this to be done now and without putting it off or procrastinating.
Wiersbe says that the “word translated “trust” (e.g., used in Pr 3:5+) means “to lie helpless, facedown.” It pictures a servant waiting for the master’s command in readiness to obey, or a defeated soldier yielding himself to the conquering general. (Be Skillful) Higgins agrees that the Hebrew word batach “means to stretch out or to lie face down. It is a picture of a man totally stretched out on his face before God. The message of his posture is his total helplessness and dependence upon God. It bespeaks that he is totally yielded to that will. Matthew reminds us of the Lord Jesus that He “fell on his face, and prayed … not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Mt 26:39). (What the Bible Teaches – Proverbs)
Spurgeon notes that here “you have the secret of the active life of the Christian. The root of his activity lies in his faith: “Trust in the Lord.” The outward manifestation of his inner life is in the good that he does (ED: INITIATED AND ENERGIZED BY THE SPIRIT AND FOR THE GLORY OF GOD); and where there is this faith, proved to be living faith by good works, there follows the promise (WE WILL DWELL AND LIVE SECURELY).”
Treasury of David on Trust in the Lord. Here is the second precept, and one appropriate to the occasion. Faith cures fretting. Sight is cross-eyed, and views things only as they seem, hence her envy: faith has clearer optics to behold things as they really are, hence her peace. And do good. True faith is actively obedient. Doing good is a fine remedy for fretting. There is a joy in holy activity which drives away the rust of discontent.
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness – Here David gives 2 more commands. NLT says “Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.” NRS has ‘you will live in the land, and enjoy security.” NIV “dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.”
Treasury of David on dwell in the land. In “the land” which floweth with milk and honey; the Canaan of the covenant. Thou shalt not wander in the wilderness of murmuring, but abide in the promised land of content and rest. “We which have believed do enter into rest.” Very much of our outward depends upon the inward: where there is heaven in the heart there will be heaven in the house. And verily thou shalt be fed, or shepherded. To integrity and faith necessaries are guaranteed. The good shepherd will exercise his pastoral care over all believers. In truth they shall be fed, and fed on truth. The promise of God shall be their perpetual banquet; they shall neither lack in spirituals nor in temporals. Some read this as an exhortation, “Feed on truth; “ certainly this is good cheer, and banishes for ever the hungry heart burnings of envy.
NET Note says the Hebrew literally is “”tend integrity.” The verb ra’ah means to “tend, shepherd” and is probably used here in the sense of “watch over, guard.” The noun ’emunah, (“faithfulness, honesty, integrity”) is understood as the direct object of the verb, though it could be taken as an adverbial accusative, “[feed] securely,” if the audience is likened to a flock of sheep.”
Spurgeon – It does not say, “Young man, verily thou shalt prosper in business.” It does not say, “O ambitious man, thou shalt dwell in a palace, or revel in luxuries, “but it does say to thee, O humble-minded Christian, trusting in God, “Verily thou shalt be fed.” You know, when the word “Verily” is used, there is something upon which God sets his seal as being true: “Verily thou shalt be fed.” God’s “Verilys” are better than men’s oaths. Believe, then, Christians and let there be no more fretting about your temporal trials. I know you have come in here tonight very anxious, and vexed with care and grief; take this “Verily”, and lay it, like Isaiah’s lump of figs, upon the boil, and “Verily” you shall soon be healed.
Wiersbe – David reminds us: “For they [the wicked] shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good” (Psalm 37:2,3). When you fix your eyes on the Lord and trust and obey Him, that fretful spirit quiets down, and peace comes to your heart. Whenever I stop trusting the Lord for my needs and for His help, my heart becomes heavy and burdened, and then I become fretful and worried. So “trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness” (Psalm 37:3). God takes care of His own.
Learning To Trust
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. —Psalm 37:3
Today’s Scripture: Isaiah 66:7-13
When I stuck my camera into the bush to take a picture of the baby robins, they opened their mouths without opening their eyes. They were so used to having mama robin feed them whenever the branches moved that they didn’t even look to see who (or what) was causing the disturbance.
That is the kind of trust that loving mothers instill in their children. That is the kind of mom I am blessed to have. Growing up, I could eat whatever food she put on the table without fear that it would harm me. Although she made me eat things I didn’t like, I knew she did so because they were good for me. If she cared only about what was easy for her, she would have let me eat junk food. No matter what Mom told me to do, or not to do, I knew she had my best interest in mind. She wasn’t trying to keep me from having fun; she was trying to protect me from being hurt.
That is the kind of relationship we have with God, who compared Himself to a mother: “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you” (Isa. 66:13). As His children, we have no reason to fear what happens to us nor to envy what happens to others: “Do not . . . be envious of the workers of iniquity” (Ps. 37:1). When we trust His goodness, we are fed by His faithfulness. By: Julie Ackerman Link (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Reflect & Pray
Lord, we’re thankful for this example of motherhood. But even more, we’re grateful for Your faithful “mothering” of us displayed in Your compassion day by day. Help us to find rest in You. Amen.
God’s care surrounds us.
Timing Is Everything
All things work together for good to those . . . who are the called according to His purpose. —Romans 8:28
Today’s Scripture: Psalm 37:3-11
It was quite a few months before I realized that what I thought was a coincidental meeting had been good timing on my future husband’s part.
From the balcony of the church, he had seen me, deduced which exit I might be using, raced down two flights of stairs, and arrived seconds before I did. As he casually held the door and struck up a conversation, I was oblivious to the fact that his “impromptu” dinner invitation had been premeditated. It was perfect timing.
Perfect timing is rare—at least where humans are concerned. But God has specific purposes and plans for us, and His timing is always perfect.
We see that timing in the life of these Bible characters: Abraham’s servant prayed for a wife for Isaac. God answered his prayer by bringing the young woman to him (Gen. 24). Joseph was sold as a slave, falsely accused, and thrown into prison. But eventually God used him to preserve many people’s lives during a famine (45:5-8; 50:20). And we marvel at Esther’s courage as Mordecai reminded her, “Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Est. 4:14).
Are you disappointed in the pace of God’s plans? “Trust in the Lord” (Ps. 37:3). God will open doors when the timing is perfect. By: Cindy Hess Kasper (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Reflect & Pray
Have faith in God, the sun will shine
Though dark the clouds may be today;
His heart has planned your path and mine,
Have faith in God, have faith alway.
God’s timing is perfect—every time!
The Need For Nourishment
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. —Psalm 37:3
Today’s Scripture: Psalm 37:1-11
Our grandson Cameron was born 6 weeks prematurely. Undersized and in danger, he became a resident of the hospital’s neonatal unit for about 2 weeks until he gained enough weight to go home. His biggest challenge was that, in the physical exercise of eating, he burned more calories than he was taking in. This obviously hindered his development. It seemed that the little guy took two steps backward for every step of progress he made.
No medicine or treatment could solve the problem; he just needed the strength-giving fortification of nourishment.
As followers of Christ, we are constantly finding our emotional and spiritual reserves drained by the challenges of life in a fallen world. In such times, we need nourishment to strengthen us. In Psalm 37, David encouraged us to strengthen our hearts by feeding our souls. He wrote, “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness” (v.3).
When weakness afflicts us, the reassurance of God’s never-ending faithfulness can enable us to carry on in His name. His faithful care is the nourishment we need, giving us, as the hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” says, “strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow.” By: Bill Crowder (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Reflect & Pray
Feed on God’s faithfulness to find the strength you need.
A Strategy Of Patience
Read: Psalm 37:1-11
Patience should characterize the life of every believer who is trying to do God’s will. This virtue is illustrated by John Wooden in his book They Call Me Coach. The author, who was head basketball coach at UCLA for many years, said, “In game play, it has always been my philosophy that patience will win out. By that, I mean patience to follow our game plan. If we do believe in it, we will wear the opposition down and will get to them. If we break away from our style, however, and play their style, we’re in trouble. And if we let our emotions command the game rather than our reason, we will not function effectively. I constantly caution our team, ‘Play your game. . . . Eventually, if you play your game, stick to your style, class will tell in the end! This does not mean that we will always outscore our opponent, but it does ensure that we will not beat ourselves.’”
In Psalm 37, God is saying, in effect, “Do what’s right and trust Me. Regardless of how badly you may seem to be losing, just do My will and leave the outcome to Me. I’ll make sure that eventually you’ll be the winner.” Such a strategy will not only keep us from beating ourselves, it will lead to glorious victory! By Mart DeHaan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
To know our work is not in vain,
As partners of the Lord,
Provides the patience that we need
To wait for God’s reward.
