Psalm 37 Commentary

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
BE ENVIOUS

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."


John Cox on fretting  - 

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.


Fret-Free Living

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.


Worry-Free

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.


Alan Carr - STEPS TO PEACE IN THE PATHS OF LIFE

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 faith2 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!

Conclusion:

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.
--Anon.

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.

  • Ps 37:35,36 73:17-20 90:5,6 92:7 129:5-7 Job 20:5-9 Jas 1:10,11 1Pe 1:24 

For - This is a great term of explanation, which helps us understand David's command to not fret or be envious (Ps 37:1). 

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

Job 7:6; 7  “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, And come to an end without hope. (7:7) “Remember that my life is but breath; My eye will not again see good. 

Job 9:25; 26   “Now my days are swifter than a runner; They flee away, they see no good. (9:26) “They slip by like reed boats, Like an eagle that swoops on its prey. 

Job 14:1; 2   “Man, who is born of woman, Is short-lived and full of turmoil. (14:2) “Like a flower he comes forth and withers. He also flees like a shadow and does not remain. 

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 102:3; 11 For my days have been consumed in smoke, And my bones have been scorched like a hearth. (102:11) My days are like a lengthened shadow, And I wither away like grass. 

Psalm 103:15; 16  As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. (103:16) When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, And its place acknowledges it no longer. 

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. 

Related Resource: 

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.
—Agnew

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

Trust in the Lord, and do good . . . . Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. —Psalm 37:3,7

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.
—Sper

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 

DELIGHT NOT
DRUDGERY!

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 portion—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) 

"The LORD your God is in your midst. He is a warrior Who can deliver. He TAKES GREAT DELIGHT in you. He renews you by His love. He shouts for joy over you." (Zephaniah 3:17NET+)

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

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 hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee

Take my voice and let me sing
Always, only for my King
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee

Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose,
Every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine.
It shall no be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thy own.
It shall be Thy royal throne.

ake 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.

THOUGHT - It is "easy" to sing these beautiful words of this prayer to God,  but not so easy to follow up these words with the attitudes and actions about which we have just sung. The only way is by depending on the Holy Spirit to carry through with what we have just offered to God. And while we will not achieve "perfection" in keeping our offerings to the Lord, it is not about perfection (that is called glorification) but it is about direction (steady, upward progressive sanctification) As an aside, if you are serious about this short life, this hymn would be a great prayer to offer up to the King!  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"

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
YOUR HEART

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 you—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.
—DJD

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.


Panic Prayers

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.
—Orr

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.
—Thiesen

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 shall (KJV): Ps 31:20 Isa 54:17 Mic 7:8,9 1Co 4:5 
  • light (KJV): Job 11:17 Mal 3:18 Mt 13:43 

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. 
—Sper

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 Providence—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 judgments—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."
—Hess

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.
—Bosch

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.
—Sper

When God puts you on hold, don’t hang up!


Go Fever

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.


Patience

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.
—Anon.

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.

Psalm 37:9  For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.

BGT  Psalm 36:9 ὅτι οἱ πονηρευόμενοι ἐξολεθρευθήσονται οἱ δὲ ὑπομένοντες τὸν κύριον αὐτοὶ κληρονομήσουσιν γῆν

NET  Psalm 37:9 Wicked men will be wiped out, but those who rely on the LORD are the ones who will possess the land.

LXE  Psalm 37:9 For evil-doers shall be destroyed: but they that wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the land.

NLT  Psalm 37:9 For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the LORD will possess the land.

KJV  Psalm 37:9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

ESV  Psalm 37:9 For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.

NIV  Psalm 37:9 For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.

ASV  Psalm 37:9 For evil-doers shall be cut off; But those that wait for Jehovah, they shall inherit the land.

CSB  Psalm 37:9 For evildoers will be destroyed, but those who put their hope in the LORD will inherit the land.

NKJ  Psalm 37:9 For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth.

NRS  Psalm 37:9 For the wicked shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.

YLT  Psalm 37:9 For evil doers are cut off, As to those waiting on Jehovah, they possess the land.

  • evildoers: Ps 37:35,36 55:23 Job 20:23-29 27:13,14-23 
  • inherit: Ps 37:11,12,29 25:13 Isa 58:14 60:21 Heb 11:16 Rev 5:10 

For evildoers will be cut off - If you doubt this read Revelation 20:11-15 which is the fate of every soul that rejects God's gracious offer of salvation! 

Treasury of David on For evil doers shall be cut off. Their death shall be a penal judgment; not a gentle removal to a better state, but an execution in which the axe of justice will be used. But those that wait upon the Lord â€”those who in patient faith expect their portion in another life—they shall inherit the earth. Even in this life they have the most of real enjoyment, and in the ages to come theirs shall be the glory and the triumph. Passion, according to Bunyan's parable, has his good things first, and they are soon over; Patience has his good things last, and they last for ever.(CHS)

Spurgeon on evildoers - Their turn will come in due time. It comes last, but then it comes to last, for there is nothing to come after the last. If there is anything good to be had here, men that wait upon God shall have it. If there is any grain of wheat amidst these heaps of chaff, believers that are trusting the Lord shall find them. (ED: And beloved most of what the world is offering today is chaff! It has no eternal value!) 

But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land  - Wait is also often translated hope or wait eagerly/patiently. Why? Our willingness to wait reflects our confidence in His faithfulness to reward us in His perfect timing. The Septuagint translates wait with hupomeno (NOTE: hupomeno refers to one’s response toward circumstances, denoting perseverance in the face of difficulties whereas makrothumeo refers to one’s response toward people, denoting a patient endurance of the faults and even provocations of others without retaliating.) in the present tense which calls for this to be our lifestyle, something only possible for believers and only as they learn to lean on/trust in the enabling power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  Hupomeno means literally to remain under not simply with resignation, but with a vibrant hope. This verb is illustrated in nature for "Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's little nut that held its ground." It was a military term used of an army’s holding a vital position at all costs. Every hardship and every suffering was to be endured in order to hold fast.

ILLUSTRATION - "True Christian perseverance is not tied to tenacity. It is rather the work of God the Holy Spirit in a believer's life. The starch in a saint's spine is shown by Scripture to be nothing less than the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. Only in this way can one explain the work of Gladys Aylward, a London parlor maid. Societies scorned her missionary application. She seemed too dull to master Chinese and fulfill her vision of serving in China. Realizing this, she scoured up her own fare to China and sailed in 1930. After slogging her way across Siberia she reached her field in remote Yangcheng. When the Japanese invaded in 1940 she led 100 children on an epic journey that caught the imagination of Hollywood (Ed: Watch the movie about her life - The Inn of the Sixth HappinesS - Wikipedia article;Movie in Google play or on DVD). In 1947 failing health forced her back to England where she crusaded for missions until her death in 1970. That was tenacity, not just British grit. It is God's persevering grace. (Detzler, Wayne E: New Testament Words in Today's Language)

The idea of enduring is not just to "grin and bear it" but to remain under trials in a such a way that we glorify God as we learn the lessons the trials are meant to teach us, instead of seeking ways to get out from under (cf the prefix preposition "hupo" = under) the trials and be relieved of the pressure.

Spurgeon commenting on Ps 37:9ff writes that "This is now a gospel blessing, for Christ pronounced it upon the mount among his other benedictions: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Mt 5:5KJV+) Somehow or other, the only persons who truly enjoy life, and get happiness out of this present vale of tears, are the meek spirits, the men who can say, — “Mine are the valleys, and the mountains mine; my father made them all.” Even the possessions of other men make these people glad. They are like the man we have heard of in China, who met a mandarin covered with jewels, and, bowing to him, said, “Thank you for those jewels.” Doing this many times, at last the mandarin asked the cause of his gratitude. “Well,” said the poor but wise man, “I thank you that you have those jewels, for I have as good a sight of them as you have; but I have not the trouble of wearing them, putting them on in the morning, taking them off at night, and having a watchman keeping guard over them when I am asleep. I thank you for them; they are as much use to me as they are to you.” This meek man can walk along the broad acres of a rich man’s farm, he can see his noble oaks and other forest trees, and he can say, “Thank God for them all! I have as much enjoyment from these as the rich man himself has, for they are mine to enjoy as truly as they are his.” “The meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace, “ (Ps 37:11), not in the abundance of wealth, but in the abundance of peace. To a meek man, peace is his wealth, and holy quietness and calm his true riches."

Psalm 37:10  Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there.

BGT  Psalm 36:10 καὶ ἔτι ὀλίγον καὶ οὐ μὴ ὑπάρξῃ ὁ ἁμαρτωλός καὶ ζητήσεις τὸν τόπον αὐτοῦ καὶ οὐ μὴ εὕρῃς

NET  Psalm 37:10 Evil men will soon disappear; you will stare at the spot where they once were, but they will be gone.

LXE  Psalm 37:10 And yet a little while, and the sinner shall not be, and thou shalt seek for his place, and shalt not find it.

NLT  Psalm 37:10 Soon the wicked will disappear. Though you look for them, they will be gone.

KJV  Psalm 37:10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.

ESV  Psalm 37:10 In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.

NIV  Psalm 37:10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.

ASV  Psalm 37:10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: Yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and he shall not be.

CSB  Psalm 37:10 A little while, and the wicked person will be no more; though you look for him, he will not be there.

NKJ  Psalm 37:10 For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, But it shall be no more.

NRS  Psalm 37:10 Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look diligently for their place, they will not be there.

YLT  Psalm 37:10 And yet a little, and the wicked is not, And thou hast considered his place, and it is not.

  • yet: Ps 73:18-20 Job 24:24 Heb 10:36,37 1Pe 4:7 Rev 6:10,11 
  • wicked: Ps 37:35,36 49:10 103:16 Job 7:10,21 14:10 20:8,9 Lu 12:20,21 Lu 16:27,28 
  • And you will look carefully: Ps 52:5:5-7 58:10,11 107:42,43 1Sa 25:38,39 2Ki 9:25,34-37 Es 7:10 8:1 Isa 14:16-19 

TRANSIENT
JOYS

Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more

Treasury of David on For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be. When bad men reach to greatness, the judgments of God frequently sweep them away; their riches melt, their power decays, their happiness turns to wretchedness; they themselves cease any longer to be numbered with the living. The shortness of life makes us see that the glitter of the wicked great is not true gold. O wherefore, tried believer, dost thou envy one who in a little while will lie lower than the dust? (CHS)

Spurgeon - How transient are their joys! Their wealth which they accumulate, the beauty which they think is upon their estate, all this is but as the painted colors of the bubble, which is scarcely seen before it vanishes. Wilt thou envy this? Wilt thou envy a little child his play-toys, which will be broken in an hour? Wilt thou envy a madman the straw crown which he plaits and puts upon his head when he thinks himself a king? Oh! be not so foolish. Thine inheritance is eternal, and thou art immortal. Why shouldest thou envy the creature of an hour? “For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be.”

And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there - Look carefully implies a diligent search a sense seen in the choice of the verb zeteo in the Septuagint which speaks of an to make an effort or attempt to find his place. His place could be a literal mansion or home, but figuratively could also speak of his honored place in godless society. 

Treasury of David on thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. His house shall be empty, his chair of office vacant, his estate without an owner; he shall be utterly blotted out, perhaps cut off by his own debauchery, or brought to a deathbed of penury by his own extravagance. Gone like a passing cloud—forgotten as a dream— where are his boastings and hectorings, and where the pomp which made poor mortals think the sinner blest? .(CHS)

Spurgeon on his place - The house in which he lived, or the place that was called by his name, is often destroyed.

Psalm 37:11  But the humble will inherit the land And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.

BGT  Psalm 36:11 οἱ δὲ πραεῖς κληρονομήσουσιν γῆν καὶ κατατρυφήσουσιν ἐπὶ πλήθει εἰρήνης

NET  Psalm 37:11 But the oppressed will possess the land and enjoy great prosperity.

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

NLT  Psalm 37:11 The lowly will possess the land and will live in peace and prosperity.

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

ESV  Psalm 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.

NIV  Psalm 37:11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.

ASV  Psalm 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the land, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

CSB  Psalm 37:11 But the humble will inherit the land and will enjoy abundant prosperity.

NKJ  Psalm 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

NRS  Psalm 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the land, and delight themselves in abundant prosperity.

YLT  Psalm 37:11 And the humble do possess the land, And they have delighted themselves In the abundance of peace.

  • the meek (KJV): Mt 5:5 Ga 5:22,23 1Ti 6:11 Jas 1:21 3:13 
  • delight (KJV): Ps 36:8 72:7 119:165 Isa 26:3 48:18 57:18-21  Joh 14:27 Php 4:7 

But the humble will inherit the land And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.

Treasury of David on the humble will inherit the land  Above all others they shall enjoy life. Even if they suffer, their consolations shall overtop their tribulations. By inheriting the land is meant obtaining covenant privileges and the salvation of God. Such as are truly humble shall take their lot with the rest of the heirs of grace, to whom all good things come by a sacred birthright. And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.. Peace they love and peace they shall have. If they find not abundance of gold, abundance of peace will serve their turn far better. Others find joy in strife, and thence arises their misery in due time, but peace leads on to peace, and the more a man loves it the more shall it come to him. In the halcyon period of the latter days, when universal peace shall make glad the earth, the full prophetic meaning of words like these will be made plain.(CHS)

Psalm 37:12  The wicked plots against the righteous And gnashes at him with his teeth.

BGT  Psalm 36:12 παρατηρήσεται ὁ ἁμαρτωλὸς τὸν δίκαιον καὶ βρύξει ἐπ᾽ αὐτὸν τοὺς ὀδόντας αὐτοῦ

NET  Psalm 37:12 Evil men plot against the godly and viciously attack them.

LXE  Psalm 37:12 The sinner will watch for the righteous, and gnash his teeth upon him.

