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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Psalm 37

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FRAMEWORKS: Psa 37

 

(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for meditation. To focus each verse we have also added a subheading summary as a description of what is happening)

 

FRAMEWORKS: Psalm 37

Of David.

 

[Preliminary Comments: It seems that throughout David's life, difficulties with other people was a characteristic that prevailed. In his early days working for Saul, he was a soldier fighting off the Philistines. Later, on the run, he was fighting off Saul. When he eventually became king, he was fighting off enemy neighbours. During his reign, he suffered the rebellion of Absalom and was fighting off his own people. It is not surprising therefore that so many of David's psalms has such difficulties at their heart.

However, as we will see in this psalm, so much of the time David's struggling to cope with such people was more on an ethical or moral basis. This, longer than most of his psalms, is all about coping with such people, especially those he would simply designate as ‘the wicked' [v.10-17,20,21,28]. His strategy for dealing with such people involves

•  being at peace because they won't last long [v.1,2],

•  trusting in God [v.3-8,9b,11,13,17-19,23,24,28a,29,

33,34,39,40] aware of being those who the Lord looks after,

•  recognising that God will deal with the wicked [v.9a,10,13,15,17a,20,28b,38].

The reader will find it especially beneficial to go through and pick out those positive verses we've noted above.]

 

 

v.1,2 David calls us to be at peace about wrong doers

v.1  Do not fretbecause of those who are evil
     or be envious of those who do wrong;
v.2  for like the grass they will soon wither,
     like green plants they will soon die away.

 

v.3-6 He gives us a strategy to cope

v.3   Trust in the Lord and do good;
     dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
v.4   Take delight in the Lord ,
     and he will give you the desires of your heart.

v.5   Commit your way to the Lord ;
     trust in him and he will do this:
v.6  He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
     your vindication like the noonday sun.

 

v.7,8 Again he counsels us, trust in God in all this

v.7  Be still before the Lord
     and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
     when they carry out their wicked schemes.

v.8  Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
     do not fret —it leads only to evil.

v.9-11 He contrasts the wicked with those who trust God

v.9  For those who are evil will be destroyed,
     but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

v.10  A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
     though you look for them, they will not be found.
v.11  But the meek will inherit the land
     and enjoy peace and prosperity.

 

v.12,13 The wicked versus the Lord

v.12  The wicked plot against the righteous
     and gnash their teeth at them;
v.13  but the Lord laughs at the wicked ,
     for he knows their day is coming.

 

v.14-19 The wicked versus the righteous

v.14   The wicked draw the sword
     and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
     to slay those whose ways are upright.
v.15  But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
     and their bows will be broken.

v.16  Better the little that the righteous have
     than the wealth of many wicked;
v.17  for the power of the wicked will be broken,
     but the Lord upholds the righteous .

v.18  The blameless spend their days under the Lord 's care,
     and their inheritance will endure forever.
v.19  In times of disaster they will not wither;
     in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.

 

v.20-22 The Lord will deal with the wicked

v.20  But the wicked will perish:
     Though the Lord 's enemies are like the flowers of the field,
     they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.

v.21   The wicked borrow and do not repay,
     but the righteous give generously;
v.22  those the Lord blesses will inherit the land,
     but those he curses will be destroyed.

 

v.23,24 The Lord looks after those who trust in Him

v.23  The Lord makes firm the steps
     of the one who delights in him;
v.24  though he may stumble, he will not fall,
     for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

 

v.25,26 His personal testimony in old age

v.25  I was young and now I am old,
     yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
     or their children begging bread.
v.26  They are always generous and lend freely;
     their children will be a blessing.

 

v.27,28 You can be confident in being righteous before the Lord

v.27  Turn from evil and do good;
     then you will dwell in the land forever.
v.28  For the Lord loves the just
     and will not forsake his faithful ones.

Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed;
     the offspring of the wicked will perish.

v.29-31 The way of the righteous is clear

v.29   The righteous will inherit the land
     and dwell in it forever.

v.30  The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,
     and their tongues speak what is just.
v.31  The law of their God is in their hearts;
     their feet do not slip.

 

v.32-34 The Lord will preserve the righteous

v.32  The wicked lie in wait for the righteous,
     intent on putting them to death;
v.33  but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked
     or let them be condemned when brought to trial.

v.34  Hope in the Lord
     and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land;
     when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.

 

v.35,36 The Lord will deal with the wicked

v.35  I have seen a wicked and ruthless man
     flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,
v.36  but he soon passed away and was no more;
     though I looked for him, he could not be found.

 

v.37,38 The outcomes for the upright and the wicked is very different

v.37  Consider the blameless , observe the upright ;
     a future awaits those who seek peace.
v.38  But all sinners will be destroyed;
     there will be no future for the wicked .

 

v.39,40 The Lord will always be there for the righteous

v.39  The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord ;
     he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
v.40  The Lord helps them and delivers them;
     he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
     because they take refuge in him.

 

[Additional Thoughts: This psalm contains more than most much fuel for meditation on the good that the Lord promises for his people, described variously in this psalm as ‘those who hope in the Lord… the meek… those whose ways are upright… the righteous … the blameless… one who delights in Him … the just … and whose lives are contrasted with ‘the wicked'.]

 

Continue to Psa 38