You can’t lose if you stay with God’s game plan.
Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.
BGT Psalm 36:4 κατατρύφησον τοῦ κυρίου καὶ δώσει σοι τὰ αἰτήματα τῆς καρδίας σου
NET Psalm 37:4 Then you will take delight in the LORD, and he will answer your prayers.
LXE Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself in the Lord; and he shall grant thee the requests of thine heart.
NLT Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
KJV Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
ESV Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
NIV Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
ASV Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself also in Jehovah; And he will give thee the desires of thy heart.
CSB Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires.
NKJ Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
NRS Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
YLT Psalm 37:4 And delight thyself on Jehovah, And He giveth to thee the petitions of thy heart.
- Delight: Ps 43:4 104:34 Job 27:10 34:9 Song 2:3 Isa 58:14 1Pe 1:8
- and: Ps 21:1,2 145:19 Joh 15:7,16 1Jn 5:14,15
The first use of delight in the NAS, ASV, NRS, CSB and ESV versions is found in Genesis 3:6 which reads “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight (Hebrew = taavah; Lxx = arestos = pleasing) to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” Although the Hebrew verb taavah is not the same verb (anag/anog) used by David here in Psalm 37:4, clearly the passage in Genesis is still very instructive! It should serve as a reminder that delight is a powerful force in our soul and it can be used for bad (even bringing catastrophic consequences as did Eve’s delight which opened the floodgates of sin – cf Ro 5:12+) or it can be used for good as David explains in the present passage. In short, what we delight in can lead to either a curse or a blessing. And so this begs the important question that each of us must honestly answer “In what do we delight?” This is not a minor question, as Eve’s delight in Genesis 3 illustrates! So let us take time to ponder David’s wisdom in this passage, even memorizing it and then “chewing on it” (meditating on it), so that we might enjoy the blessings of meditation, even as promised in the book of Joshua
“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that (PURPOSE OF MEDITATION) you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it (FIRST OBEDIENCE); for then (BLESSINGS) you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. (Joshua 1:8+)
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary says that “Delight is a more permanent pleasure than joy, and not dependent on sudden excitement.” There may some truth in that statement, but in the NT clearly joy is a part of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22+), so it can certainly be long lasting, as long as we are daily choosing to be filled with the Spirit and walk by the Spirit (Gal 5:16+). Webster also says that to delight is to “To affect with great pleasure; to please highly; to give or afford high satisfaction or joy; as, a beautiful landscape delights the eye; harmony delights the ear; the good conduct of children, and especially their piety, delights their parents.”
Delight yourself in the LORD – Notice the order – First the command to be obeyed, then the promise to be received. Delight (see more detail below on anag) is a command which charges us to find our enjoyment in Jehovah. Another Hebrew word for delight (chephets) means to bend toward or incline toward, a very fitting description of what our attitude should be toward our Almighty God! Paul gives us a New Testament parallel in Php 4:4+ which is also a command to continually “Rejoice in the Lord.”
To delight in the LORD is to find our highest degree of gratification in Him, to experience our greatest pleasure in Him, to find that He is the One who supremely satisfies our soul. He is the source of our joy. He is the one who pleases our soul. Or stated another way “When our delight is in the love of God, our desires will be in the will of God. When we delight ourselves in the Lord, we will want the things that delight Him.” (Wiersbe)
If we attempt to DELIGHT in God out of a sense of duty, it will not be a delight but a drudgery! But God never gives a commandment without also providing the enablement. So how do we arouse a desire to delight and rejoice in the Lord? Simply put, we can’t but God can! Paul commands us to “work out (present imperative) your salvation in fear and trembling (IN CONTEXT OF PS 37:4 OBEY THE COMMAND TO DELIGHT) (Phil 2:12+), explaining that this is only possible because “God is working (Gk = energeo ~ present tense = continually energizing) in us, giving us the DESIRE and the POWER to do what pleases Him.” (Phil 2:13NLT+) Note that we are both responsible (WORK OUT) and dependent (SPIRIT IN US)! To state it another way, we are to work out what God’s Spirit works in! We must daily make the choice to renounce reliance on self efforts to muster up the affection to delight out of a sense of duty, and instead rely on the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Christ alone can stir in our hearts this DESIRE and give us the supernatural POWER to DELIGHT in Jehovah.
As A W Tozer said “We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit (and) when the Holy Spirit shows us God as He is we admire Him to the point of wonder and DELIGHT.”
James Smith explains that “Sin has taken our attention off of God – and fixed it upon ourselves, or the things around us. Grace calls our attention off of everything else – to fix it upon God. It directs us to DELIGHT in the Lord.”
Puritan Stephen Charnock says that “This DELIGHT (in Ps 37:4) springs from the Spirit of God. Not a spark of fire on your own hearth is able to kindle this spiritual DELIGHT; it is the Holy Spirit Who breathes such a heavenly heat into our affections. The Spirit is the fire that kindles the soul, the spring that moves the watch, the wind that drives the ship. Just as prayer is the work of the Spirit in the heart, so DELIGHT in prayer owes itself to the same Author.”
As an unknown Puritan prayed “When I think upon and converse with Thee, ten thousand DELIGHTFUL thoughts spring up, ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed, ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart, crowding into every moment of happiness.” (Valley of Vision)
PRAYER – Father by Your precious Holy Spirit stir our hearts to desire to delight in the LORD that we might “feast on the abundance of Your house and… drink from the river of Your DELIGHTS.” (Ps 36:8, Jn 4:14, 7:38-39+). In Jesus’ delightful Name. Amen
“Dear fountain of DELIGHT unknown!
No longer sink below the brim
But overflow, and pour me down
A living and life-giving stream!” Amen
— William Cowper
Spurgeon comments on Psalm 37:4 “This is a most precious verse, its sweetness who can tell? Do not think first of the desires of thy heart, but think first of delighting thyself in thy God. If thou hast accepted Him as thy Lord, He is thine; so delight in Him, and then He will give thee the desires of thy heart. Delight is a Christian’s duty. To sorrow, to mourn, to despair, — these belong not to the believer: “Delight thyself in the Lord.” Here is a river to swim in, Christians, plunge into it. Here is a bottomless abyss of delights, the Person, the grace, the works, the attributes of our covenant God; and here is a promise given to each one of those who carry on this excellent duty, “He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
The Double Cure For Our Fretting and Fulfilling Our Desires – In Psalm 37 David is old (Ps 37:25) and thus speaks wise words of a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22+) who has spent much of his life dwelling in the presence of Jehovah. And so first let us observe that David uses the verb FRET 3 times in the first 8 verses (Ps 37:1,7-8), interweaving it with God’s antidotes for fretting. In fact he exhorts us to do several things to counter fretting (Ps 37:2 = understand evildoers final fate, Ps 37:3 = Trust in the Lord, Ps 37:3 = Do good, Ps 37:3 = Cultivate faithfulness, Ps 37:5 = Commit your way to the Lord, Ps 37:5 = Trust Him, Ps 37:7 = Rest in the Lord, Ps 37:7 = Wait patiently for Him) but one activity that is unique is the command (not a suggestion) to “DELIGHT YOURSELF IN THE LORD.”
Notice that the verb fret has an interesting derivation from an Old English word (fretan) meaning to devour, which gives us a vivid picture of fretting, which is a picture most of us are all too familiar with, the picture of allowing something to “eat away” or “gnaw away” at our minds, resulting in an envious, agitated, vexed or worried mind. Unfortunately fretting comes far too naturally to our fallen flesh, our Adamic nature still resident in our mortal body (Ro 7:18+, Gal 5:17+). And so in Psalm 37:4 David gives us God’s antidote, charging us to change our focus from fretting on evil doers to delighting in our good God, writing “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Unfortunately my fallen flesh too often “inverts” the order of the passage and focuses on my reward (the fulfilling of my desires) rather than the fulfilling of my responsibility (delight). David’s order clearly shows us that precepts come before promises, responsibility before rewards and delight before desires. So I need to take an honest inventory – “Am I truly delighting in the Lord?” To answer that question let us meditate on what it means to DELIGHT. And let us pray like the godly Puritan Richard Baxter “May the living God, Who is the portion and rest of His saints, make these our carnal minds so spiritual, and our earthly hearts so heavenly that loving Him, and DELIGHTING in Him, may be the work of our lives.” Amen
Wiersbe says that “If we delight in the Lord, and seek to please Him in everything, then something is going to happen to our own desires. His desires become our desires. We start to say with our Lord, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work” (John 4:34). Our praying, then, is simply the reflection of God’s desires in our own heart… To cultivate a heart that desires what is good, a heart that delights in the Lord (Ps 37:4), is the first step toward the life that overflows with the blessing of the Lord.” (Bible Exposition Commentary).