NLT  Psalm 37:12 The wicked plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance.

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

ESV  Psalm 37:12 The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him,

NIV  Psalm 37:12 The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them;

ASV  Psalm 37:12 The wicked plotteth against the just, And gnasheth upon him with his teeth.

CSB  Psalm 37:12 The wicked person schemes against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him.

NKJ  Psalm 37:12 The wicked plots against the just, And gnashes at him with his teeth.

NRS  Psalm 37:12 The wicked plot against the righteous, and gnash their teeth at them;

YLT  Psalm 37:12 The wicked is devising against the righteous, And gnashing against him his teeth.

  • Ps 37:32 1Sa 18:21 23:7-9 2Sa 15:10-12 Es 3:6 Mt 26:4,16 
  • plots, Da 8:12,24 Mic 2:1 
  • gnashes Ps 35:16 

The wicked plots against the righteous

Treasury of David on The wicked plotteth against the just. Why can he not let the good man alone? Because there is enmity between the serpent's seed and the seed of the woman. Why not attack him fairly? Why plot and scheme? Because it is according to the serpent's nature to be very subtle. Plain sailing does not suit those who are on board of "The Apollyon."  (CHS)

Spurgeon on the wicked plots - That has been the style of things from the beginning, and the old serpent’s seed will be like the old serpent, and he “was more subtle than any beast of the field.” “The wicked plots against the just,”-He plots against the Lord’s people."

NOTE: In Ephesians 6:11+ Paul commands believers to "Put on (aorist imperative) the full (NOT PART, LEST WE REMAIN EXPOSED) armor of God, so that (WHAT PURPOSE?) you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil." The word schemes is descriptive of the plots by his children (John 8:44), and in Greek is methodeia, (WHAT WORD DO YOU SEE?) which refers to an orderly, logical, effective arrangement, usually in steps followed to achieve an end and describes deliberate planning in an attempt to achieve evil ends against believers.

And gnashes at him with his teeth - Those like these men who gnash now, will reap an eternity of the gnashing of their teeth! O, what a bitter price to pay for evil! 

Listen to the words of Jesus, the Righteous Judge of all men...

Matthew 8:12 but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 13:42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 13:50  and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth
Matthew 22:13   “Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Matthew 24:51  and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 25:30 “Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Luke 13:28   “In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out.

Treasury of David on gnashed with his teeth. The wicked show by their gestures what they would do if they could; if they cannot gnaw they will gnash; if they may not bite they will at least bark. This is precisely what the graceless world did with "that just One, "the Prince of Peace. Yet he took no vengeance upon them, but like a silent lamb received injuries in patience.  (CHS)

Psalm 37:13  The Lord laughs at him, For He sees his day is coming.

BGT  Psalm 36:13 ὁ δὲ κύριος ἐκγελάσεται αὐτόν ὅτι προβλέπει ὅτι ἥξει ἡ ἡμέρα αὐτοῦ

NET  Psalm 37:13 The Lord laughs in disgust at them, for he knows that their day is coming.

LXE  Psalm 37:13 But the Lord shall laugh at him: for he foresees that his day will come.

NLT  Psalm 37:13 But the Lord just laughs, for he sees their day of judgment coming.

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

ESV  Psalm 37:13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming.

NIV  Psalm 37:13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.

ASV  Psalm 37:13 The Lord will laugh at him; For he seeth that his day is coming.

CSB  Psalm 37:13 The Lord laughs at him because He sees that his day is coming.

NKJ  Psalm 37:13 The Lord laughs at him, For He sees that his day is coming.

NRS  Psalm 37:13 but the LORD laughs at the wicked, for he sees that their day is coming.

YLT  Psalm 37:13 The Lord doth laugh at him, For He hath seen that his day cometh.

  • laughs: Ps 2:4 Pr 1:26 
  • his day: 1Sa 26:10 Jer 50:27 Eze 21:25,29 Da 5:26 

The Lord laughs at him - Ps 2:4  He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them.

Treasury of David on The Lord shall laugh at him. The godly man needs not trouble himself, but leave well deserved vengeance to be dealt out by the Lord, who will utterly deride the malice of the good man's enemies. Let the proud scorner gnash his teeth and foam at the mouth; he has one to deal with who will look down upon him and his ravings with serene contempt.  (CHS)

For He sees his day is coming.

Treasury of David on For he seeth that his day is coming. The evil man does not see how close his destruction is upon his heels; he boasts of crushing others when the foot of justice is already uplifted to trample him as the mire of the streets. Sinners, in the hand of an angry God, and yet plotting against his children! Poor souls, thus to run upon the point of Jehovah's spear. (CHS)

Psalm 37:14  The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow To cast down the afflicted and the needy, To slay those who are upright in conduct.

BGT  Psalm 36:14 ῥομφαίαν ἐσπάσαντο οἱ ἁμαρτωλοί ἐνέτειναν τόξον αὐτῶν τοῦ καταβαλεῖν πτωχὸν καὶ πένητα τοῦ σφάξαι τοὺς εὐθεῖς τῇ καρδίᾳ

NET  Psalm 37:14 Evil men draw their swords and prepare their bows, to bring down the oppressed and needy, and to slaughter those who are godly.

LXE  Psalm 37:14 Sinners have drawn their swords, they have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy one, and to slay the upright in heart.

NLT  Psalm 37:14 The wicked draw their swords and string their bows to kill the poor and the oppressed, to slaughter those who do right.

KJV  Psalm 37:14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.

ESV  Psalm 37:14 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose way is upright;

NIV  Psalm 37:14 The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright.

ASV  Psalm 37:14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, To cast down the poor and needy, To slay such as are upright in the way.

CSB  Psalm 37:14 The wicked have drawn the sword and strung the bow to bring down the afflicted and needy and to slaughter those whose way is upright.

NKJ  Psalm 37:14 The wicked have drawn the sword And have bent their bow, To cast down the poor and needy, To slay those who are of upright conduct.

NRS  Psalm 37:14 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy, to kill those who walk uprightly;

YLT  Psalm 37:14 A sword have the wicked opened, And they have trodden their bow, To cause to fall the poor and needy, To slaughter the upright of the way.

  • wicked: Ps 64:2-6 Ac 12:2,3,11,23 
  • slay: 1Sa 24:11,17 Pr 29:10,27 Hab 1:13 Mt 23:30-34 Ac 7:52 1Jn 3:12 

The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow To cast down the afflicted and the needy, To slay those who are upright in conduct.

Treasury of David on The wicked have drawn out the sword. They hold their weapon out of its sheath, and watch for a time to use it. And have bent their bow. One weapon is not enough, they carry another ready for action. They carry so strong a bow that they have trodden upon it to bend it ”they will lose nothing for want of force or readiness. To cast down the poor and needy. These are their game, the objects of their accursed malice. These cowards attack not their equals, but seek out those excellent ones who, from the gentleness of their spirits and the poverty of their estates, are not able to defend themselves. Note how our meek and lowly Lord was beset by cruel foes, armed with all manner of weapons to slay him. And to slay such as be of upright conversation. Nothing short of the overthrow and death of the just will content the wicked. The sincere and straightforward are hated by the crafty schemers who delight in unrighteousness. See, then, the enemies of the godly doubly armed, and learn how true were our Lord's words, "If ye were of the world, the world would love its own: but because ye are not of this world, but I have chosen you our of the world, therefore the world hateth you."  (CHS)

Psalm 37:15  Their sword will enter their own heart, And their bows will be broken.

BGT  Psalm 36:15 ἡ ῥομφαία αὐτῶν εἰσέλθοι εἰς τὴν καρδίαν αὐτῶν καὶ τὰ τόξα αὐτῶν συντριβείησαν

NET  Psalm 37:15 Their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.

LXE  Psalm 37:15 Let their sword enter into their own heart, and their bows be broken.

NLT  Psalm 37:15 But their swords will stab their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.

KJV  Psalm 37:15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

ESV  Psalm 37:15 their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

NIV  Psalm 37:15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.

ASV  Psalm 37:15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart, And their bows shall be broken.

CSB  Psalm 37:15 Their swords will enter their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.

NKJ  Psalm 37:15 Their sword shall enter their own heart, And their bows shall be broken.

NRS  Psalm 37:15 their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

YLT  Psalm 37:15 Their sword doth enter into their own heart, And their bows are shivered.

  • sword (KJV): Ps 7:14,15 35:8 1Sa 31:4 2Sa 17:23 Es 7:9,10 Isa 37:38 Mic 5:6 Mt 27:4,5 
  • bows (KJV): Ps 46:9 76:3-6 Jer 51:56 Ho 1:5 2:18 

Their sword will enter their own heart, And their bows will be broken.

Treasury of David on Their sword shall enter into their own heart. Like Haman they shall be hanged upon the gallows built by themselves for Mordecai. Hundreds of times has this been the case. Saul, who sought to slay David, fell on his own sword; and the bow, his favourite weapon, the use of which he taught the children of Israel, was not able to deliver him on Gilboa. And their bows shall be broken. Their inventions of evil shall be rendered useless. Malice outwits itself. It drinks the poisoned cup which it mixed for another, and burns itself in the fire which it kindled for its neighbour. Why need we fret at the prosperity of the wicked when they are so industriously ruining themselves while they fancy they are injuring the saints? The next nine verses mainly describe the character and blessedness of the godly, and the light is brought out with a few black touches descriptive of the wicked and their doom.  (CHS)

Psalm 37:16  Better is the little of the righteous Than the abundance of many wicked..

BGT  Psalm 36:16 κρεῖσσον ὀλίγον τῷ δικαίῳ ὑπὲρ πλοῦτον ἁμαρτωλῶν πολύν

NET  Psalm 37:16 The little bit that a godly man owns is better than the wealth of many evil men,

LXE  Psalm 37:16 A little is better to the righteous than abundant wealth of sinners.

NLT  Psalm 37:16 It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and rich.

KJV  Psalm 37:16 A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.

ESV  Psalm 37:16 Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.

NIV  Psalm 37:16 Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked;

ASV  Psalm 37:16 Better is a little that the righteous hath Than the abundance of many wicked.

CSB  Psalm 37:16 The little that the righteous man has is better than the abundance of many wicked people.

NKJ  Psalm 37:16 A little that a righteous man has Is better than the riches of many wicked.

NRS  Psalm 37:16 Better is a little that the righteous person has than the abundance of many wicked.

YLT  Psalm 37:16 Better is the little of the righteous, Than the store of many wicked.

  • Pr 3:33 13:25 15:16,17 16:8 30:9 Ec 2:26 4:6 Mt 6:11 1Ti 6:6 

Better is the little of the righteous Than the abundance of many wicked..

Treasury of David on A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. This is a fine proverb. The little of one good man is contrasted with the riches of many wicked, and so the expression is rendered the more forcible. There is more happiness in the godly dinner of herbs than in the stalled ox of profane rioters. In the original there is an allusion to the noise of a multitude, as if to hint at the turmoil and hurly burly of riotous wealth, and to contrast it with the quiet of the humbler portion of the godly. We would sooner hunger with John than feast with Herod; better feed on scant fare with the prophets in Obadiah's cave than riot with the priests of Baal. A man's happiness consists not in the heaps of gold which he has in store. Content finds multum in parvo, while for a wicked heart the whole world is too little. (CHS)


The Lord Will Provide

Read: Psalm 37:16-26 

My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:19

A needy widow in Chicago lived by the motto: “The Lord will provide.” Even when severely tested, Mrs. Hokanson never lost her ready smile and triumphant faith. Casting her care on God (1 Pet. 5:7), she found that He always took the burden and supplied the needed blessing.

Mrs. Hokanson was the sole support for her mentally retarded son. Eventually, chronic arthritis confined her to bed. When a church youth group went over to Mrs. Hokanson’s house to cheer her up, they were amazed to discover that she was not depressed. They inquired, “Now what will you and Arthur do?” She gave her usual quiet, confident response, “The Lord will provide.”

When Mrs. Hokanson died, many people wondered what would happen to her son. But when friends and neighbors went home with Arthur after the funeral, he proudly showed them his collection of stamps. Instead of tearing the stamps off the envelopes, he had intercepted and kept scores of letters intended for his mother and left them unopened. Many contained substantial gifts—enough to care for the boy for the rest of his life.

When we cast all our cares on the Lord, we’ll be amazed at the wondrous way He provides! - Henry Bosch  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

When doubt and dismay would enfold you,
And hope for relief becomes dim,
Remember that Someone has told you
To cast all your care upon Him.
—Anon.

Our needs can never exhaust God’s supply.

Psalm 37:17  For the arms of the wicked will be broken, But the LORD sustains the righteous


NET  Psalm 37:17 for evil men will lose their power, but the LORD sustains the godly.

LXE  Psalm 37:17 For the arms of sinners shall be broken; but the Lord supports the righteous.

NLT  Psalm 37:17 For the strength of the wicked will be shattered, but the LORD takes care of the godly.

KJV  Psalm 37:17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.

ESV  Psalm 37:17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.

NIV  Psalm 37:17 for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.

ASV  Psalm 37:17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken; But Jehovah upholdeth the righteous.

CSB  Psalm 37:17 For the arms of the wicked will be broken, but the LORD supports the righteous.

NKJ  Psalm 37:17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, But the LORD upholds the righteous.

NRS  Psalm 37:17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.

YLT  Psalm 37:17 For the arms of the wicked are shivered, And Jehovah is sustaining the righteous.

  • arms (KJV): Ps 10:15 Job 38:15 Eze 30:21-25 
  • Lord (KJV): Ps 37:24 41:12 51:12 63:8 119:116,117 145:14 Isa 41:10 42:1 Jude 1:24 

For the arms of the wicked will be broken,

But the LORD sustains the righteous - As Spurgeon says "They must stand, therefore, for how shall he fall whom God upholds?"