Treasury of David on Delight yourself in the Lord. Make Jehovah the joy and rejoicing of thy spirit. Bad men delight in carnal objects; do not envy them if they are allowed to take their fill in such vain idols; look thou to thy better delight, and fill thyself to the full with thy more sublime portion. In a certain sense imitate the wicked; they delight in their portionâ€”take care to delight in yours, and so far from envying you will pity them. There is no room for fretting if we remember that God is ours, but there is every incentive to sacred enjoyment of the most elevated and ecstatic kind. Every name, attribute, word, or deed of Jehovah, should be delightful to us, and in meditating thereon our soul should be as glad as is the epicure who feeds delicately with a profound relish for his dainties.
Adam Clarke – his will, desire, affection, every motive in his heart, and every moving principle in his soul, are on the side of God and his truth.
What does delighting in the Lord look like practically? If we delight in a person, we desire to be in their presence and to hear their voice. Indeed, we should seek to be like the blessed man whose “DELIGHT is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.” (Ps 1:2–note) And like the psalmist who “opened wide his mouth and panted, because he longed for God’s precepts.” (Ps 119:131, 40) We need to daily chose to “delight in His commandments, which we love.” (Ps 119:47) We should be like a young couple who is so in love that their greatest desire is to be in each other’s company prompting them to rearrange all their priorities! Why? Not because that was their duty but because it was their greatest desire and delight! This begs the question “Do I DELIGHT in God’s Word like this? Do I set aside time to commune with Him in His Word because I DELIGHT in hearing to His voice? Has my quiet time become “too quiet,” because I have begun to see it more as a duty than a DELIGHT?”
THOUGHT May God’s Spirit revive our hearts according to His Word (Ps 119:25) that we might be like Jeremiah who said “Thy words were found and I ate them, and Thy words became for me a joy and the DELIGHT of my heart.” (Jer 15:16–note) If we truly DELIGHT in Jehovah, we desire not only to spend time with Him, listening to His voice in His Word, but also longing to speak with Him. We need to imitate godly Nehemiah who prayed “O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who DELIGHT to fear (reverence) Your Name.” (Neh 1:11) And may our heart be like “Mary, who was listening (cp Ps 81:10b) to the Lord’s word, seated at His feet” and not like “Martha (who) was distracted…worried (fretting) and bothered about so many things.” Indeed, may we delight in Jesus’ words that “There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Lk 10:38-42) Remember, beloved, that our Lord desires our delight before our duty, our presence before our presents! Father grant that by Your Spirit we like the saints of old might discover that the one thing that is important in time and eternity is to sit lost in DELIGHT at our Savior’s feet communing with Him through His Word and prayer. Amen
To DELIGHT in the Lord is to desire to be near Him, to be like the OT saints who cried “My soul longs for Thee, as a parched land. Selah.” (Ps 143:6) “Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And besides Thee, I DESIRE nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Ps 73:25-26) When we DELIGHT in the Lord we come to understand more fully that “the nearness of God is our good,” (Ps 73:28) and that “a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.” (Ps 84:10) And as we learn to delight in Jehovah, we will desire even more to daily be in His presence, for “In His presence (literally before His face) is fulness of joy. In His right hand there are pleasures forevermore. (Ps 16:11) So let us each morning enabled by His Spirit choose to DELIGHT in Jehovah and beseech Him to “hide us in the secret place of His presence.” (Ps 31:20) “Let us come before His presence (face) with thanksgiving. Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms” (Ps 95:2), confident that He will make us “glad with the joy of His presence.” (Ps 21:6) Indeed, as the writer of Hebrews encourages, “Let us therefore draw near with confidence (boldness) to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need (which is ALL the time!)” (Heb 4:16+)
“O God of my delight,
Thy throne of grace
is the pleasure ground of my soul.”
(Valley of Vision)
While it is amazing grace that saved sinners can DELIGHT in the Lord, it is even more amazing that He takes DELIGHT in us! Like a diamond miner who picks up a rough, dull stone and rejoices with delight, God delights over unlovely people. He knows what precious gems, through His Spirit’s shaping and polishing, sanctified sinners will become in Christ, yea, even becoming His own treasured possession (Dt 26:18, Titus 2:14+)! And so the prophet Zephaniah exults (speaking to Israel, but in principle applicable to saints)
PRAYER – May our prayer daily be like the words of the devout Puritans in the Valley of Vision – “If Thou seest in me any wrong thing encouraged, any evil desire cherished, any DELIGHT that is not Thy DELIGHT, any habit that grieves Thee, any nest of sin in my heart, then grant me the kiss of Thy forgiveness, and teach my feet to walk the way of Thy commandments. Produce in me self-despair that will make Jesus precious to me, DELIGHTFUL in all His offices, pleasurable in all His ways, and may I love His commands (delight yourself) as well as His promises (desire fulfilled). Give me the saving lamp of Thy Spirit that I may see Thee, the God of my salvation, the DELIGHT of my soul, rejoicing over me in love (Zeph 3:17+).” Amen
Take My Life and Let It Be
(It is easy to sing this and yet not sincerely mean what we sing!)
(As an aside if you are serious about this short life, this hymn would be a great prayer to offer up to the King!)
Take my life and let it be,
Consecrated Lord to Thee.
Take my moments and my days
And let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my will, and make it Thine.
It shall no be no longer mine.
Take my heart heart, it is Thy own.
It shall be Thy royal throne.
THOUGHT – What do you do when you don’t desire to delight in God? Clearly this is an important question so I would strongly encourage you to watch the 6 part series by Dr John Piper on what do I do… “When I Don’t Desire God“
The wonderful truth is that we who were once hostile to God, can now delight in Jehovah. And even more amazing is that He delights in us for we are “accepted in the Beloved.” Amazing grace indeed! Ps 16:3–note As for the saints who are in the earth, they are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.
Douglas Carew notes that in Ps 37:4 “A close interplay exists between “delight … in the LORD,” and “desires of your heart.” The path to true self-fulfillment does not lie in a preoccupation with self but in selfless preoccupation with God. When the psalmist sets his heart on God, God reciprocates by making him truly fulfilled. And since no one seeks after God on their own, we are continually dependent on the Holy Spirit Who dwells in us to give us the desire and the power to seek the face of God.
When something delights us, we are preoccupied with it and we tend to protect and guard our time so that we can more quality time with the object of our delight.
To delight is to take pleasure or enjoyment from an object (in Ps 37:4 not an object but a Person, Jehovah) and implying the object has desirability! Delight in something or someone depicts a high degree of pleasure, or satisfaction of mind. While the verb is different, the idea is similar in Ps 1:3 where read that the “blessed” man (Ps 1:1) is the one whose “delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.” (Ps 1:2) In other words, how does he show he truly delights in the Word? He spends time with (in) the Word. He makes the Word a top priority. By the same token if we truly delight in Jehovah, we desire to spend time with Him, to listen to His voice in the Word, to speak with Him in prayer. And we make those items top priority. Even as I write this, I am convicted — I might tell you I delight in the LORD, but honestly do the actions of my live, my priorities, my passions, etc validate my claim to delight in the LORD?
C S Lewis was right when he said “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”
A W Tozer writes “when the Holy Spirit shows us God as He is we admire Him to the point of wonder and delight.”
When we delight ourselves in the Lord, we will desire the things that delight Him. When our delight is in the love of God, our desires will be in the will of God. If what we desire is God, God will give us what we desire.
Delight (06026)(see more in depth discussion on anag/anog) is a verb which means to be soft, to be delicate (in Pual stem) but also means to delight oneself in (“to take exquisite delight” – BDB), to be glad in or to enjoy (in Hithpael stem), especially taking delight and pleasure in God (Job 22:26, Isa 55:2, Psalm 37:4). To find enjoyment in (implying the desirability of the object). Delight is in the Hithpael imperative (command) which primarily expresses a “reflexive” action (thus the pronoun “yourself“). The idea is to enjoy oneself and in Ps 37:4 the object to enjoy is God. The idea of this verb delight is that the one who obeys this command to delight (obeying enabled by the power of the Spirit) experiences a sense of joy in the Lord. The picture is of one who enjoys the Lord, taking pleasure in Him, experiencing satisfaction in Him. It is the call for us as finite created beings to take exquisite delight in the infinite, transcendent, majestic, glorious Creator of the universe. Delight is the picture of my being highly pleased and fully contented with God’s Person and Presence. As David so beautifully puts it in Psalm 16:11 “Thou wilt make known to me the path of life (ultimately this is Jesus Himself… He alone is the Way… the Life! Jn 14:6). In Thy presence is fullness of joy. In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.” The Hebrew word “fullness” pictures satisfaction or sufficiency by simply being in the Lord’s presence! To be pampered encourages us to spoil ourselves with God’s presence!