Treasury of David on For the arms of the wicked shall be broken. Their power to do mischief shall be effectually taken away, for the arms which they lifted up against God shall be crushed even to the bone. God often makes implacable men incapable men. What is a more contemptible sight than toothless malice, armless malevolence! But the Lord upholdeth the righteous. Their cause and course shall be safe, for they are in good keeping. The sword of two edges smites the wicked and defends the just. (CHS)

Psalm 37:18  The LORD knows the days of the blameless, And their inheritance will be forever.

BGT  Psalm 36:18 γινώσκει κύριος τὰς ὁδοὺς τῶν ἀμώμων καὶ ἡ κληρονομία αὐτῶν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα ἔσται

NET  Psalm 37:18 The LORD watches over the innocent day by day and they possess a permanent inheritance.

LXE  Psalm 37:18 The Lord knows the ways of the perfect; and their inheritance shall be for ever.

NLT  Psalm 37:18 Day by day the LORD takes care of the innocent, and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever.

KJV  Psalm 37:18 The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.

ESV  Psalm 37:18 The LORD knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will remain forever;

NIV  Psalm 37:18 The days of the blameless are known to the LORD, and their inheritance will endure forever.

ASV  Psalm 37:18 Jehovah knoweth the days of the perfect; And their inheritance shall be for ever.

CSB  Psalm 37:18 The LORD watches over the blameless all their days, and their inheritance will last forever.

NKJ  Psalm 37:18 The LORD knows the days of the upright, And their inheritance shall be forever.

NRS  Psalm 37:18 The LORD knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will abide forever;

YLT  Psalm 37:18 Jehovah knoweth the days of the perfect, And their inheritance is -- to the age.

  • knoweth (KJV): Ps 1:6 31:7 Mt 6:32 2Ti 2:19 
  • the days (KJV): Ps 37:13 31:15 49:5 De 33:25 Mt 24:21-24 2Ti 3:1-5 4:2-4 Rev 11:3-5 
  • their (KJV): Ps 16:11 21:4 73:24 103:17 Isa 60:21 Ro 5:21 6:23 1Pe 1:4,5 1Jn 2:25 

The LORD knows the days of the blameless,

Treasury of David on The Lord knoweth the days of the upright. His foreknowledge made him laugh at the proud, but in the case of the upright he sees a brighter future, and treats them as heirs of salvation. Ever is this our comfort, that all events are known to our God, and that nothing in our future can take him at unawares. No arrow can pierce us by accident, no danger smite us by stealth; neither in time nor eternity can any unforeseen ill occur to us. Futurity shall be but a continual development of the good things which the Lord has laid up in store for us. And their inheritance shall be for ever. Their inheritance fades not away. It is entailed, so that none cam deprive them of it, and preserved, so that none shall destroy it. Eternity is the peculiar attribute of the believer's portion: what they have on earth is safe enough, but what they shall have in heaven is theirs without end. (CHS)

And their inheritance will be forever

Spurgeon - God knows their dark days, and he will be their light; he knows their sunny days, and he will be their shelter; he knows their last day, and he will be their confidence; he knows their resurrection-day, and he will be their glory: “Their inheritance shall be for ever.”

“Go, you that boast in all your stores,
And tell how bright they shine;
Your heaps of glittering dust are yours,
But my Redeemer’s mine.”

Psalm 37:19  They will not be ashamed in the time of evil, And in the days of famine they will have abundance.

BGT  Psalm 36:19 οὐ καταισχυνθήσονται ἐν καιρῷ πονηρῷ καὶ ἐν ἡμέραις λιμοῦ χορτασθήσονται

NET  Psalm 37:19 They will not be ashamed when hard times come; when famine comes they will have enough to eat.

LXE  Psalm 37:19 They shall not be ashamed in an evil time; and in days of famine they shall be satisfied.

NLT  Psalm 37:19 They will not be disgraced in hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough.

KJV  Psalm 37:19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

ESV  Psalm 37:19 they are not put to shame in evil times; in the days of famine they have abundance.

NIV  Psalm 37:19 In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.

ASV  Psalm 37:19 They shall not be put to shame in the time of evil; And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

CSB  Psalm 37:19 They will not be disgraced in times of adversity; they will be satisfied in days of hunger.

NKJ  Psalm 37:19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

NRS  Psalm 37:19 they are not put to shame in evil times, in the days of famine they have abundance.

YLT  Psalm 37:19 They are not ashamed in a time of evil, And in days of famine they are satisfied.

  • in the evil (KJV): Ec 9:12 Am 5:13 Mic 2:3 Eph 5:16 
  • days (KJV): Ps 33:19 Job 5:20-22 Pr 10:3 Isa 33:16 

They will not be ashamed in the time of evil,

Treasury of David on They shall not be ashamed in the evil time. Calamities will come, but deliverances will come also. As the righteous never reckoned upon immunity from trouble, they will not be disappointed when they are called to take their share of it, but the rather they will cast themselves anew upon their God, and prove again his faithfulness and love. God is not a friend in the sunshine only, he is a friend indeed and a friend in need. And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. Their barrel of meal and cruse of oil shall last out the day of distress, and if ravens do not bring them bread and meat, the supply of their needs shall come in some other way, for their bread shall be given them. Our Lord stayed himself upon this when he hungered in the wilderness, and by faith he repelled the tempter; we too may be enabled not to fret ourselves in any wise to do evil by the same consideration. If God's providence is our inheritance, we need not worry about the price of wheat. Mildew, and smut, and bent, are all in the Lord's hands. Unbelief cannot save a single ear from being blasted, but faith, if it do not preserve the crop, can do what is better, namely, preserve our joy in the Lord. (CHS)

And in the days of famine they will have abundance - Spurgeon says "There is nothing that they can get, but God will give them what they cannot get themselves. He will ransack heaven and earth to find food for his people: “In the days of famine they shall be satisfied.”"

Psalm 37:20  But the wicked will perish; And the enemies of the LORD will be like the glory of the pastures, They vanish--like smoke they vanish away.

BGT  Psalm 36:20 ὅτι οἱ ἁμαρτωλοὶ ἀπολοῦνται οἱ δὲ ἐχθροὶ τοῦ κυρίου ἅμα τῷ δοξασθῆναι αὐτοὺς καὶ ὑψωθῆναι ἐκλιπόντες ὡσεὶ καπνὸς ἐξέλιπον

NET  Psalm 37:20 But evil men will die; the LORD's enemies will be incinerated– they will go up in smoke.

LXE  Psalm 37:20 For the sinners shall perish; and the enemies of the Lord at the moment of their being honoured and exalted have utterly vanished like smoke.

NLT  Psalm 37:20 But the wicked will die. The LORD's enemies are like flowers in a field-- they will disappear like smoke.

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

ESV  Psalm 37:20 But the wicked will perish; the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish-- like smoke they vanish away.

NIV  Psalm 37:20 But the wicked will perish: The LORD's enemies will be like the beauty of the fields, they will vanish--vanish like smoke.

ASV  Psalm 37:20 But the wicked shall perish, And the enemies of Jehovah shall be as the fat of lambs: They shall consume; In smoke shall they consume away.

CSB  Psalm 37:20 But the wicked will perish; the LORD's enemies, like the glory of the pastures, will fade away-- they will fade away like smoke.

NKJ  Psalm 37:20 But the wicked shall perish; And the enemies of the LORD, Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish. Into smoke they shall vanish away.

NRS  Psalm 37:20 But the wicked perish, and the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish-- like smoke they vanish away.

YLT  Psalm 37:20 But the wicked perish, and the enemies of Jehovah, As the preciousness of lambs, Have been consumed, In smoke they have been consumed.

  • But the (KJV): Ps 68:2 92:9 Jud 5:31 Lu 13:3,5 2Pe 2:12 
  • as the fat of lambs (KJV): Heb. preciousness, That is, as the fat was wholly consumed in sacrifices, by the fire on the altar, so the wicked shall consume away in the fire of God's anger. De 33:14-16 
  • smoke (KJV): Ps 102:3 Ge 19:28 Lev 3:3-11,16 De 29:20 Heb 12:29 

But the wicked will perish; And the enemies of the LORD will be like the glory of the pastures, They vanish--like smoke they vanish away.

Treasury of David on But the wicked shall perish. Whatever phantom light may mock their present, their future is black with dark, substantial night. Judgment has been given against them, they are but reserved for execution. Let them flaunt their scarlet and fine linen, and fare sumptuously every day; the sword of Damocles is above their heads, and if their wits were a little more awake, their mirth would turn to misery. The enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs. As the sacrificial fat was all consumed upon the altar, so shall the ungodly utterly vanish from the place of their honour and pride. How can it be otherwise? If the stubble dares to contend with the flame, to what end can it hope to come? They shall consume. As dry wood, as heaps of leaves, as burning coals, they shall soon be gone, and gone altogether, for into smoke shall they consume away. Sic transit gloria mundi. A puff is the end of all their puffing. Their fuming ends in smoke. They made themselves fat, and perished in their own grease. Consumers of the good they tried to be, and consumed they shall be. (CHS)

Psalm 37:21  The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.

BGT  Psalm 36:21 δανείζεται ὁ ἁμαρτωλὸς καὶ οὐκ ἀποτείσει ὁ δὲ δίκαιος οἰκτίρει καὶ διδοῖ

NET  Psalm 37:21 Evil men borrow, but do not repay their debt, but the godly show compassion and are generous.

LXE  Psalm 37:21 The sinner borrows, and will not pay again: but the righteous has compassion, and gives.

NLT  Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers.

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

ESV  Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives;

NIV  Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously;

ASV  Psalm 37:21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again; But the righteous dealeth graciously, and giveth.

CSB  Psalm 37:21 The wicked man borrows and does not repay, but the righteous one is gracious and giving.

NKJ  Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not repay, But the righteous shows mercy and gives.

NRS  Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrow, and do not pay back, but the righteous are generous and keep giving;

YLT  Psalm 37:21 The wicked is borrowing and repayeth not, And the righteous is gracious and giving.

  • borroweth (KJV): De 28:12,43,44 2Ki 4:1-5 Ne 5:1-5 Pr 22:7 
  • righteous (KJV): Ps 112:5,9 De 15:9-11 Job 31:16-20 Isa 32:8 58:7-10 Lu 6:30 Ac 11:29 20:35 2Co 8:9 9:6-15 Heb 6:10 13:16 

The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.

Treasury of David on The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again. - Partly because he will not, but mainly because he cannot. Want follows upon waste, and debt remains undischarged. Often are the wicked thus impoverished in this life. Their wanton extravagance brings them down to the usurer's door and to the bankrupt's suit (CHS)

Treasury of David - But the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth, Mercy has given to him, and therefore he gives in mercy. He is generous and prosperous. He is not a borrower, but a giver. So far as the good man can do it, he lends an ear to the requests of need, and instead of being impoverished by what he imparts, he grows richer, and is able to do more. He does not give to encourage idleness, but in real mercy, which supposes real need. The text suggests to us how much better it generally is to give than to lend. Generally, lending comes to giving in the end, and it is as well to anticipate the fact, and by a little liberality forestall the inevitable. If these two sentences describe the wicked and the righteous, the writer of these lines has reason to know that in and about the city of London the wicked are very numerous.(CHS)

Psalm 37:22  For those blessed by Him will inherit the land, But those cursed by Him will be cut off.

BGT  Psalm 36:22 ὅτι οἱ εὐλογοῦντες αὐτὸν κληρονομήσουσι γῆν οἱ δὲ καταρώμενοι αὐτὸν ἐξολεθρευθήσονται

NET  Psalm 37:22 Surely those favored by the LORD will possess the land, but those rejected by him will be wiped out.

LXE  Psalm 37:22 For they that bless him shall inherit the earth; and they that curse him shall be utterly destroyed.

NLT  Psalm 37:22 Those the LORD blesses will possess the land, but those he curses will die.

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

ESV  Psalm 37:22 for those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land, but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

NIV  Psalm 37:22 those the LORD blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be cut off.

ASV  Psalm 37:22 For such as are blessed of him shall inherit the land; And they that are cursed of him shall be cut off.

CSB  Psalm 37:22 Those who are blessed by Him will inherit the land, but those cursed by Him will be destroyed.

NKJ  Psalm 37:22 For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth, But those cursed by Him shall be cut off.

NRS  Psalm 37:22 for those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land, but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

YLT  Psalm 37:22 For His blessed ones do possess the land, And His reviled ones are cut off.

  • Blessed (KJV): Ps 37:11,18 32:1 115:15 128:1 Pr 3:33 
  • cursed (KJV): Ps 119:21 Mt 25:41 1Co 16:22 Ga 3:10,13 
  • cut off (KJV): Ps 37:9,28 Zec 5:3,4 

For those blessed by Him will inherit the land, But those cursed by Him will be cut off.

Treasury of David on For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth. God's benediction is true wealth after all. True happiness, such as the covenant secures to all the chosen of heaven, lies wrapped up in the divine favour. And they that be cursed of him shall be cut off. His frown is death; nay, more, It is hell.  (CHS)

Psalm 37:23  The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way.

BGT  Psalm 36:23 παρὰ κυρίου τὰ διαβήματα ἀνθρώπου κατευθύνεται καὶ τὴν ὁδὸν αὐτοῦ θελήσει

NET  Psalm 37:23 The LORD grants success to the one whose behavior he finds commendable.

LXE  Psalm 37:23 The steps of a man are rightly ordered by the Lord: and he will take pleasure in his way.

NLT  Psalm 37:23 The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.

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

ESV  Psalm 37:23 The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way;

NIV  Psalm 37:23 If the LORD delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm;

ASV  Psalm 37:23 A man's goings are established of Jehovah; And he delighteth in his way.