The Septuagint (Lxx) translates the Hebrew word anag here in Psalm 37:4 with the verb katatruphao (used only here in the entire Bible) in the aorist imperative which is a command to do even with a sense of urgency. Do what? Take delight in Jehovah! But as already explained, if we are honest, our fallen flesh does not naturally gravitate toward but away from God. In other words our natural tendency is not to delight in God. Therefore we must depend on the Holy Spirit to give us the desire and the power to delight in Jehovah (Php 2:13NLT+). When we make the choice to delight in Him, we fulfill the command to work out (present imperative) our salvation in fear and trembling (Php 2:12+)! God’s Spirit sparks the urge and gives the power to delight, but we are not robots and we must still choose to delight. It is the mysterious “marriage” of God’s sovereignty and human responsibility. When Spurgeon was asked how he reconciled God’s sovereignty and man’s free will he responded “I never have to reconcile friends!” See discussion of the Need for the Holy Spirit to obey NT commands (or “How to Keep All 1642 Commandments in the New Testament!”)
As an aside the root verb for katatruphao is truphao and is used only once in the Bible (James 5:5+ = “lived luxuriously“). In this sole NT use of truphao, the verb is clearly conveys the negative sense of living in pleasure for oneself. Now think about delight in the context of Ps 37:4 and you get the picture of “living luxuriously” in the presence of Jehovah. Contrast the world’s counterfeit which is material wealth, thinking that this “idol” will bring us lasting delight, when in fact James says it will bring “a day of slaughter!” (Jas 5:5+) Only in the presence of Jehovah is there fullness of joy.
THOUGHT – This begs the question of all of us “Where are we seeking our delight? In this passing godless globe (cf 1 Jn 2:17+) or in our eternal glorious God? There is simply no comparison. This will be a constant battle because our flesh desires to delight in the temporal babbles and bangles with which we are continually enticed, while the Spirit continually leads us to desire to delight in the eternal. Walk by the Spirit and you will delight yourself in Jehovah. Or as Paul says “Walk (present imperative) by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” (Gal 5:16+)
Isaiah 58 God gives a wonderful (conditional) promise related to delighting in the LORD –
If because of the Sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure (NOUN = chephets – the related verb chapes means to incline toward, to take delight in, to be pleased with) on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight (NOUN = ONEG), the holy day of the LORD honorable, and shall honor it, desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasure, and speaking your own word, THEN (WHEN YOU HAVE MET THE PRECEDING CONDITION) you will take delight (SAME VERB USED IN PS 34:7 = anag in Hithpael; Lxx = peitho = to trust) in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” (Isa 58:13-14)
Jehovah in essence is saying that the path of true “self-fulfillment” paradoxically lies not in a preoccupation with self (NOTE 4X REPETITION OF “YOUR OWN” ABOVE) but in a selfless preoccupation with God (in this case specifically His Rest). As we set our heart on God as our chief delight, God reciprocates supernaturally by making us truly fulfilled!
God grant that the chief desire of our heart would first and foremost be to take great pleasure in Your presence. Amen
When we delight ourselves in the infinite God, our finite desires begin to be changed by His indwelling, transforming Spirit (cf 2 Cor 3:18+) into His eternal desires and “the things of this earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
So the Sabbath was to be a day of delight, a time of enjoyment for Israel (Isa 58:13). And if Israel turned from selfishness to selflessness on this day, God would cause them to “take delight in Jehovah!” Not to mention He would take them on the “ride” of their life! And so to delight in this day was to delight in Jehovah, in fact to delight in “the Son of Man (Who) is Lord of the Sabbath (our Rest, our cessation from labor!).” (Mt 12:8, Mk 2:28, Lk 6:5)
THE DESIRES OF
And He will give you the desires of your heart. – The way to have our heart’s desire is to make God our heart’s delight. Delight in God and He will become your greatest desire! If God has our hearts, He can trust us with His blessings.
Treasury of David on the desires of your heart. A pleasant duty is here rewarded with another pleasure. Men who delight in God desire or ask for nothing but what will please God; hence it is safe to give them carte blanche. Their will is subdued to God’s will, and now they may have what they will. Our innermost desires are here meant, not our casual wishes; there are many things which nature might desire which grace would never permit us to ask for; these deep, prayerful, asking desires are those to which the promise is made. (CHS)
As Spurgeon says those “who delight in God, desire or ask nothing but what will please God.” In other words as we practice the presence of God, daily delighting in Him, in His Word, in prayerful communion with Him, gradually His Spirit transforms our heart (cf Ro 12:2), so that our desires become His desires and it is those desires He will grant. Indeed, our desires will be His desires when our heart sings “Take my will, and make it Thine. It shall no be no longer mine. Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store. Take myself and I will be, ever only, all for Thee, ever only all for Thee.” (Frances Havergal) If God has our hearts, He can trust us with His blessings. So let us DELIGHT in God and He will become our greatest DESIRE! And if all we desire is God, God will give us all we desire…Christ Jesus Himself, “in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col 2:3+) The path to true fulfillment in this short life does not lie in preoccupation with self but in selfless preoccupation with Jesus, our all in all (cf Heb 12:2+, Col 3:11+).
THOUGHT – Beloved, true contentment becomes our experiential reality when God’s will is more important than our wants and when we come to realize that Jesus is everything we need for time and eternity! (See also Christian Contentment)
Some writers suggest that Psalm 37:4 is a promise that we will receive whatever we desire, which like making the verse a “genie in a bottle,” which we rub and ask for what we desire. This is not what this passage means! But if we are honest, most of us have fallen into the trap wondering “Lord, why don’t You give me what I desire since it is not a bad thing?” When we are frustrated by a promise, it may be because we are not interpreting the promise correctly! When we examine the context, we observe that Psalm 37 tells us not to fret or be envious of the wicked and not focus on what they have or what they seem to be getting away with. Instead we are to focus on Jehovah, the great I Am Who promises to “supply all our needs (not our wants) according to His riches in Christ Jesus.” (Php 4:19+) The first prerequisite (something that is required in advance) to receive the desires of your your heart is to obey the command to delight ourselves in God and God Alone. The following passages give us some additional prerequisites for receiving the desires of your heart –
(1) Ps 145:19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.
Comment – We have a holy fear of the Lord, not a holy dread, but a reverential awe of His majesty and glory and power. (See The Fear of the Lord)
(2) John 15:7 If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it shall be done for you.
Comment – What’s the condition? Abiding. Abiding in Him, letting His Word abide. How might we let His Word abide in us or dwell at home in us? Surely one way would include memorizing His holy Word so that as we walk around during our busy days, we might be enabled by His Holy Spirit to pause and ponder or meditate on His holy Word
(3) 1 John 5:14+ And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
To summarize the preceding passages – We are delighting ourselves in Jehovah, manifesting a reverential awe of Him (Ps 145:19), and asking according to His will (which we are more likely to do when we are abiding in His Word, because His will is most clearly revealed in His Word).(1 Jn 5:14)
Matthew Henry – “If God give us Himself to be our joy, He will deny us nothing that is good for us. No delight is comparable to the delight which gracious souls have in the Almighty; and those that acquaint themselves with him, and submit themselves entirely to him, shall find his favor to be, not only their strength, but their song.”
Ultimately, where then is GENUINE DELIGHT TO BE FOUND?—the answer is simple, in Christ alone. Find your chief joy in life in Him.
In Christ Alone
In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand.
In Christ alone! – who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live.
There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ
No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
Where Is true “DELIGHT”? IN CHRIST ALONE
- Not in Unbelief—Voltaire was an infidel of the most pronounced type. He wrote: “I wish I had never been born.”
- Not in Pleasure—Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure if anyone did. He wrote: “The worm, the canker, and grief are mine alone.”
- Not in Money—Jay Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of that. When dying, he said: “I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth.”
- Not in Position and Fame—Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote: “Youth is a mistake; manhood a struggle; old age a regret.”
- Not in Military Glory (Might)—Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day. Having done so, he wept in his tent, because he said, “There are no more worlds to conquer.”