CSB  Psalm 37:23 A man's steps are established by the LORD, and He takes pleasure in his way.

NKJ  Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way.

NRS  Psalm 37:23 Our steps are made firm by the LORD, when he delights in our way;

YLT  Psalm 37:23 From Jehovah are the steps of a man, They have been prepared, And his way he desireth.

  • steps (KJV): Ps 17:5 85:13 119:133 121:3,8 1Sa 2:9 Job 23:11,12 Pr 16:9 Jer 10:23 
  • ordered (KJV): or, established, Ps 40:2 Pr 4:26 
  • delighteth (KJV): Ps 147:10 Pr 11:1,20 Jer 9:24 Heb 13:16 

The steps of a man are established by the LORD - Ponder this truth! Even the little movements of our life are made firm by Jehovah, not just the larger plans of our life. 

Treasury of David on   The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. All his course of life is graciously ordained, and in lovingkindness all is fixed, settled, and maintained. No reckless fate, no fickle chance rules us; our every step is the subject of divine decree. He delighteth in his way. As parents are pleased with the tottering footsteps of their babes. All that concerns a saint is interesting to his heavenly Father. God loves to view the holy strivings of a soul pressing forward to the skies. In the trials and the joys of the faithful, Jesus has fellowship with them, and delights to be their sympathising companion.(CHS)

James Janeway. - When this Pilot undertakes to steer their course, their vessel shall never split upon the rock, run upon the sands, or spring a leak, so as to sink in the seas. To be sure he will see them safe in their harbour. He was no Christian, yet I suppose none will deny but he spake good divinity, who said, "If a man will choose God for his Friend, he shall travel securely through a wilderness that hath many beasts of prey in it; he shall pass safely through this world; for he only is safe that hath God for his guide." (Ar. Epist. 27) Doth he not speak a little like David himself Psalms 37:23, who never expected to come to glory except he were guided by his counsel? Now, if a poor heathen could say thus, and see good reason to trust God, and admire his faithfulness as he doth frequently (and so doth Seneca, justifying God's faithfulness in all his dealings with the best men in all their sufferings, and the prosperity of the wicked); what then shall the heavenly Christian say, who hath experienced so much of God's faithfulness in answering his prayers, in fulfilling his promises, and supplying all his exigencies? 

And He delights in his way - This verse should humble and amaze us, that God delights in us sinful creatures who are saved by grace. 

Spurgeon adds "He loves to see him walk, even as parents delight to watch the first tottering steps of their little children, so that he, who “taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man,” taketh pleasure in the ways of his people. There is a mutual delight, you see. If we delight in God, God delights in us. He delights in the conduct of his people. When they walk with him, he takes pleasure in every step that they take. What say you, brothers and sisters? Have you tried to live today so that God may take pleasure in you He cannot do it if we have lived carelessly, or fruitlessly, or selfishly. But when we live to him, then the Lord delights in our way."

Spurgeon - Note that in Ps 37:four, we are bidden to delight in the Lord, and here he delights in us, and as here our way is his delight, so in verse thirty-four we are to "keep his way." These antitheses are instructive.


Walking with the Lord

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. —Psalm 37:23

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 37:23-31

A small pamphlet I received from a friend was titled “An Attempt to Share the Story of 86 Years of Relationship with the Lord.” In it, Al Ackenheil noted key people and events in his journey of faith over nearly nine decades. What seemed to be ordinary choices at the time—memorizing Bible verses, meeting for prayer with others, telling his neighbors about Jesus—became turning points that changed the direction of his life. It was fascinating to read how God’s hand guided and encouraged Al.

The psalmist wrote, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way” (Ps. 37:23). The passage continues with a beautiful description of God’s faithful care for everyone who wants to walk with Him. “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide” (v. 31).

Each of us could create a record of God’s leading and faithfulness, reflecting on God’s guidance—the people, places, and experiences that are landmarks on our pathway of faith. Every remembrance of the Lord’s goodness encourages us to keep walking with Him and to thank someone who influenced us for good.

The Lord guides and guards all who walk with Him. By: David C. McCasland  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Reflect & Pray

Heavenly Father, Your faithfulness to us is unfailing. Thank You for leading, guiding, and providing so many spiritual encouragers and mentors. Bless those today who have helped us so much.

You are headed in the right direction when you walk with God.


God’s Will

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. —Psalm 37:23

Today's Scripture: Psalm 37:23-40

We’re often looking for God’s will—especially when we’re in a difficult situation. We wonder, What will happen to me here? Should I stay or does God want me somewhere else? The only way to know for sure is to do what He asks you to do right now—the duty of the present moment—and wait for God to reveal the next step.

As you obey what you know, you will be strengthened to take the next step and the next. Step by step, one step at a time. That’s how we learn to walk with God.

But you say, “Suppose I take the first step. What will happen next?” That’s God’s business. Your task and mine is to obey this day and leave the future to Him. The psalmist says our steps are “ordered by the Lord” (37:23). This day’s direction is all we need. Tomorrow’s instruction is of no use to us at all. George MacDonald said, “We do not understand the next page of God’s lesson book; we see only the one before us. Nor shall we be allowed to turn the leaf until we have learned its lesson.”

If we concern ourselves with God’s will and obey each day the directions and warnings He gives, if we walk by faith and step out in the path of obedience, we will find that God will lead us through this day. As Jesus put it, “Tomorrow will worry about its own things” (Matt. 6:34). By: David H. Roper  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Reflect & Pray

God knows each winding way I take,
And every sorrow, pain, and ache;
His children He will not forsake—
He knows and loves His own.
—Bosch

Blessed is the person who finds out which way God is moving and then goes in that direction.


Our Starts And Stops

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. — Psalm 37:23

Today's Scripture: Psalm 37:18-24

As children, we loved to hear three words shouted in slow succession before running a race on the playground: “Ready . . . Set . . . Go!” But have you ever been running along at top speed and heard the signal: “Ready . . . Set . . . Stop”?

Howard Westlund, a busy pastor in the Chicago area, told about such an experience. In a letter to his congregation, he said, “I was ready for a full evening which would include involvement with our youth group. Then it happened: ‘Ready . . . Set . . . Stop!'”

Howard was rushed to the hospital with a severe leg infection. During that time, he remembered a paraphrased version of Psalm 37:23, “The Lord orders our starts and our stops.” Yes, that busy pastor had been brought to an abrupt halt.

Later Pastor Westlund wrote, “I wasn’t ready for a stop. How do you get ready for the thing you’re not ready for? I hadn’t missed a service due to sickness in 25 years! When God tells us to stop, we can fuss and complain and argue how much we are needed in the ‘go’ position. Or we can just wait, with a growing trust that He does all things well.”

Howard chose the latter and learned that continuing to trust God is the only way to get ready for the things we’re not ready for. Have you learned that vital lesson?  — Joanie Yoder (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Reflect & Pray

O for the peace of perfect trust,
My loving God, in Thee;
Unwavering faith that never doubts
Thou choosest best for me. 
—Anon.

God often uses life's stops to keep us moving.

Psalm 37:24  When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.

BGT  Psalm 36:24 ὅταν πέσῃ οὐ καταραχθήσεται ὅτι κύριος ἀντιστηρίζει χεῖρα αὐτοῦ

NET  Psalm 37:24 Even if he trips, he will not fall headlong, for the LORD holds his hand.

LXE  Psalm 37:24 When he falls, he shall not be ruined: for the Lord supports his hand.

NLT  Psalm 37:24 Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.

KJV  Psalm 37:24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

ESV  Psalm 37:24 though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand.

NIV  Psalm 37:24 though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

ASV  Psalm 37:24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For Jehovah upholdeth him with his hand.

CSB  Psalm 37:24 Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, because the LORD holds his hand.

NKJ  Psalm 37:24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand.

NRS  Psalm 37:24 though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong, for the LORD holds us by the hand.

YLT  Psalm 37:24 When he falleth, he is not cast down, For Jehovah is sustaining his hand.

  • Though (KJV): Ps 34:19,20 40:2 91:12 94:18 145:14 Pr 24:16 Mic 7:7,8 Lu 2:34 Lu 22:31,32,60-62 
  • for (KJV): Ps 37:17 145:14 Joh 10:27-30 

When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong - Notice not "IF" he falls, but "WHEN" for falling a given for all of us, in one sense or degree. 

Treasury of David on Though he fall. Disasters and reverses may lay him low; he may, like Job, be stripped of everything; like Joseph, be put in prison; like Jonah, be cast into the deep. He shall not be utterly cast down. He shall not be altogether prostrate. He shall be brought on his knees, but not on his face; or, if laid prone for a moment, he shall be up again ere long. No saint shall fall finally or fatally. Sorrow may bring us to the earth, and death may bring us to the grave, but lower we cannot sink, and out of the lowest of all we shall arise to the highest of all.  (CHS)

Martin Luther -  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, etc. Thus the Spirit comforts and answers the secret thoughts which everyone might have, saying with himself, I have, however, seen it happen, that the righteous is oppressed, and his cause is trodden in the dust by the wicked. Nay, he replies, dear child, let it be so, that he falls; he still cannot remain lying thus and be cast away; he must be up again, although all the world doubts of it. For God catches him by the hand, and raises him again.

Spurgeon - For a while, it may seem as if he had been finally defeated; things may seem to go altogether wrong with him; but, “though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down. Just going to fall, but in came the interposing hand. Grace catches us up when sin would throw us down."

Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand

William Greenhill He speaks of a good man pardoned, justified; he may fall; but how far? from pardon, from justification? No, then he should utterly fall, be cast down beneath God's hand; but the text saith, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand; or, as Montanus renders the words, the Lord upholdeth his hands, and he will not let him sink into such a condition. If it were so, then sin should have dominion over him, but, Romans 6:14. "Sin shall not have dominion over you; "and Romans 8:2, justified ones are freed from the law of sin and death; and Romans 8:30, the predestinated, called, justified, and glorified ones, are so linked together, that there is no breaking their chain; if they do sin, they have an "Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins." 1 John 2:1-2. 

Treasury of David on  For the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. Condescendingly, with his own hand, God upholds his saints; he does not leave them to mere delegated agency, he affords personal assistance. Even in our falls the Lord gives a measure of sustaining. Where grace does not keep from going down, it shall save from keeping down. Job had double wealth at last, Joseph reigned over Egypt, Jonah was safely landed. It is not that the saints are strong, or wise, or meritorious, that therefore they rise after every fall, but because God is their helper, and therefore none can prevail against them. (CHS)


My Fingernails Or His Hand?

The Lord upholds him with His hand. —Psalm 37:24

Today's Scripture: Psalm 37:23-26

Tough times can cause us to get our perspective turned around. I was reminded of this recently as I talked to a fellow-griever—another parent who, like Sue and me, lost a teenage daughter to death suddenly and without warning.

She told me she had been missing her daughter terribly, and she told God she felt as if she were hanging on by her fingernails. Then she felt as if God reminded her that His hand of protection was there to hold her up—that she could let go, and He would catch her.

That’s a better perspective, isn’t it? This picture reminds us that when troubles come and we feel least able to hold on to our faith, it’s not up to us. It’s up to God to support us with His mighty hand.

Psalm 37:23-24 says: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord . . . . Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.” And Psalm 63:8 tells us: “My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.”

In tough times, we can become so preoccupied with our role in “clinging to God” that we forget about His promised protection. It’s not our fingernails that sustain us—it’s His loving, upholding hand. By: Dave Branon   (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Reflect & Pray

God’s hand that holds the ocean’s depths Can hold my small affairs; His hand that guides the universe, Can carry all my cares. —Anon.

No one is more secure than the one who is held in God’s hand.


Get Up And Start Over

Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him. —Psalm 37:24

Today's Scripture: Psalm 37:23-40

Are you feeling “down” today? Are you discouraged because of your experience yesterday? In an unguarded moment, did you stumble and fall by yielding to sin?

There is something worse than falling down—it is staying down. The wicked fall and shall not rise, but with the Christian it is not so. Though we do sometimes fall, we will not be content until we are restored. We should not sin, but too often we do.

The apostle John wrote, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves” (1 John 1:8). But here’s the good news: “These things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins” (2:1-2).

Admit your failings. Don’t worry over them, but confess them. Before Jesus died for us, He knew that we would continue to struggle with sin, so He made provision for our daily cleansing.

Make a fresh start each day by taking time to confess your sins, to admit your weakness, and to ask God for His strength to do what He wants you to do. As you depend on the Lord’s grace and strength, you will soon know what victory really is!   By: M.R. DeHaan   (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Reflect & Pray

We're thankful, Lord, that when we fall
We can begin anew
If humbly we confess our sin,
Then turn and follow You. 
—Sper

Success means that you get up one more time than you fall down.


Ringing Reminders

Though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.Psalm 37:24

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 37:21-31

The clock tower at Westminster, which contains the bell known as Big Ben, is an iconic landmark in London, England. It is traditionally thought that the melody of the tower chimes was taken from the tune of “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth” from Handel’s Messiah. Words were eventually added and put on display in the clock room:

Lord, through this hour be Thou our guide;

So by Thy power no foot shall slide.

These words allude to Psalm 37: “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand” (vv. 23-24 nlt). Notice how intimately involved God is in His children’s experience: “He delights in every detail of their lives” (v. 23 nlt). Verse 31 adds, “The law of their God is in their hearts; their feet do not slip.”

How extraordinary! The Creator of the universe not only upholds us and helps us but He also cares deeply about every moment we live. No wonder the apostle Peter was able to confidently invite us to “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). As the assurance of His care rings in our hearts, we find courage to face whatever comes our way. By: Bill Crowder   (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Reflect & Pray

Loving Father, thank You that every part of my life matters to You. Encourage me in my struggles so that I might walk in a way that reflects Your great love and honors Your great name.

No one is more secure than the one who is held in God’s hand.


Down—But Not Done

Read: Psalm 37:21-29

Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand. —Psalm 37:24

Paul Wylie was skating in the 1988 Winter Olympics at Calgary. He was nervous as he began his program before 20,000 people and a TV audience of millions. Then, in his first jump, something went wrong. He writes, “A flash later my hand touches the ice; the blade will not hold. I start slipping and now I realize it: I am falling. All I hear as I collapse to the ice is the empathetic groan of what seems like a million voices.”

Wylie was faced with a split-second choice: He could focus on the mistake and give up, or he could keep on skating and do his best. Just then this Scripture verse came to his mind: “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down” (Ps. 37:24). He continued his routine and decided to skate “heartily, as to the Lord” (Col. 3:23). At program’s end the crowd burst into enthusiastic applause for his courage and determination.

As followers of Jesus, we may be knocked off our feet by a powerful blow. A loved one may die, or we may lose a job, or we may be overlooked for a promotion. We may be dismayed by a fall into sin. It’s one thing to fall; it’s quite another to give up. If we get up again, reaffirm our faith in Christ, and keep on serving Him, we will not be “utterly cast down.”By David C. Egner  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.
—Piggott

Success consists of getting up just one more time than you've fallen down.

Psalm 37:25  I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread.

BGT  Psalm 36:25 νεώτερος ἐγενόμην καὶ γὰρ ἐγήρασα καὶ οὐκ εἶδον δίκαιον ἐγκαταλελειμμένον οὐδὲ τὸ σπέρμα αὐτοῦ ζητοῦν ἄρτους

NET  Psalm 37:25 I was once young, now I am old. I have never seen a godly man abandoned, or his children forced to search for food.

LXE  Psalm 37:25 I was once young, indeed I am now old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed seeking bread.

NLT  Psalm 37:25 Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.

KJV  Psalm 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

ESV  Psalm 37:25 I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.

NIV  Psalm 37:25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.

ASV  Psalm 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his seed begging bread.

CSB  Psalm 37:25 I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous abandoned or his children begging for bread.

NKJ  Psalm 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.

NRS  Psalm 37:25 I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.

YLT  Psalm 37:25 Young I have been, I have also become old, And I have not seen the righteous forsaken, And his seed seeking bread.

  • I have: Ps 71:9,18 Job 32:6,7 Ac 21:16 Phm 1:8,9 
  • yet: Ps 37:28 94:14 Jos 1:5 1Sa 12:22 Isa 13:16 2Co 4:9 Heb 12:5,6 Heb 13:5 
  • his descendants: Ps 25:13 59:15 109:10 112:2 Ge 17:7 Job 15:23 Pr 13:22 Lu 1:53-55 

I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread. This is a good reminder to all believers, for sometimes the vagaries of old age tempt us to doubt God's faithfulness. David reminds us His faithfulness endures and ultimately will be shown to transcend time as we see His goodness in the eternal land of the living. 

Treasury of David on This was David's observation, I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. It is not my observation just as it stands, for I have relieved the children of undoubtedly good men, who have appealed to me as common mendicants. But this does not cast a doubt upon the observation of David. He lived under a dispensation more outward, and more of this world than the present rule of personal faith. Never are the righteous forsaken; that is a rule without exception. Seldom indeed do their seed beg bread; and although it does occasionally occur, through dissipation, idleness, or some other causes on the part of their sons, yet doubtless it is so rare a thing that there are many alive who never saw it. Go into the union house and see how few are the children of godly parents; enter the gaol and see how much rarer still is the case. Poor minster's sons often become rich. I am not old, but I have seen families of the poor godly become rich, and have seen the Lord reward the faithfulness of the father in the success of the son, so that I have often thought that the best way to endow one's seed with wealth is to become poor for Christ's sake. In the Indian mission of the "Baptist Missionary Society, "this is abundantly illustrated.(CHS)

Spurgeon - And we also can still speak of the faithfulness of Jehovah. He who took care of his people in David’s day has not changed since then. We have not seen the righteous forsaken. It was so unusual a thing (his descendants begging bread) that David had never seen, it. I have several times seen the seed of the righteous begging bread, but in every case it has been because of their drunkenness or their laziness, or because of their own vice which they brought upon themselves. But, as a rule, takes care of the children of his children. He does not suffer them to want. They may be brought into great straits, but he will not permit them to come to beggary.

Criswell - These words come from the pen of one who is advanced in years and full of experience and observation. He confirms with authority that God cares for those who honor Him and for their posterity. Among the Israelites there was a divinely given obligation upon those with abundance to share with those who were in need through loans without interest. In the Year of Jubilee, their debts were canceled, and mortgaged lands were returned to their original owners. A person would be reduced to beggary only by extreme and reckless conduct (Pr 20:4).


Sunset Hours

They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing. —Psalm 92:14

Today's Scripture: Philippians 3:20–4:1

If you are still young and energetic, you may find it difficult to sympathize with the feelings that afflict many older people. But those who have passed the midpoint on life’s journey and have begun to descend the westering slope can appreciate what David said: “I have been young, and now am old” (Ps. 37:25). And because aging often brings with it pain and loss, there may be those who vainly wish that their summertime days would never end.

But listen to Christian essayist and theologian F. W. Boreham: “Someday my life’s little day will soften down to eventide. My sunset hours will come . . . . And then, I know there will arise, out of the dusk, a dawning fairer than any dawn that has yet broken upon me. Out of the last tints of sunset there shall rise a day such as I shall never have known before; a day that shall restore to me all that the other days have taken from me, a day that shall never fade into twilight.”

So no matter where we are on the heavenward pilgrimage, if we are walking with Jesus we can rejoice. And since we know that our faithful Father will abide with us till our journey on earth is over, we can actually be thankful for the lengthening shadows and the setting sun. By: Vernon Grounds (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Reflect & Pray

To live is Christ; to die is gain. —The apostle Paul


What We Bring Back

I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.  Psalm 37:25

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 37:1–6, 23–27

John F. Burns spent forty years covering world events for The New York Times. In an article written after his retirement in 2015, Burns recalled the words of a close friend and fellow journalist who was dying of cancer. “Never forget,” his colleague said, “It’s not how far you’ve traveled; it’s what you’ve brought back.”

Psalm 37 could be considered David’s list of what he “brought back” from his journey of life, from shepherd to soldier and king. The psalm is a series of couplets contrasting the wicked with the righteous, and affirming those who trust the Lord.

“Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither” (vv. 1–2).

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

“I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread” (v. 25).

From our experiences in life, what has God taught us? How have we experienced His faithfulness and love? In what ways has the Lord’s love shaped our lives?

It’s not how far we’ve traveled in life, but what we’ve brought back that counts. By: David C. McCasland (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Reflect & Pray

Dear Lord, thank You for walking with me throughout my life. Help me to remember Your faithfulness.

As the years add up, God’s faithfulness keeps multiplying.


Land Of Eternal Spring

I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken. — Psalm 37:25

Today's Scripture: Ecclesiastes 12:1-7

The former president of Columbia Bible College in South Carolina, J. Robertson McQuilkin, pointed out that God has a wise purpose in letting us grow old and weak:

“I think God has planned the strength and beauty of youth to be physical. But the strength and beauty of age is spiritual. We gradually lose the strength and beauty that is temporary so we’ll be sure to concentrate on the strength and beauty which is forever. And so we’ll be eager to leave the temporary, deteriorating part of us and be truly homesick for our eternal home. If we stayed young and strong and beautiful, we might never want to leave.”

When we are young, happily occupied with all our relationships and activities, we may not long for our celestial Home. But as time passes, we may find ourselves without family and friends, afflicted with dim vision and hearing difficulties, no longer able to relish food, or troubled by sleeplessness.

Here’s the advice I give myself: Be grateful that, as the apostle Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 6:17, “God . . . gives us richly all things to enjoy” in life’s summer and autumn. And rejoice too that with the onset of life’s winter we can anticipate that we’ll soon be living in the land of eternal spring. By: Vernon Grounds (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Reflect & Pray

There’s a land that is fairer than day,
And by faith we can see it afar;
For the Father waits over the way,
To prepare us a dwelling-place there.
—Bennett

The promise of heaven is our eternal hope.


No Longer Young

The Lord loves justice, and does not forsake His saints; they are preserved forever. —Psalm 37:28

Today's Scripture: Psalm 37:23-31

Recently, as I left a shop, I overheard the man who had served me whisper in disappointment, “He called me ‘uncle,’ when he’s definitely older than I am.” Since childhood, my Chinese culture has taught me it is polite to say, “Thank you, Uncle!” for help received.

This gesture has served me well, but now I have to think twice before using it. Taking a good look in the mirror, my eyes confirm that I am no longer the person my mind remembers.

Being young has many advantages, but with age comes the joy of reflecting on God’s faithfulness. David reminds us in Psalm 37: “I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken” (v.25).

Now that I’m in my fifties, I reflect and wonder how I ever could have thought that God had forsaken me. Yes, He has permitted me to face what seemed like insurmountable difficulties, but now I know it was only to shape me. God has always preserved me, and when I stumble I know it is “the Lord [who] upholds [me] with His hand” (v.24).

We are growing older all the time, but we can also grow more thankful for God’s many mercies. Above all, we are grateful that He puts the love of His law in our hearts and keeps our steps from sliding (v.31). By: Albert Lee (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Reflect & Pray

God’s faithfulness we’ve known throughout the years,
His oneness with us in our joys and tears;
So many times the Lord has helped us through,
Has answered prayer and given strength anew. 
—F. Hess

As the years add up, God’s faithfulness multiplies.

Psalm 37:26  All day long he is gracious and lends, And his descendants are a blessing.

BGT  Psalm 36:26 ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν ἐλεᾷ καὶ δανείζει καὶ τὸ σπέρμα αὐτοῦ εἰς εὐλογίαν ἔσται

NET  Psalm 37:26 All day long he shows compassion and lends to others, and his children are blessed.

LXE  Psalm 37:26 He is merciful, and lends continually; and his seed shall be blessed.

NLT  Psalm 37:26 The godly always give generous loans to others, and their children are a blessing.

KJV  Psalm 37:26 He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.

ESV  Psalm 37:26 He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing.

NIV  Psalm 37:26 They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed.

ASV  Psalm 37:26 All the day long he dealeth graciously, and lendeth; And his seed is blessed.

CSB  Psalm 37:26 He is always generous, always lending, and his children are a blessing.

NKJ  Psalm 37:26 He is ever merciful, and lends; And his descendants are blessed.

NRS  Psalm 37:26 They are ever giving liberally and lending, and their children become a blessing.

YLT  Psalm 37:26 All the day he is gracious and lending, And his seed is for a blessing.

  • He is gracious: Ps 37:21 112:5,9 De 15:8-10 Mt 5:7 Lu 6:35-38 
  • his descendants: Pr 20:7 Jer 32:39

All day long he is gracious and lends, And his descendants are a blessing.

Treasury of David on  He is ever merciful, and lendeth. The righteous are constantly under generous impulses; they do not prosper through parsimony, but through bounty. Like the bounteous giver of all good, of whom they are the beloved sons, they delight in doing good. How stingy covetous professors can hope for salvation is a marvel to those who read such verses as this in the Bible. And his seed is blessed. God pays back with interest in the next generation. Where the children of the righteous are not godly, there must be some reason for it in parental neglect, or some other guilty cause. The friend of the father is the friend of the family. The God of Abraham is the God of Isaac and of Jacob. (CHS)

Spurgeon comments that "God has a special regard for the children of believers. Grace does not run in the blood, but it often runs side by side with it. The God of Abraham is the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and the God of Joseph, and the God of Manasseh and Ephraim."

Psalm 37:27  Depart from evil and do good, So you will abide forever.

BGT  Psalm 36:27 ἔκκλινον ἀπὸ κακοῦ καὶ ποίησον ἀγαθὸν καὶ κατασκήνου εἰς αἰῶνα αἰῶνος

NET  Psalm 37:27 Turn away from evil! Do what is right! Then you will enjoy lasting security.

LXE  Psalm 37:27 Turn aside from evil, and do good; and dwell for ever.

NLT  Psalm 37:27 Turn from evil and do good, and you will live in the land forever.

KJV  Psalm 37:27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.

ESV  Psalm 37:27 Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever.

NIV  Psalm 37:27 Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever.

ASV  Psalm 37:27 Depart from evil, and do good; And dwell for evermore.

CSB  Psalm 37:27 Turn away from evil and do what is good, and dwell there forever.

NKJ  Psalm 37:27 Depart from evil, and do good; And dwell forevermore.

NRS  Psalm 37:27 Depart from evil, and do good; so you shall abide forever.

YLT  Psalm 37:27 Turn aside from evil, and do good, and dwell to the age.

  • Depart: Ps 34:14 Job 28:28 Pr 16:6,17 Isa 1:16,17 2Ti 2:19 Tit 2:11-14 
  • do good: Ps 37:3 1Th 5:15 Tit 3:8,14 Heb 13:16,21 1Jn 2:16,17 

Depart from evil and do good  - Both the negative and the positive are commands. The order is significant. One cannot do good who has not first departed from evil. In the Septuagint, the commands are aorist imperative, and can only be obeyed by believers in Yeshua and even then can only be successfully carried out by those believers who have learned to rely wholly on the Holy Spirit, Who Alone is able to initialize and energize truly good works, works that glorify God and which endure eternally. See the discussion on our Need for the Holy Spirit to obey NT commands (or "How to Keep All 1642 Commandments in the New Testament!")