Delight thyself also in the Lord! Trust in him was recommended before, and now, this being added also, how plain is it that your ease and rest is the thing designed! Is it fit to receive so much kindness with neglect? Again, he delights in you; I speak to such of whom this may be supposed. And it is indefinitely said, “His delights were with the sons of men, “Proverbs 8:31. Think what he is, and what you are; and at once, both wonder and yield. And what else have you to delight in? what thing will you name that shall supply the place of GOD, or be to you in the stead of him? Moreover, who should delight in him but youâ€”his friends, his sons, those of his own house? Think what life and vigour it will infuse into you, and that “the joy of the Lord will be your strength, “Nehemiah 8:10. How pleasantly will you hold on your course, and discharge all the other duties of this your present state? You must serve him. Dare you think of throwing off his yoke? How desirable is it then to take delight in him whom I must serve; which only makes that service acceptable to him, and easy to myself! Further, this is a pleasure none can rob you of; a joy that cannot be taken from you. Other objects of your delight are vanishing daily. Neither men nor devils can ever hinder you delighting in God, if your hearts be so inclined. And were you never brought to take pleasure in any person or thing to which you had a former aversion? One that had wronged you might yet possibly win you by after kindness. Give a reason why you should be more difficult towards the blessed God that never wronged you, and whose way towards you hath constantly imported so much good will! And consider that your condition on earth is such as exposes you to many sufferings and hardships, which, by your not delighting in him, you can never be sure to avoid (for they are things common to men), but which, by your delighting in him, you may be easily able to endure. Besides all this, seriously consider that you must die. You can make no shift to avoid that. How easily tolerable and pleasant will it be to think, then, of going to him with whom you have lived in a delightful communion before! And how dreadful to appear before him to whom your own heart shall accuse you to have been (against all his importunities and allurements) a disaffected stranger! John Howe’s “Treatise of Delight in God.”
James Smith – “Delight yourself in the Lord — and He will give you the desires of your heart!” Psalm 37:4
Sin has taken our attention off of God — and fixed it upon ourselves, or the things around us.
Grace calls our attention off of everything else — to fix it upon God. It directs us to . . .
- look to the Lord,
- come to the Lord,
- trust in the Lord,
- wait on the Lord,
- hope in the Lord, and
- even delight in the Lord.
“Delight yourself in the Lord.” Take delight — not in health, or wealth, or position, or character, or friends, or in anything that is changeable — but in the unchangeable Lord. Delight yourself in His glorious character — as gracious, merciful, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.
Delight yourself in Him, as . . .
- the father of the fatherless,
- the friend of the friendless,
- the hope of the wretched,
- and the Savior of the lost.
Delight yourself in His gracious covenant, which . . .
- anticipates your needs,
- provides for your needs,
- limits your trials, and
- provides strength for the day, as every day’s work requires.
Delight yourself in His paternal relation. He is not only your God — but your Father!
- He cares for you, with a father’s care!
- He loves you, with a father’s love!
- He pities you, with a father’s pity!
- He will receive you to Heaven, as to your father’s house!
Delight yourself in his precious promises. They are but drops from His ocean of love! They are intended to . . .
- show His love,
- display His grace,
- manifest His care,
- draw out your confidence,
- banish your fear, and
- assure you of all necessary supplies.
Delight yourself in his special providence. A providence that . . .
- marks your steps,
- directs your paths,
- measures your troubles,
- bounds the rage of your enemies,
- numbers the very hairs of your head, and
- makes all things work together for your good!
God in His providence, superintends all your affairs, even the most minute — so that nothing can happen to you by ‘chance’, or inadvertently do you harm!
“Delight yourself in the Lord.” This is more than . . .
- hope in the Lord, or
- believe in the Lord, or
- wait on the Lord, or
- love the Lord, or even
- rejoice in the Lord.
To delight is to make God your joy, your exceeding joy, your highest pleasure. Peter speaks of “rejoicing with joy unspeakable and full of glory!” and David says, “I would go unto God, unto God my exceeding joy!” Here are our patterns.
But if we would delight ourselves in the Lord, then . . .
- we must often and devoutly read what He has said of himself in his word;
- we must seriously and prayerfully think over it;
- we must realize its truth and importance;
- we must trust in his faithfulness and love;
- we must walk with him in familiar and holy fellowship; and
- we must resign ourselves and all we have to him to be used by him, and disposed of just as he sees fit.
THE INDUCEMENT. “Delight yourself in the Lord — and he will give you the desires of your heart!” If we delight ourselves in the Lord — then our principal and ruling desire will be his glory. Our hearts’ daily cry will be, “Let the Lord be glorified!” We shall drink into his holy mind, and becoming like-minded with him — thus we shall desire only those things that please him. Our subordinate desires will be generated by his grace, and be regulated by his holy word. He will therefore gratify us, by giving what we wish, or by working what we desire. He will satisfy us, by bringing our minds into unison with his, so that with Jesus we shall say, “Not my will — but may yours be done.”
He will delight us, either by giving us what we ask for — or some sweet manifestation of his love and grace instead. What we desire, or somethingbetter — he will give us, if we delight ourselves in him.
The way to be happy then — is to delight in God. To ensure our own way — is to seek the Lord’s. God’s will is best and wisest — ours therefore must be subordinate.
Delight in creatures only produces disappointment, dissatisfaction, and discomfort; but delight in God ensures satisfaction, comfort, and certainty. To delight in God, is only to prefer . . .
- the ever-flowing fountain — to the shallow stream;
- the glorious sun — to the dim candle!
- the fullness — to the shallow vessel.
We have never made God our object and our end — without being blessed. We have never preferred the creature — without smarting for it.
Delight in God — is one of the elements of the happiness of Heaven; and is at once the joy and dignity of our ransomed nature. Delight in creatures— is a great cause of the misery and unhappiness of earth; and proves that . . .
- our nature is fallen,
- our hearts are corrupt, and
- our understandings are darkened.
Gracious Lord, teach us to delight . . .
- in you, in your law,
- in your people,
- in your ways,
- in approaching to you,
- in doing your will,
- in suffering your pleasure — that in any way and every way we may promote your glory!
O Lord, I would delight in you,
And on your care depend;
To you in every trouble flee,
My best, my only friend!
When all created streams are dried,
Your fullness is the same;
May I with this be satisfied,
And glory in your name!
No good in creatures can be found
But may be found in thee;
I must have all things, and abound,
While God is God to me.
Getting What We Want
Read: Psalm 21:1-7
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. —Psalm 37:4
A certain airline pilot had a peculiar habit. Whenever he took off from his hometown of Minneapolis, he would ask the copilot to take the controls. Then he would stare intently out the window for a few moments.
Finally the copilot’s curiosity got the best of him, so he asked, “What do you always look at down there?”
“See that boy fishing on that riverbank?” the pilot asked. “I used to fish from that same spot when I was a kid. Whenever a plane flew over, I would watch it until it disappeared and wish that I could be the pilot.” With a sigh he added, “Now I wish I could be back down there fishing.”
It’s natural to spend time thinking about where we’d like to be or what we’d like to have. But we must evaluate our desires to make sure they are consistent with what God says will truly satisfy.
King David found satisfaction by putting first things first. His joy was rooted in the strength of the Lord and the salvation He provided (Ps. 21:1-2). It was because David sought the Lord that God gave him the desires of his heart (37:4).
When our desires conform to God’s will, we’re not likely to waste time wishing for things that can’t satisfy. Real joy comes not in getting what we want, but in wanting to be close to God.By David C. Egner (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Fret not for want of earthly things—
They’ll never satisfy;
The secret of contentment is
To let the Lord supply.
Contentment comes when we realize God has everything we need.
Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
BGT Psalm 36:5 ἀποκάλυψον πρὸς κύριον τὴν ὁδόν σου καὶ ἔλπισον ἐπ᾽ αὐτόν καὶ αὐτὸς ποιήσει
NET Psalm 37:5 Commit your future to the LORD! Trust in him, and he will act on your behalf.
LXE Psalm 37:5 Disclose thy way to the Lord, and hope in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
NLT Psalm 37:5 Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.
KJV Psalm 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
ESV Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.
NIV Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:
ASV Psalm 37:5 Commit thy way unto Jehovah; Trust also in him, and he will bring it to pass.
CSB Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will act,
NKJ Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.
NRS Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.
YLT Psalm 37:5 Roll on Jehovah thy way, And trust upon Him, and He worketh,
- Commit: Heb. Roll thy way upon, Ps 22:8 55:22 Pr 16:3 *marg: Mt 6:25 Lu 12:22,29,30 Php 4:6,7 1Pe 5:7
- and He will do it: Job 22:28 Ec 9:1 La 3:37 Jas 4:15
Commit your way to the LORD – “Give it over into God’s hands, and then confide in him as completely as a little child confides in its mother. Give it up to him to rule it, and to guide thee and lead thee in every step. Put the helm of your ship into the hand of the Almighty Pilot. Leave the guidance of your pilgrimage to him who has led many caravans across the desert aforetime, and who has never suffered any to perish. What an easy way this is; and yet how hard do we find it to carry it out! It is to unload ourselves, and put our burden on our God. Oh, that we had the sanctified common-sense to make us fulfill this duty!” (Spurgeon)
Treasury of David on Commit thy way unto the Lord. Roll the whole burden of life upon the Lord. Leave with Jehovah not thy present fretfulness merely, but all thy cares; in fact, submit the whole tenor of thy way to him. Cast away anxiety, resign thy will, submit thy judgment, leave all with the God of all. What a medicine is this for expelling envy! What a high attainment does this fourth precept indicate! How blessed must he be who lives every day in obedience to it! Trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. Our destiny shall be joyfully accomplished if we confidently entrust all to our Lord. We may serenely sing
Thy way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be;
O lead me by thine own right hand,
Choose out the path for me.”
“Smooth let it be or rough,
It will be still the best;
Winding or straight, it matters not,
It leads me to thy rest.”
“I dare not choose my lot,
I would not if I might;
But choose Thou for me, O my God,
So shall I walk aright.”
“Take thou my cup, and it
With joy or sorrow fill;
As ever best to thee may seem,
Choose thou my good and ill.”
Trust also in Him, and He will do it. – KJV = “He shall bring it to pass.”
Spurgeon – “He shall bring it to pass.” It is quite certain that you cannot “bring it to pass,” so you will be wise if you leave it with him who can do what you cannot.
Oswald Chambers – Don’t plan without God. God seems to have a delightful way of upsetting the plans we have made, when we have not taken Him into account. We get ourselves into circumstances that were not chosen by God, and suddenly we realize that we have been making our plans without Him— that we have not even considered Him to be a vital, living factor in the planning of our lives. And yet the only thing that will keep us from even the possibility of worrying is to bring God in as the greatest factor in all of our planning. In spiritual issues it is customary for us to put God first, but we tend to think that it is inappropriate and unnecessary to put Him first in the practical, everyday issues of our lives. If we have the idea that we have to put on our “spiritual face” before we can come near to God, then we will never come near to Him. We must come as we are.
Don’t plan with a concern for evil in mind. Does God really mean for us to plan without taking the evil around us into account? “Love…thinks no evil” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). Love is not ignorant of the existence of evil, but it does not take it into account as a factor in planning. When we were apart from God, we did take evil into account, doing all of our planning with it in mind, and we tried to reason out all of our work from its standpoint.
Don’t plan with a rainy day in mind. You cannot hoard things for a rainy day if you are truly trusting Christ. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled…” (John 14:1). God will not keep your heart from being troubled. It is a command— “Let not….” To do it, continually pick yourself up, even if you fall a hundred and one times a day, until you get into the habit of putting God first and planning with Him in mind.
Peace In The Storm
Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. —Psalm 37:5
Today’s Scripture: Psalm 37:1-11
During a terrible storm on the ocean, a small passenger ship rolled precariously in the roaring tempest. The furniture and anything else that could move was tied down, and the passengers were confined to their bunks for their own safety. Many on board thought the vessel was doomed.
Finally, a passenger who was determined to find out if there was any hope for survival set out to see the one who was in command. Clinging to the walls and handrails, he made his way to the wave-lashed deck, up a ladder, and into the wheelhouse. He noticed that the ship was nearing land and was between some jagged rocks. It became apparent that the captain was trying to reach the safety of a calm bay up ahead. Knowing he could not make himself heard above the roar of the wind and waves, the captain just turned wordlessly to the worried passenger and smiled. Reassured, the man returned to the others and said, “Don’t be afraid. All is well. I’ve seen the captain’s face, and he smiled!”
When we are battered by the storms of life, we may be tempted to give in to feelings of hopelessness. But if we look to our sovereign Captain and commit our way to Him (Psalm 37:5), we will find peace even in the midst of turmoil. We can trust Him to bring us through the storm. By: Henry G. Bosch (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Reflect & Pray
God’s unseen presence comforts me,
I know He’s always near;
And when life’s storms besiege my soul,
He says, “My child, don’t fear.”
—D. De Haan
God may calm the storm around you,
but more often He’ll calm the storm within you.
Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. —Psalm 37:5
Today’s Scripture: Psalm 37:1-8
In her book Beyond Our Selves, Catherine Marshall wrote about learning to surrender her entire life to God through a “prayer of relinquishment.” When she encountered situations she feared, she often panicked and exhibited a demanding spirit in prayer: “God, I must have thus and so.” God seemed remote. But when she surrendered the dreaded situation to Him to do with it exactly as He pleased, fear left and peace returned. From that moment on, God began working things out.
In Psalm 37, David talked about both commitment and surrender: “Commit your way to the Lord,” he said, “trust also in Him” (v.5). Committed believers are those who sincerely follow and serve the Lord, and it’s appropriate to urge people to have greater commitment. But committing ourselves to God and trusting Him imply surrendering every area of our lives to His wise control, especially when fear and panic overtake us. The promised result of such wholehearted commitment and trust is that God will do what is best for us.
Instead of trying to quell your fears with panic prayers, surrender yourself to God through a prayer of relinquishment, and see what He will do. By: Joanie Yoder (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Reflect & Pray
Lord, take my life and make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine.
Take all my will, my passion, self, and pride;
I now surrender, Lord—in me abide.
Prayer is the bridge between panic and peace.
Not What I Planned
Rest in the Lord. —Psalm 37:7
Today’s Scripture: Psalm 37:1-8
This isn’t the way I expected my life to be. I wanted to marry at 19, have a half-dozen children, and settle into life as a wife and mother. But instead I went to work, married in my forties, and never had children. For a number of years I was hopeful that Psalm 37:4 might be for me a God-guaranteed promise: “He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
But God doesn’t always “bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5), and unmet desires stir up occasional sadness. Like mine, your life may have turned out differently than you planned. A few thoughts from Psalm 37 may be helpful (even though the psalm is primarily about comparing ourselves to the wicked).
We learn from verse 4 that unfulfilled desires don’t have to take the joy out of life. As we get to know God’s heart, He becomes our joy.
“Commit your way to the Lord” (Psalm 37:5). The word commit means “to roll.” Bible teacher Herbert Lockyer, Sr., says, “‘Roll thy way upon the Lord,’ as one who lays upon the shoulders of one stronger than himself a burden which he is not able to bear.”
“Trust also in Him” (Psalm 37:5). When we confidently entrust everything to God, we can “rest in the Lord” (Psalm 37:7), for He is bringing about His best for our lives. By: Anne Cetas (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Reflect & Pray
As I walk along life’s pathway,
Though the way I cannot see,
I shall follow in His footsteps,
For He has a plan for me.
A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. —Proverbs 16:9
Psalm 37:6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday.
BGT Psalm 36:6 καὶ ἐξοίσει ὡς φῶς τὴν δικαιοσύνην σου καὶ τὸ κρίμα σου ὡς μεσημβρίαν
NET Psalm 37:6 He will vindicate you in broad daylight, and publicly defend your just cause.
LXE Psalm 37:6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noon-day.
NLT Psalm 37:6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
KJV Psalm 37:6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
ESV Psalm 37:6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.
NIV Psalm 37:6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
ASV Psalm 37:6 And he will make thy righteousness to go forth as the light, And thy justice as the noon-day.
CSB Psalm 37:6 making your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like the noonday.
NKJ Psalm 37:6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday.
NRS Psalm 37:6 He will make your vindication shine like the light, and the justice of your cause like the noonday.
YLT Psalm 37:6 And hath brought out as light thy righteousness, And thy judgment as noon-day.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday.