Treasury of David on  Depart from evil, and do good. We must not envy the doers of evil, but depart altogether from their spirit and example. As Lot left Sodom without casting a look behind, so must we leave sin. No truce or parley is to be held with sin, we must turn away from it without hesitation, and set ourselves practically to work in the opposite direction. He who neglects to do good will soon fall into evil. And dwell for evermore. Obtain an abiding and quiet inheritance. Short lived are the gains and pleasures of evil, but eternal are the rewards of grace.(CHS)

So you will abide forever - This could be misunderstood that the person who does good earns his right to abide forever. That is works based righteousness and such acts, while they may look good to others, are not genuinely good

Psalm 37:28  For the LORD loves justice And does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.

BGT  Psalm 36:28 ὅτι κύριος ἀγαπᾷ κρίσιν καὶ οὐκ ἐγκαταλείψει τοὺς ὁσίους αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα φυλαχθήσονται ἄνομοι δὲ ἐκδιωχθήσονται καὶ σπέρμα ἀσεβῶν ἐξολεθρευθήσεται

NET  Psalm 37:28 For the LORD promotes justice, and never abandons his faithful followers. They are permanently secure, but the children of evil men are wiped out.

LXE  Psalm 37:28 For the Lord loves judgment, and will not forsake his saints; they shall be preserved for ever: the blameless shall be avenged, but the seed of the ungodly shall be utterly destroyed.

NLT  Psalm 37:28 For the LORD loves justice, and he will never abandon the godly. He will keep them safe forever, but the children of the wicked will die.

KJV  Psalm 37:28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

ESV  Psalm 37:28 For the LORD loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.

NIV  Psalm 37:28 For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off;

ASV  Psalm 37:28 For Jehovah loveth justice, And forsaketh not his saints; They are preserved for ever: But the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

CSB  Psalm 37:28 For the LORD loves justice and will not abandon His faithful ones. They are kept safe forever, but the children of the wicked will be destroyed.

NKJ  Psalm 37:28 For the LORD loves justice, And does not forsake His saints; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.

NRS  Psalm 37:28 For the LORD loves justice; he will not forsake his faithful ones. The righteous shall be kept safe forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.

YLT  Psalm 37:28 For Jehovah is loving judgment, And He doth not forsake His saintly ones, To the age they have been kept, And the seed of the wicked is cut off.

  • loves: Ps 11:7 45:6,7 99:4 Isa 30:18 61:8 Jer 9:24 
  • forsake: Ps 37:25,40 92:13-15 Isa 59:21 Jer 32:40,41  Joh 5:24 6:39,40 Joh 10:28-30 15:9 1Jn 2:19 1Pe 1:5 Jude 1:1 
  • but the descendants of the wicked will be cut off): Ps 21:10 Ex 20:5 Job 18:19 27:14 Pr 2:22 Isa 14:20,21 

A STRIKING CONTRAST
OF DESTINIES

For the LORD loves justice And does not forsake His godly ones - So even when we die or especially when we die God does not forsake His children in Christ! We can be at great peace when we are soon to enter His great rest! 

They are preserved forever - Why? Because by grace through faith believers are in Christ, in the Ark, so that when the "flood" of God's judgment comes they are safe. God is a covenant keeping God and for all who have entered the New Covenant in His blood, they are safe forever and will never perish. Eternal security is surely undergirded by passages such as this one in Ps 37:28! 

Treasury of David on For the Lord loveth judgment. The awarding of honour to whom honour is due is God's delight, especially when the upright man has been traduced by his fellow men. It must be a divine pleasure to right wrongs, and to defeat the machinations of the unjust. The great Arbiter of human destinies is sure to deal out righteous measure both to rich and poor, to good and evil, for such judgment is his delight. And forsaketh not his saints. This would not be right, and, therefore, shall never be done. God is as faithful to the objects of his love as he is just towards all mankind. They are preserved for ever. By covenant engagements their security is fixed, and by suretyship fulfilments that safety is accomplished; come what may, the saints are preserved in Christ Jesus, and because he lives, they shall live also. A king will not lose his jewels, nor will Jehovah lose his people. As the manna in the golden pot, which else had melted, was preserved in the ark of the covenant beneath the mercyseat, so shall the faithful be preserved in the covenant by the power of Jesus their propitiation. (CHS)

But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off - David is not teaching the children will go to hell because the parents were wicked for each man will be held responsible for and be accountable for his own sin. (Ezekiel 18:4). The soul of a sinner is headed for death because of his own sins, not those of his father or grandfather. (Nu 16:22 Eze 18:20 Ro 6:23). So why will the descendants of the wicked by cut off? This is an expression of the general principle of like father, like son, or the acorn does not fall very far from the tree. If the children are raised by wicked parents and all they see and experience is wickedness, then they are more likely to take up the same habits and practices. Of course, because God is filled with mercies and has plentiful grace, children of wicked parents can escape this cycle and you dear reader may be one who could give such a testimony of the goodness and grace to rescue from the wages of sin which are eternal death. 

Treasury of David on But the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. Like the house of Jeroboam and Ahab, of which not a dog was left. Honour and wealth ill gotten seldom reach the third generation; the curse grows ripe before many years have passed, and falls upon the evil house. Among the legacies of wicked men the surest entail is a judgment on their family. (CHS)

Related Resources:

Psalm 37:29  The righteous will inherit the land And dwell in it forever.

BGT  Psalm 36:29 δίκαιοι δὲ κληρονομήσουσι γῆν καὶ κατασκηνώσουσιν εἰς αἰῶνα αἰῶνος ἐπ᾽ αὐτῆς

NET  Psalm 37:29 The godly will possess the land and will dwell in it permanently.

LXE  Psalm 37:29 But the righteous shall inherit the earth, and dwell upon it for ever.

NLT  Psalm 37:29 The godly will possess the land and will live there forever.

KJV  Psalm 37:29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.

ESV  Psalm 37:29 The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever.

NIV  Psalm 37:29 the righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.

ASV  Psalm 37:29 The righteous shall inherit the land, And dwell therein for ever.

CSB  Psalm 37:29 The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it permanently.

NKJ  Psalm 37:29 The righteous shall inherit the land, And dwell in it forever.

NRS  Psalm 37:29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and live in it forever.

YLT  Psalm 37:29 The righteous possess the land, And they dwell for ever on it.

  • Ps 37:9,11,18,27 De 30:20 Pr 2:21 2Pe 3:13 Rev 21:3,4,7 

The righteous will inherit the land And dwell in it forever - See related statements in Ps 37:9,11,18,27.

Treasury of David on The righteous shall inherit the land. As heirs with Jesus Christ, the Canaan above, which is the antitype of "the land, " shall be theirs with all covenant blessing. And dwell therein for ever. Tenures differ, but none can match the holding which believers have of heaven. Paradise is theirs for ever by inheritance, and they shall live for ever to enjoy it. Who would not be a saint on such terms? Who would fret concerning the fleeting treasures of the godless? (CHS)

Spurgeon - There is a grand time coming (oh! that God would hasten it!) when truth and righteousness shall rule the earth, and then shall the godly have their portion. I have frequently remarked to you that, although the wolf is very strong and fierce, and the sheep is very weak and timid, yet there are more sheep in the world than there are wolves; and the day will come when the last wolf will be dead, and then the sheep shall cover the plains and feed upon the hills. Weak as the righteous often are, they “shall inherit the land” when the wicked shall have been out off from the earth. But the day shall come when the vile person shall cease from off the earth, and the saints shall trove the kingdom.

Psalm 37:30  The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, And his tongue speaks justice.

BGT  Psalm 36:30 στόμα δικαίου μελετήσει σοφίαν καὶ ἡ γλῶσσα αὐτοῦ λαλήσει κρίσιν

NET  Psalm 37:30 The godly speak wise words and promote justice.

LXE  Psalm 37:30 The mouth of the righteous will meditate wisdom, and his tongue will speak of judgment.

NLT  Psalm 37:30 The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong.

KJV  Psalm 37:30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.

ESV  Psalm 37:30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.

NIV  Psalm 37:30 The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just.

ASV  Psalm 37:30 The mouth of the righteous talketh of wisdom, And his tongue speaketh justice.

CSB  Psalm 37:30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom; his tongue speaks what is just.

NKJ  Psalm 37:30 The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, And his tongue talks of justice.

NRS  Psalm 37:30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak justice.

YLT  Psalm 37:30 The mouth of the righteous uttereth wisdom, And his tongue speaketh judgment.

  • Ps 71:15,24 De 6:7-9 Pr 10:21,31 Pr 15:7 Pr 25:11-13 27:9 Mt 12:35 Eph 4:29 Col 4:6 

The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom 

Proverbs 10:21 The lips of the righteous feed many, But fools die for lack of understanding. 

Proverbs 10:31 The mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom, But the perverted tongue will be cut out. 

How was a man or woman declared righteous prior to the Cross? Was it be keeping the law, carrying out the daily sacrifices or keeping the feast days? No, it was the same way he was declared righteous after the Cross, by faith (Ge 15:6+). Now in the New Covenant when a man or woman believes in Jesus, the God so constitutes our hearts that the Law is now written in his ("circumcised") heart not just in his head as the next verse clearly states (see  Ps 37:31 40:8 Je 31:33,34 2Co 3:3 Heb 10:16)

Treasury of David on  The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom. Where the whole Psalm is dedicated to a description of the different fates of the just and the wicked, it was meet to give a test by which they could be known. A man's tongue is no ill index of his character. The mouth betrays the heart. Good men, as a rule, speak that which is to edifying, sound speech, religious conversation, consistent with the divine illumination which they have received. Righteousness is wisdom in action, hence all good men are practically wise men, and well may the speech be wise. .(CHS)

And his tongue speaks justice - The mouth of the godly gives evidence of his/her character (contrast the words of the ungodly = Ps 36:3). The righteous man's or woman's tongue speaks justice because his heart is right with God or as David says in the next  verse the law of his God is in his heart.

Spurgeon - That which is down in the heart will come up into the mouth, and you may rest assured that men are fairly judged by the common current of their conversation....You may often judge a man by his mouth. The physician looks at the tongue to see how the man is; and so is a righteous man known by his mouth and his tongue, for he talks of judgment.

Treasury of David on His tongue talketh of judgment. He advocates justice, gives an honest verdict on things and men, and he foretells that God's judgments will come upon the wicked, as in the former days. His talk is neither foolish nor ribald, neither vapid nor profane. Our conversation is of far more consequence than some men imagine.(CHS)

As Jesus said "You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil." (Mt 12 34-35)

Psalm 37:31  The law of his God is in his heart; His steps do not slip.

BGT  Psalm 36:31 ὁ νόμος τοῦ θεοῦ αὐτοῦ ἐν καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ καὶ οὐχ ὑποσκελισθήσεται τὰ διαβήματα αὐτοῦ

NET  Psalm 37:31 The law of their God controls their thinking; their feet do not slip.

LXE  Psalm 37:31 The law of his God is in his heart; and his steps shall not slide.

NLT  Psalm 37:31 They have made God's law their own, so they will never slip from his path.

KJV  Psalm 37:31 The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

ESV  Psalm 37:31 The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip.

NIV  Psalm 37:31 The law of his God is in his heart; his feet do not slip.

ASV  Psalm 37:31 The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide.

CSB  Psalm 37:31 The instruction of his God is in his heart; his steps do not falter.

NKJ  Psalm 37:31 The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide.

NRS  Psalm 37:31 The law of their God is in their hearts; their steps do not slip.

YLT  Psalm 37:31 The law of his God is his heart, His steps do not slide.

  • law (KJV): Ps 1:2 40:3,8 119:11,98 De 6:6 11:18-20 Pr 4:4 Isa 51:7 Jer 31:33 Heb 8:10 
  • none (KJV): Ps 37:23 121:3 
  • steps (KJV): or, goings, Ps 17:5 40:2 44:18 *marg: Ps 73:2 Job 23:11 Pr 14:15 Eze 27:6

BEST THING
BEST PLACE
BEST RESULT

The law of his God is in his heart; His steps do not slip - Why does this man's step not slip? I am asking it almost rhetorically, just to get you to see the value of simple observation. From the context it is quite clear why this man's steps do not slip

THOUGHT - This passage calls for a simple question - How would Scripture memorization affect my steps? (See related resource - Memory Verses by Topic). Why do we neglect to do something that God's Word clearly states is so valuable in our Christian walk? That's a personal question, but a serious one we all need to ponder, as very few believers are serious about memorizing God's holy Word, even though it clearly facilitates a holy walk!

Treasury of David on  The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. The best thing in the best place, producing the best results. Well might the man's talk be so admirable when his heart was so well stored. To love holiness, to have the motives and desires sanctified, to be in one's inmost nature obedient to the Lord—this is the surest method of making the whole run of our life efficient for its great ends, and even for securing the details of it, our steps from any serious mistake. To keep the even tenor of one's way, in such times as these, is given only to those whose hearts are sound towards God, who can, as in the text, call God their God. Policy slips and trips, it twists and tacks, and after all is worsted in the long run, but sincerity plods on its plain pathway and reaches the goal. (CHS)

Spurgeon comments: "The best thing in the best place, producing the best results. Well might the man's talk be so admirable when his heart was so well stored. To love holiness, to have the motives and desires sanctified, to be in one's inmost nature obedient to the Lord -- this is the surest method of making the whole run of our life efficient for its great ends, and even for securing the details of it, our steps from any serious mistake. To keep the even tenor of one's way, in such times as these, is given only to those whose hearts are sound towards God, who can, as in the text, call God their God. Policy slips and trips, it twists and tacks, and after all is worsted in the long run, but sincerity plods on its plain pathway and reaches the goal."

John Trapp commenting on the phrase "The law of his God is in his heart" adds: "He hath a Bible in his head, and another in his heart; he hath a good treasure within, and there hence bringeth good things."


A.W.Pink: An individual is spiritually profited when the Word fortifies against sin. The Holy Scriptures are given to us not only for the purpose of revealing our innate sinfulness, and the many, many ways in which we "come short of the glory of God" (Ro 3:23), but also to teach us how to obtain deliverance from sin, how to be kept from displeasing God. "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee" (Ps 119:11). This is what each of us is required to do: "Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart" (Job 22:22). It is particularly the commandments, the warnings, the exhortations, we need to make our own and to treasure; to memorize them, meditate upon them, pray over them, and put them into practice. The only effective way of keeping a plot of ground from being overgrown by weeds is to sow good seed therein: "Overcome evil with good" (Ro12:21). So the more Christ's Word dwells in us "richly" (Col 3:16), the less room will there be for the exercise of sin in our hearts and lives. 

It is not sufficient merely to assent to the veracity of the Scriptures, they require to be received into the affections. It is unspeakably solemn to note that the Holy Spirit specifies as the ground of apostasy, "because they received not the love of the truth" (2 Th 2:10). "If it lie only in the tongue or in the mind, only to make it a matter of talk and speculation, it will soon be gone. The seed which lies on the surface, the fowls in the air will pick up. Therefore hide it deeply; let it get from the ear into the mind, from the mind into the heart; let it soak in further and further. It is only when it hath a prevailing sovereignty in the heart that we receive it in the love of it-when it is dearer than our dearest lust, then it will stick to us" (Thomas Manton). 

Nothing else will preserve from the infections of this world, deliver from the temptations of Satan, and be so effective a preservative against sin, as the Word of God received into the affections, "The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide" (Ps 37:31). As long as the truth is active within us, stirring the conscience, and is really loved by us, we shall be kept from falling. When Joseph was tempted by Potiphar's wife, he said, "How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (Ge 39:9). The Word was in his heart, and therefore had prevailing power over his lusts. The ineffable holiness, the mighty power of God, who is able both to save and to destroy. None of us knows when he may be tempted: therefore it is necessary to be prepared against it. "Who among you will give ear . . . and hear for the time to come?" Isa 42:23). Yes, we are to anticipate the future and be fortified against it, by storing up the Word in our hearts for coming emergencies. 


Spelling Bee

Your Word I have hidden in my heart. —Psalm 119:11

Today's Scripture: Psalm 119:9-16

My wife and I stayed up late to watch a TV program we found exciting—the Scripps National Spelling Bee. It was fascinating to watch middle-school children as they recited the correct spelling for some of the most difficult words imaginable.

Anticipation grew as one contestant after another was disqualified. Finally, only 13-year-old Katharine Close remained. One word stood between her and the world championship. With little hesitation, Katharine correctly spelled the word ursprache.

Obviously, Katharine can spell! But it’s possible to know how to spell a word, yet not understand its meaning.

As believers in Jesus Christ, it’s vital for us to know God’s Word, the Bible. Our goal is not to accumulate knowledge but to internalize His Word so that we can be equipped in our walk of faith.

When we know God’s Word, it keeps our spiritual walk from slipping (Ps. 37:31). It satisfies the hunger of our souls (Jer. 15:16). And it is a key weapon in facing temptations and trials (Matt. 4:1-11; Eph. 6:10-18).

Let’s make it our aim to know the Word. Then, when facing life’s challenges, we can be ready for any situation (2 Tim. 3:16-17). By: Dennis Fisher (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Reflect & Pray

My hunger for the truth He satisfies;
Upon the Word, the Living Bread, I feed:
No parching thirst I know, because His grace,
A pool of endless depth, supplies my need.
—Sanders

To the wise, God’s Word is sufficient.

Psalm 37:32  The wicked spies upon the righteous And seeks to kill him.

BGT  Psalm 36:32 κατανοεῖ ὁ ἁμαρτωλὸς τὸν δίκαιον καὶ ζητεῖ τοῦ θανατῶσαι αὐτόν

NET  Psalm 37:32 Evil men set an ambush for the godly and try to kill them.

LXE  Psalm 37:32 The sinner watches the righteous, and seeks to slay him.

NLT  Psalm 37:32 The wicked wait in ambush for the godly, looking for an excuse to kill them.

KJV  Psalm 37:32 The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.

ESV  Psalm 37:32 The wicked watches for the righteous and seeks to put him to death.

NIV  Psalm 37:32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, seeking their very lives;

ASV  Psalm 37:32 The wicked watcheth the righteous, And seeketh to slay him.

CSB  Psalm 37:32 The wicked one lies in wait for the righteous and seeks to kill him;

NKJ  Psalm 37:32 The wicked watches the righteous, And seeks to slay him.

NRS  Psalm 37:32 The wicked watch for the righteous, and seek to kill them.

YLT  Psalm 37:32 The wicked is watching for the righteous, And is seeking to put him to death.

  • spies upon the righteous: Ps 37:12 10:8-10 Jer 20:10 Lu 6:7 11:54 14:1 19:47,48 20:20 Ac 9:24 

The wicked spies upon the righteous And seeks to kill him

Treasury of David on The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him. If it were not for the laws of the land, we should soon see a massacre of the righteous. Jesus was watched by his enemies, who were thirsting for his blood: his disciples must not look for favour where their Master found hatred and death. (CHS)

Psalm 37:33  The LORD will not leave him in his hand Or let him be condemned when he is judged.

BGT  Psalm 36:33 ὁ δὲ κύριος οὐ μὴ ἐγκαταλίπῃ αὐτὸν εἰς τὰς χεῖρας αὐτοῦ οὐδὲ μὴ καταδικάσηται αὐτόν ὅταν κρίνηται αὐτῷ

NET  Psalm 37:33 But the LORD does not surrender the godly, or allow them to be condemned in a court of law.

LXE  Psalm 37:33 But the Lord will not leave him in his hands, nor by any means condemn him when he is judged.

NLT  Psalm 37:33 But the LORD will not let the wicked succeed or let the godly be condemned when they are put on trial.

KJV  Psalm 37:33 The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.

ESV  Psalm 37:33 The LORD will not abandon him to his power or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.

NIV  Psalm 37:33 but the LORD will not leave them in their power or let them be condemned when brought to trial.

ASV  Psalm 37:33 Jehovah will not leave him in his hand, Nor condemn him when he is judged.

CSB  Psalm 37:33 the LORD will not leave him in the power of the wicked one or allow him to be condemned when he is judged.

NKJ  Psalm 37:33 The LORD will not leave him in his hand, Nor condemn him when he is judged.

NRS  Psalm 37:33 The LORD will not abandon them to their power, or let them be condemned when they are brought to trial.

YLT  Psalm 37:33 Jehovah doth not leave him in his hand, Nor condemn him in his being judged.

  • will not (KJV): Ps 31:7,8 124:6,7 1Sa 23:26-28 2Ti 4:17 2Pe 2:9 
  • condemn (KJV): Ps 109:31 Ro 8:1,33,34 

The LORD will not leave him in his hand Or let him be condemned when he is judged

Treasury of David on The Lord will not leave him in his hand. God often appears to deliver his servants, and when he does not do so in this life as to their bodies, he gives their souls such joy and peace that they triumphantly rise beyond their tormentors' power. We may be in the enemy's hand for awhile, as Job was, but we cannot be left there. Nor condemn him when he is judged. Time shall reverse the verdict of haste, or else eternity shall clear away the condemnation of time. In due season just men will be justified. Temporary injustices are tolerated, in the order of Providence, for purposes most wise; but the bitter shall not always be called sweet, nor light for ever be traduced as darkness; the right shall appear in due season; the fictitious and pretentious shall be unmasked, and the real and true shall be revealed. If we have done faithfully, we may appeal from the petty sessions of society to the solemn assize of the great day. (CHS)

Spurgeon - How dreadful it would be for the godly man if the Lord were to leave him in the hand of the wicked! You remember how David sought to avoid that calamity when he had to choose famine, pestilence, or the sword of his enemies. “Let me fall,” said he “into the hand of the Lord, for very great are his mercies; but let me not fall into the hand of man.” Let us thank God that, even if we should get into the hand of the ungodly, the Lord will not leave us there, nor condemn us when we are judged.

Psalm 37:34  Wait for the LORD and keep His way, And He will exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.

BGT  Psalm 36:34 ὑπόμεινον τὸν κύριον καὶ φύλαξον τὴν ὁδὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ ὑψώσει σε τοῦ κατακληρονομῆσαι γῆν ἐν τῷ ἐξολεθρεύεσθαι ἁμαρτωλοὺς ὄψῃ

NET  Psalm 37:34 Rely on the LORD! Obey his commands! Then he will permit you to possess the land; you will see the demise of evil men.

LXE  Psalm 37:34 Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are destroyed, thou shalt see it.

NLT  Psalm 37:34 Put your hope in the LORD. Travel steadily along his path. He will honor you by giving you the land. You will see the wicked destroyed.

KJV  Psalm 37:34 Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.

ESV  Psalm 37:34 Wait for the LORD and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.

NIV  Psalm 37:34 Wait for the LORD and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.

ASV  Psalm 37:34 Wait for Jehovah, and keep his way, And he will exalt thee to inherit the land: When the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.

CSB  Psalm 37:34 Wait for the LORD and keep His way, and He will exalt you to inherit the land. You will watch when the wicked are destroyed.

NKJ  Psalm 37:34 Wait on the LORD, And keep His way, And He shall exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.

NRS  Psalm 37:34 Wait for the LORD, and keep to his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on the destruction of the wicked.

YLT  Psalm 37:34 Look unto Jehovah, and keep His way, And He doth exalt thee to possess the land, In the wicked being cut off -- thou seest!

  • Wait  Ps 37:3,7,9 27:14 Pr 20:22 
  • keep (KJV): Job 17:9 23:10-12 Pr 4:25-27 16:17 Mt 24:13 
  • exalt (KJV): Ps 92:10 112:9 Lu 14:11 1Pe 1:7 5:6 
  • when (KJV): Ps 52:5,6 91:8 92:11 

TWO COMMANDS 
AND TWO PROMISES

Wait for the LORD - "We have here the eighth precept, and it is a lofty eminence to attain to. Tarry the Lord's leisure. Wait in obedience as a servant, in hope as an heir, in expectation as a believer. This little word "wait" is easy to say, but hard to carry out, yet faith must do it." And indeed, the only reason we would wait, is because we are fully confident (trusting, believing) that the Lord has something far better for us in the future. Paul says it this way "For in hope (hold an assurance/confidence in our future with God) we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it." (Ro 8:24, 25+) Think of it this way -- when we are “living in the future tense,” it is difficult for the things of the world to ensnare us. (See related topic Vertical Vision)

And keep His way - "shamar" His way ~ conveys the idea of living circumspectly with the certain knowledge that this life is not the final chapter & thus we should exercise great care in our choices, our words, our ways, walking in a manner worthy of the Lord, by Whose name we are called and known to those blinded to truth and destined to be cut off from His presence and the glory of His power unless they repent and believe the good news of the Messiah's propitiatory death, His burial, His resurrection and His ascension to be seated at the right hand of the throne of majesty on high.

Treasury of David on  Wait on the Lord. We have here the eighth precept, and it is a lofty eminence to attain to. Tarry the Lord's leisure. Wait in obedience as a servant, in hope as an heir, in expectation as a believer. This little word "wait" is easy to say, but hard to carry out, yet faith must do it. And keep his way. Continue in the narrow path; let no haste for riches or ease cause unholy action. Let your motto be, "On, on, on." Never flag, or dream of turning aside. "He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved." (CHS)

And He will exalt you to inherit the land - "Thou shalt have all of earthly good which is really good, and of heavenly good there shall be no stint. Exaltation shall be the lot of the excellent. There is no end to that man, for he is to endure world without end. In any sense in which there is an end to him, his end is everlasting peace" (CHS)

While this passage applies to all who wait on the Lord and keep His way, there is another group that David a Jewish king is addressing. In the OT context is especially addressed to Jews, specifically believing Jews for only believing Jews would be willing and enabled to obey David's commands. When will this inheritance of the land take place? When will the wicked be cut off and Israel will see it? This could refer to that time yet future when the Deliverer comes from Zion, cutting off all the wicked (cf the Stone in Da 2:34, 35+, Da 2:44, 45+, and Rev 19:11-16ff+)  and saving the Jewish remnant out of the Great Tribulation (Time of Jacob's Trouble - Jer 30:7+). Paul writes "and so all Israel will be saved (Ed: See Zech 13:8,9+ to help understand that "ALL" refers to all the Jews who believe in the Messiah when He returns); just as it is written, “THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.” (Ro 11:26+). 

When the wicked are cut off, you will see it - The Gentile judgment of the sheep and the goats is described when the Lord returns and sets up His earthly kingdom - see Mt 25:31,32,34,41,46  The judgment of the Jews at the end of the Great Tribulation to determine which Jews (believers) will enter into the Messianic Kingdom is described in Ezekiel 20:34-37,38 (See Israel's Promise of Restoration) and also alluded to in Da 12:2 and Da 12:10. As Spurgeon says this is "A sight how terrible and how instructive! What a rebuke for fretfulness! what an incentive to gratitude! My soul, be still, as you foresee the end, the awful end of the Lord's enemies."

Related Resources:

Psalm 37:35  I have seen a wicked, violent man Spreading himself like a luxuriant tree in its native soil.

BGT  Psalm 36:35 εἶδον ἀσεβῆ ὑπερυψούμενον καὶ ἐπαιρόμενον ὡς τὰς κέδρους τοῦ Λιβάνου

NET  Psalm 37:35 I have seen ruthless evil men growing in influence, like a green tree grows in its native soil.

LXE  Psalm 37:35 I saw the ungodly very highly exalting himself, and lifting himself up like the cedars of Libanus.

NLT  Psalm 37:35 I have seen wicked and ruthless people flourishing like a tree in its native soil.

KJV  Psalm 37:35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.