Treasury of David on And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light. In the matter of personal reputation we may especially be content to be quiet, and leave our vindication with the Judge of all the earth. The more we fret in this case the worse for us. Our strength is to sit still. The Lord will clear the slandered. If we look to his honour, he will see to ours. It is wonderful how, when faith learns to endure calumny with composure, the filth does not defile her, but falls off like snowballs from a wall of granite. Even in the worst cases, where a good name is for awhile darkened, Providence will send a clearing like the dawning light, which shall increase until the man once censured shall be universally admired. And thy judgment as the noonday. No shade of reproach shall remain. The man shall be in his meridian of splendour. The darkness of his sorrow and his ill repute shall both flee away. (CHS)
Spurgeon – Thou canst not make the light and the noonday; that is a work that is far beyond thy power; but thy God can give thee both light and noonday. He can clear thy character from any slander that may have befouled it, and he can crown thee with honour and glory in place of the contempt that is now cast upon thee. Leave your character with God; it is safe there. Men may throw mud at it, but it will never stick long on a true believer; it shall soon come off, and you shall be the more glorious for men’s slander. It is better to trust (Ps 37:5) our character with God than with the ablest counselor. Scandal may pass over a fair name for a while and cloud it, but God is the avenger of all the righteous. There will be a resurrection of reputations, as well as of persons at the last great day. Only we must commit it to God.
Losing To Win
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. —Psalm 37:6
Today’s Scripture:Psalm 37:1-11
While James E. Rogan was a US Representative from a district in California, he was faced with a crucial decision. He had been elected by the slimmest of margins in an area that usually voted for the other party. An extremely important public issue with immense moral implications was being considered. If he followed his conscience, it would cost him re-election. If he followed political expediency, he could be certain of another term.
The congressman went with his convictions and voted for what he knew in his heart to be right. He was not re-elected. Afterward, he said, “It hurt to lose. But I’ll never regret my vote . . . . It is easy for elected officials to succumb to the illusion that the greater good is served by their self-perpetuation in office. But something larger gets lost. . . . the ability to lead.”
As followers of Christ, we are commanded to live by the principles of the Bible. At times, that will cost us popularity or success. Truth may cost more than a lie; conviction more than convenience; honesty more than cheating.
For now, it looks as if the world is winning and Christians are losing. We need to remember that “those who wait on the Lord . . . shall inherit the earth” (Psalm 37:7-9). When we do what is right, we gain the Lord’s approval. — By: David C. Egner (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Reflect & Pray
When Jesus said to follow Him
Regardless of the cost,
He promised He would surely give
Much more than would be lost.
To lose is not always failure.
Psalm 37:7 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 carries out wicked schemes.
BGT Psalm 36:7 ὑποτάγηθι τῷ κυρίῳ καὶ ἱκέτευσον αὐτόν μὴ παραζήλου ἐν τῷ κατευοδουμένῳ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ αὐτοῦ ἐν ἀνθρώπῳ ποιοῦντι παρανομίας
NET Psalm 37:7 Wait patiently for the LORD! Wait confidently for him! Do not fret over the apparent success of a sinner, a man who carries out wicked schemes!
LXE Psalm 37:7 Submit thyself to the Lord, and supplicate him: fret not thyself because of him that prospers in his way, at the man that does unlawful deeds.
NLT Psalm 37:7 Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.
KJV Psalm 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.
ESV Psalm 37:7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
NIV Psalm 37:7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
ASV Psalm 37:7 Rest in Jehovah, 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.
CSB Psalm 37:7 Be silent before the LORD and wait expectantly for Him; do not be agitated by one who prospers in his way, by the man who carries out evil plans.
NKJ Psalm 37:7 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.
NRS Psalm 37:7 Be still before the LORD, and wait patiently for him; do not fret over those who prosper in their way, over those who carry out evil devices.
YLT Psalm 37:7 Be silent for Jehovah, and stay thyself for Him, Do not fret because of him Who is making prosperous his way, Because of a man doing wicked devices.
- Rest in : Heb. Be silent to, Ps 62:1 Jos 10:12 Jon 1:11 *margins
- wait : Ps 27:14 40:1 Pr 20:22 Isa 8:17 30:15 La 3:25,26 Hab 2:3 Ga 6:9 Heb 10:36,37 Jas 5:7-11
- fret: Ps 50:8 73:3-14 Jer 12:1
- the man: Job 21:7-34 Ec 5:8 Isa 10:13,14 Da 11:36 Rev 13:3-10
Rest in the LORD Heb “Be quiet before the LORD!”
Treasury of David on Rest in the Lord. This fifth is a most divine precept, and requires much grace to carry it out. To hush the spirit, to be silent before the Lord, to wait in holy patience the time for clearing up the difficulties of Providenceâ€”that is what every gracious heart should aim at. “Aaron held his peace:” “I opened not my mouth, because thou didst it.” A silent tongue in many cases not only shows a wise head, but a holy heart. And wait patiently for him. Time is nothing to him; let it be nothing to thee. God is worth waiting for. “He never is before his time, he never is too late.” In a story we wait for the end to clear up the plot; we ought not to prejudge the great drama of life, but stay till the closing scene, and see to what a finis the whole arrives. (CHS)
Spurgeon on Rest – That is the sweetest word of all: “Rest.” Go no further. Fret no more. Bear thy burdens no longer. Make this day a Sabbath to thy soul: “Rest in the Lord,”-And wait patiently for him:-Do not be in a hurry. The Lord has infinite leisure, so partake of it as far as thou canst: “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:”-
and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Treasury of David on Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. There is no good, but much evil, in worrying your heart about the present success of graceless plotters: be not enticed into premature judgmentsâ€”they dishonour God, they weary yourself. Determine, let the wicked succeed as they may, that you will treat the matter with indifference, and never allow a question to be raised as to the righteousness and goodness of the Lord. What if wicked devices succeed and your own plans are defeated! there is more of the love of God in your defeats than in the successes of the wicked. (CHS)
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes
Spurgeon = This earth is not your rest! You shall fly the wide world over till your wings are weary, but you doves of Christ you shall find no rest till you come back to the hand of your Noah & nestle in His ark of Covenant Grace. “Rest in the Lord” says the text & in saying so it does, as it were, condemn all other pretended rests & fancied refuges! May everyone of you who have wandered hear the voice of Wisdom & may your hearts say, “Return unto your rest, O my Soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you!”
Praying And Waiting
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. —Psalm 37:7
Today’s Scripture: Nehemiah 1:5-11
A Christian couple was deeply distressed because their married son and his family had quit going to church and were giving God no place in their lives. As their friend, I advised them to continue showing love, to pray, and to avoid starting arguments. But at the family’s annual Christmas gathering, the father gave his son a lecture in the presence of the other siblings. The son and his family left in anger and broke off all contact with his parents.
It’s hard to rely on prayer alone when you want something to happen right now. But that is what Nehemiah did. He was distraught by the news that the Israelites in Jerusalem were in grave danger (Nehemiah 1:3-4). He was a man with great leadership ability and in a favorable position to receive help from the king he served, so he was eager to help his people. But he knew that he could be executed for coming into the presence of a Persian king without being invited. Therefore, though he had asked God to give him the opportunity immediately, he trusted God enough to wait. Four months later, the king opened the door for him to make his request (2:1,4).
It’s not always easy to be patient, but God can be trusted. Wait patiently for Him. By: Herbert Vander Lugt (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Reflect & Pray
Praying, resting, waiting, trusting—
These are words that tell a story;
As we wait for God to lead us,
He responds, “Just seek My glory.”
Delay is not denial—pray on!
The Treasure Myth
Read: Psalm 37:7-20
What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul. —Mark 8:36
When the great ocean liner Titanic sank in 1912, it was rumored to have gone down with a fortune in jewels and gold. That longstanding myth was dispelled, however, by the discovery of the ship’s manifest, which showed that the ship was carrying raw feathers, linen, straw, hatter’s fur, tissue, auto parts, leather, rabbit hair, elastics, hair nets, and refrigerating equipment.
There is another persistent rumor about riches. It is widely believed that a wealthy person should be honored and valued, even though he may be ungodly. On the other hand, a godly, self-disciplined person is considered by some to be of little worth if he is not wealthy.
David, the author of Psalm 37, cautioned the poor and needy not to be envious of the rich and prosperous. In time, the cargo manifest of the ungodly will be uncovered, revealing that their lives contain nothing of enduring value.
This life is only the beginning of an everlasting existence. So don’t look longingly at the ungodly and their riches. They have no lasting treasures. Instead, be like those who wait with patience for their eternal God (vv.7,9)—no matter what their economic situation may be. They alone know where to find real treasure. By Mart DeHaan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Some people think they have it all
When riches come their way;
But their great loss will be revealed
On God’s accounting day.
It’s better to be poor and walk by faith
than to be rich and walk by sight.
Put On Hold
Read: 1 Samuel 1:1-18
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. —Psalm 37:7
I’m sure you’ve had it happen to you. You call the appliance store and ask for the service department. “Can you hold?” a cheerful voice asks, and before you know it you’re hearing music. Every so often a taped message assures you that your call will be answered. You wait and wait. You think, I could have driven over there and back by now! You feel forgotten and that nobody cares.
Sometimes it seems that God has put us on hold. We pray and pray about a matter of extreme importance, but nothing happens. Nothing!
I’m sure that’s how Hannah felt. She was asking God for a baby. Childlessness was a curse in her day. To make it worse, her husband’s other wife ridiculed her mercilessly. Hannah wanted desperately to give her husband a child. She prayed out of deep pain and bitterness. Yet year after year she did not conceive.
How can we reconcile the apparent silence of God to our repeated prayers? Remember that God’s wisdom surpasses our own. What we’re asking for might harm us. We can’t see the whole picture. Our timing is not God’s timing.
When God puts you “on hold,” don’t grumble. You can entrust your most cherished longings and desires to Him, and then patiently wait for Him to answer. By David C. Egner (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
When we call out to You, O Lord,
And wait for answers to our prayer,
Give us the patience that we need
And help us sense Your love and care.
When God puts you on hold, don’t hang up!
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7
Today’s Scripture & Insight: Numbers 14:39-45
On January 28, 1986, after five weather-related delays, the space shuttle Challenger lumbered heavenward amid a thunderous overture of noise and flame. A mere 73 seconds later, system failure tore the shuttle apart, and all seven crew members perished.
The disaster was attributed to an O-ring seal known to have vulnerabilities. Insiders referred to the fatal mistake as “go fever”—the tendency to ignore vital precautions in the rush to a grand goal.
Our ambitious human nature relentlessly tempts us to make ill-advised choices. Yet we are also prone to a fear that can make us overly cautious. The ancient Israelites demonstrated both traits. When the 12 scouts returned from spying out the Promised Land, 10 of the 12 saw only the obstacles (Num. 13:26-33). “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are,” they said (v. 31). After a fearful rebellion against the Lord that led to the death of the 10 spies, the people suddenly developed a case of “go fever.” They said, “Now we are ready to go up to the land the Lord promised” (Nu 14:40). Without God, the ill-timed invasion failed miserably (Nu 14:41-45).
When we take our eyes off the Lord, we’ll slide into one of two extremes. We’ll impatiently rush ahead without Him, or we’ll cower and complain in fear. Focusing on Him brings courage tempered with His wisdom. By: Tim Gustafson (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Reflect & Pray
Before making a quick decision, consider why you want to make it quickly. Consider if it will honor God and what it might cost others. If you are afraid to make a decision, think about why that might be. Most of all, pray!
A moment of patience can prevent a great disaster.
Read: Psalm 37:1-9
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. —Psalm 37:7
It may take only a year for a construction crew to put up a tall building, but God takes a century to grow a sturdy oak. So too, the Lord may seem to be working slowly to accomplish His purposes in our lives, but His grand designs take time.
The great New England preacher Phillips Brooks was noted for his poise and quiet manner. At times, however, even he suffered moments of frustration and irritability. One day a friend saw him pacing the floor like a caged lion. “What’s the trouble, Dr. Brooks?” asked the friend. “The trouble is that I am in a hurry,” said Brooks, “but God isn’t.” Haven’t we often felt the same?
Jonathan Goforth (1859-1936), a missionary to China, was convinced that the city of Changte should be his field of spiritual labor. But his faith was severely tested as he was mobbed and threatened when visiting the city. Finally, after 6 frustrating years, permission to begin his work was granted. Within 3 days of reaching Changte he had received no less than 35 offers of land, among them the very site he had chosen earlier as the most ideal spot for the mission.
Wait patiently for the Lord (Ps. 37:7). If you do, you’ll find that He will give you what’s best—in His time! By Henry G. Bosch (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Wait, and in waiting, listen for God’s leading,
Be strong, the strength for every day is stored;
Go forth in faith, and let your heart take courage,
There is no disappointment with the Lord.
God is never in a hurry, but He is always on time.
Psalm 37:8 Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
BGT Psalm 36:8 παῦσαι ἀπὸ ὀργῆς καὶ ἐγκατάλιπε θυμόν μὴ παραζήλου ὥστε πονηρεύεσθαι
NET Psalm 37:8 Do not be angry and frustrated! Do not fret! That only leads to trouble!
LXE Psalm 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself so as to do evil.
NLT Psalm 37:8 Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper– it only leads to harm.
KJV Psalm 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
ESV Psalm 37:8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
NIV Psalm 37:8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret–it leads only to evil.
ASV Psalm 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: Fret not thyself, it tendeth only to evil-doing.
CSB Psalm 37:8 Refrain from anger and give up your rage; do not be agitated– it can only bring harm.
NKJ Psalm 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret– it only causes harm.
NRS Psalm 37:8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath. Do not fret– it leads only to evil.
YLT Psalm 37:8 Desist from anger, and forsake fury, Fret not thyself only to do evil.
- Cease: Job 5:2 18:4 Pr 14:29 16:32 Eph 4:26,31 Jas 1:19,20 3:14-18
- fret: Ps 31:22 73:15 116:11 1Sa 25:21-23 Jer 20:14,15 Jon 4:1,9 Lu 9:54,55
Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Treasury of David on Cease from anger and forsake wrath. Especially anger against the arrangements of Providence, and jealousies of the temporary pleasures of those who are so soon to be banished from all comfort. Anger anywhere is madness, here it is aggravate insanity. Yet since anger will try to keep us company, we must resolvedly forsake it. Fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. By no reasonings and under no circumstances be led into such a course. Fretfulness lies upon the verge of great sin. Many who have indulged a murmuring disposition have at last come to sin, in order to gain their fancied rights. Beware of carping at others, study to be yourself found in the right way; and as you would dread outward sin, tremble at inward repining.(CHS)
Spurgeon on cease from anger – You cannot do that unless you “rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” Angry passions fail upon the fire of fretfulness. A fretful spirit soon comes to be an angry spirit, and when we begin to be jealous of evildoers, we are very apt to become evildoers ourselves. Many an honest man has snatched at hasty gain, because he was envious of the prosperity of the unrighteous; and then he has pierced himself through with many sorrows in consequence. But “fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.” There is an old proverb that it is hard for an empty sack to stand upright. Therefore, when you are in temporal trouble, ask the Lord to fill you with his grace, for then you will stand upright, and by-and-by you shall be delivered.
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
Oswald Chambers – One of God’s Great “Don’ts” – Fretting means getting ourselves “out of joint” mentally or spiritually. It is one thing to say, “Do not fret,” but something very different to have such a nature that you find yourself unable to fret. It’s easy to say, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7) until our own little world is turned upside down and we are forced to live in confusion and agony like so many other people. Is it possible to “rest in the Lord” then? If this “Do not” doesn’t work there, then it will not work anywhere. This “Do not” must work during our days of difficulty and uncertainty, as well as our peaceful days, or it will never work. And if it will not work in your particular case, it will not work for anyone else. Resting in the Lord is not dependent on your external circumstances at all, but on your relationship with God Himself. Worrying always results in sin. We tend to think that a little anxiety and worry are simply an indication of how wise we really are, yet it is actually a much better indication of just how wicked we are. Fretting rises from our determination to have our own way. Our Lord never worried and was never anxious, because His purpose was never to accomplish His own plans but to fulfill God’s plans. Fretting is wickedness for a child of God. Have you been propping up that foolish soul of yours with the idea that your circumstances are too much for God to handle? Set all your opinions and speculations aside and “abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1). Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about whatever concerns you. All our fretting and worrying is caused by planning without God.
Keep Me From Wrath
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath. —Psalm 37:8
Today’s Scripture: Psalm 37:8-11
I have a friend whose note cards are imprinted with a picture of Rodin’s The Thinker, the famous sculpture depicting a man in sober reflection. Below the picture is this inscription: “Life is not fair.”
Indeed, it is not. And any theory that insists that this life is fair is illusory and deceptive.
Despite the overwhelming unfairness of life, however, David in Psalm 37 prays that he will not retaliate but will instead rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him to bring justice to the earth in due time (v.7). “For evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth” (v.9).
Our wrath tends to be vindictive and punitive. God’s wrath is untainted by self-interest and tempered by mercy. His wrath can even be His relentless love that brings our antagonists to repentance and faith. We must not then avenge ourselves, “for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord . . . . Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:19,21).
This must begin in the heart, the wellspring from which the issues of our lives flow. May we cease from anger, forsake wrath, and wait patiently for the Lord. By: David H. Roper (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Reflect & Pray
Lord, help me not retaliate When someone wants to pick a fight; Instead, give me the strength and faith To show Your love and do what’s right. —Sper
Revenge restrained is a victory gained.