ESV  Psalm 37:35 I have seen a wicked, ruthless man, spreading himself like a green laurel tree.

NIV  Psalm 37:35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a green tree in its native soil,

ASV  Psalm 37:35 I have seen the wicked in great power, And spreading himself like a green tree in its native soil.

CSB  Psalm 37:35 I have seen a wicked, violent man well-rooted like a flourishing native tree.

NKJ  Psalm 37:35 I have seen the wicked in great power, And spreading himself like a native green tree.

NRS  Psalm 37:35 I have seen the wicked oppressing, and towering like a cedar of Lebanon.

YLT  Psalm 37:35 I have seen the wicked terrible, And spreading as a green native plant,

  • I have: Ps 73:3-11 Es 5:11 Job 5:3 21:7-17 Isa 14:14-19 
  • like a luxuriant tree Job 8:13-19 Eze 31:6-10,18 Da 4:20-33 

I have seen a wicked, violent man  -  "A second time David turns to his diary, and this time in poetic imagery tells us of what he had observed. It were well if we too took notes of divine providences. The man was terrible to others, ruling with much authority, and carrying things with a high hand, a Caesar in might, a Croesus in wealth (ED: And a Christ-less man in death!)."

Spreading himself like a luxuriant tree in its native soil Spreading himself (lifting himself) like a luxuriant tree = arrogance, pride. Ryrie adds "The wicked appear to be indestructible, like a luxuriant tree in its native soil."

Spurgeon says "Adding house to house and field to field, rising higher and higher in the state. He seemed to be ever verdant like a laurel, he grew as a tree in its own native soil, from which it had never been transplanted. No particular tree is here meant, a spreading beech or a wide expanding oak may serve us to realize the picture; it is a thing of earth, whose roots are in the clay; its honours are fading leaves; and though its shadow dwarfs the plants which are condemned to pine beneath it, yet it is itself a dying things as the feller's axe shall prove. In the noble tree, which claims to be king of the forest, behold the grandeur of the ungodly today; wait awhile and wonder at the change, as the timber is carried away, and the very root torn from the ground."

Psalm 37:36  Then he passed away, and lo, he was no more; I sought for him, but he could not be found.

BGT  Psalm 36:36 καὶ παρῆλθον καὶ ἰδοὺ οὐκ ἦν καὶ ἐζήτησα αὐτόν καὶ οὐχ εὑρέθη ὁ τόπος αὐτοῦ

NET  Psalm 37:36 But then one passes by, and suddenly they have disappeared! I looked for them, but they could not be found.

LXE  Psalm 37:36 Yet I passed by, and lo! he was not: and I sought him, but his place was not found.

NLT  Psalm 37:36 But when I looked again, they were gone! Though I searched for them, I could not find them!

KJV  Psalm 37:36 Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.

ESV  Psalm 37:36 But he passed away, and behold, he was no more; though I sought him, he could not be found.

NIV  Psalm 37:36 but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found.

ASV  Psalm 37:36 But one passed by, and, lo, he was not: Yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.

CSB  Psalm 37:36 Then I passed by and noticed he was gone; I searched for him, but he could not be found.

NKJ  Psalm 37:36 Yet he passed away, and behold, he was no more; Indeed I sought him, but he could not be found.

NRS  Psalm 37:36 Again I passed by, and they were no more; though I sought them, they could not be found.

YLT  Psalm 37:36 And he passeth away, and lo, he is not, And I seek him, and he is not found!

  • Ps 37:10 Ex 15:9,10,19 Job 20:5-29 Isa 10:16-19,33,34 Ac 12:22,23 

Then he passed away, and lo, he was no more - NET = "But then one passes by, and suddenly they have disappeared!" As Spurgeon says "Tree and man both gone, the son of man as surely as the child of the forest. What clean sweeps death makes! To the surprise of all men the great man was gone, his estates sold, his business bankrupt, his house alienated, his name forgotten, and all in a few months." 

I sought for him, but he could not be found - Spurgeon comments that "Moved by curiosity, if we enquire for the ungodly, they have left no trace; like birds of ill omen none desire to remember them. Some of the humblest of the godly are immortalized, their names are imperishably fragrant in the church, while of the ablest of infidels and blasphemers hardly their names are remembered beyond a few years. Men who were in everybody's mouths but yesterday are forgotten tomorrow, for only virtue is immortal."

Psalm 37:37  Mark the blameless man, and behold the upright; For the man of peace will have a posterity.

BGT  Psalm 36:37 φύλασσε ἀκακίαν καὶ ἰδὲ εὐθύτητα ὅτι ἔστιν ἐγκατάλειμμα ἀνθρώπῳ εἰρηνικῷ

NET  Psalm 37:37 Take note of the one who has integrity! Observe the godly! For the one who promotes peace has a future.

LXE  Psalm 37:37 Maintain innocence, and behold uprightness: for there is a remnant to the peaceable man.

NLT  Psalm 37:37 Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.

KJV  Psalm 37:37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

ESV  Psalm 37:37 Mark the blameless and behold the upright, for there is a future for the man of peace.

NIV  Psalm 37:37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace.

ASV  Psalm 37:37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; For there is a happy end to the man of peace.

CSB  Psalm 37:37 Watch the blameless and observe the upright, for the man of peace will have a future.

NKJ  Psalm 37:37 Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; For the future of that man is peace.

NRS  Psalm 37:37 Mark the blameless, and behold the upright, for there is posterity for the peaceable.

YLT  Psalm 37:37 Observe the perfect, and see the upright, For the latter end of each is peace.

  • Job 1:1 42:12-17 Pr 14:32 Isa 32:17 57:2 Lu 2:25-29 Ac 7:59,60 2Ti 4:6-8 2Pe 1:14 

THE GODLY MAN
HAS A FUTURE

Mark the blameless man, and behold the upright - Two commands to counter any tendency we might have to focus on the supposed "success" of ungodly men, which might lead to fretting and/or envy (Ps 37:1). Spurgeon explains that "After having watched with surprise the downfall of the wicked, give your attention to the sincerely godly man, and observe the blessed contrast. Good men are men of mark (i.e, to be observed), and are worth our study. Upright men are marvels of grace, and worth beholding." Do you have any godly men or women that you are watching, and by the power of the Spirit seeking to emulate/imitate? The Bible has a few if you don't have anyone "realtime." (E.g., see Daniel-Man of Integrity)

For the man of peace will have a posterity - For is a term of explanation, emphasizing why we should obey the commands to mark and behold the godly man. As the CSB renders it "the man of peace will have a future." This world is not our home. The godly man's home is yet future forever in the presence of Jesus! That is a future worth pondering (frequently), especially if we sense our heart and eyes wandering unto the bobbles and bangles and "success" of this passing, evil age! 

NET Note - Heb "for [there is] an end for a man of peace." Some interpret tyrIx]a; ('akharit, "end") as referring to offspring (see the next verse and Ps 109:13; cf. NEB, NRSV). 

Treasury of David on For the end of that man is peace. The man of peace has an end of peace. Peace without end comes in the end to the man of God. His way may be rough, but it leads home. With believers it may rain in the morning, thunder at midday, and pour in torrents in the afternoon, but it must clear up ere the sun goes down. War may last till our last hour, but then we shall hear the last of it. (CHS)

Psalm 37:38  But transgressors will be altogether destroyed; The posterity of the wicked will be cut off.

BGT  Psalm 36:38 οἱ δὲ παράνομοι ἐξολεθρευθήσονται ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό τὰ ἐγκαταλείμματα τῶν ἀσεβῶν ἐξολεθρευθήσονται

NET  Psalm 37:38 Sinful rebels are totally destroyed; evil men have no future.

LXE  Psalm 37:38 But the transgressors shall be utterly destroyed together: the remnants of the ungodly shall be utterly destroyed.

NLT  Psalm 37:38 But the rebellious will be destroyed; they have no future.

KJV  Psalm 37:38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.

ESV  Psalm 37:38 But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed; the future of the wicked shall be cut off.

NIV  Psalm 37:38 But all sinners will be destroyed; the future of the wicked will be cut off.

ASV  Psalm 37:38 As for transgressors, they shall be destroyed together; The end of the wicked shall be cut off.

CSB  Psalm 37:38 But transgressors will all be eliminated; the future of the wicked will be destroyed.

NKJ  Psalm 37:38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; The future of the wicked shall be cut off.

NRS  Psalm 37:38 But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed; the posterity of the wicked shall be cut off.

YLT  Psalm 37:38 And transgressors were destroyed together, The latter end of the wicked was cut off.

  • Ps 1:4-6 9:17 52:5 Pr 14:32 Mt 13:30,49,50 25:46 2Th 1:8,9 

But transgressors will be altogether destroyed - "A common ruin awaits those who are joined in common rebellion." (CHS)

This passage repeats the refrain of Psalm 1 regarding the eternal fate of all the ungodly...

The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.  
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalm 1:4-6+)

The posterity of the wicked will be cut off - Spurgeon says "Their time shall be shortened, their happiness shall be ended, their hopes for ever blasted, their execution hastened on. Their present is shortened by their sins; they shall not live out half their days. They have no future worth having, while the righteous count their future as their true heritage."

NET Note - Heb "the end of evil men is cut off." As in Ps 37:37, some interpret tyrIx]a; ('akharit, "end") as referring to offspring (see Ps 109:13 ). The perfect verbal forms in v. 38 probably express general truths. Another option is that they are used emphatically to state with certitude that the demise of the wicked is as good as done. 


Tough And Tender

Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; for the future of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed. —Psalm 37:37-38

Today's Scripture: Psalm 37:30-40

“Any fool can start a quarrel” (Prov. 20:3). “The name of the wicked will rot” (Pr 10:7). “He who hates correction is stupid” (Pr 12:1).

Is it right for God’s Word to call people fools, wicked, and stupid? Isn’t God all about love and kindness?

Indeed, God is love. God is kindness. He created a world with great possibilities for joy and contentment.

Yet God reminds us that in His love He does not overlook the foolishness of our hearts and actions. Those verses from Proverbs can remind us that while God is love, He has great expectations for us. Life is tougher than it needs to be for those who bring self-imposed trouble upon themselves.

Each negative word in those proverbs has a counterpart—an alternative that gives God’s preferred way to live. A fool quarrels, but the honorable man avoids strife (Pr 20:3). The name of the wicked rots, but the memory of the righteous is blessed (Pr 10:7). The stupid reject correction, but those who love instruction also love knowledge (PR 12:1).

There’s always a choice in this life. Live God’s way and enjoy His smile of approval—or live as a fool and find destruction. That’s the tough and tender truth about living in God’s world. Which do you choose? By: Dave Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Reflect & Pray

Deceptions, twists, and outright lies
Define the words of fools;
But those who follow God’s Word show
A life where wisdom rules.
—Sper

Only a fool fools with sin.
(ED: Only fools rush sin! A pun on an old Elvis Presley song!)

Psalm 37:39  But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in time of trouble.

BGT  Psalm 36:39 σωτηρία δὲ τῶν δικαίων παρὰ κυρίου καὶ ὑπερασπιστὴς αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἐν καιρῷ θλίψεως

NET  Psalm 37:39 But the LORD delivers the godly; he protects them in times of trouble.

LXE  Psalm 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord; and he is their defender in the time of affliction.

NLT  Psalm 37:39 The LORD rescues the godly; he is their fortress in times of trouble.

KJV  Psalm 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.

ESV  Psalm 37:39 The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.

NIV  Psalm 37:39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.

ASV  Psalm 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is of Jehovah; He is their stronghold in the time of trouble.

CSB  Psalm 37:39 The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD, their refuge in a time of distress.

NKJ  Psalm 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in the time of trouble.

NRS  Psalm 37:39 The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their refuge in the time of trouble.

YLT  Psalm 37:39 And the salvation of the righteous is from Jehovah, Their strong place in a time of adversity.

  • salvation (KJV): Ps 3:8 Isa 12:2 Jon 2:9 Eph 2:8 
  • strength (KJV): Ps 9:9 46:1 91:15 Isa 33:2 Col 1:11 2Ti 4:17 

But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;

Treasury of David on But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord. Sound doctrine this. The very marrow of the gospel of free grace. By salvation is meant deliverance of every kind; not only the salvation which finally lands us in glory, but all the minor rescues of the way; these are all to be ascribed unto the Lord, and to him alone. Let him have glory from those to whom he grants salvation. (CHS)

He is their strength in time of trouble

Treasury of David on He is their strength in the time of trouble. While trouble overthrows the wicked, it only drives the righteous to their strong Helper, who rejoices to uphold them. (CHS)

Spurgeon - Have you not proved it so, dear brethren and sisters in Christ? I know that you have had times of trouble, but has not God been your strength in a very peculiar way in all such times?

Psalm 37:40  The LORD helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, Because they take refuge in Him.

BGT  Psalm 36:40 καὶ βοηθήσει αὐτοῖς κύριος καὶ ῥύσεται αὐτοὺς καὶ ἐξελεῖται αὐτοὺς ἐξ ἁμαρτωλῶν καὶ σώσει αὐτούς ὅτι ἤλπισαν ἐπ᾽ αὐτόν

NET  Psalm 37:40 The LORD helps them and rescues them; he rescues them from evil men and delivers them, for they seek his protection.

LXE  Psalm 37:40 And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: and he shall rescue them from sinners, and save them, because they have hoped in him.

NLT  Psalm 37:40 The LORD helps them, rescuing them from the wicked. He saves them, and they find shelter in him.

KJV  Psalm 37:40 And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

ESV  Psalm 37:40 The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

NIV  Psalm 37:40 The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

ASV  Psalm 37:40 And Jehovah helpeth them, and rescueth them; He rescueth them from the wicked, and saveth them, Because they have taken refuge in him.

CSB  Psalm 37:40 The LORD helps and delivers them; He will deliver them from the wicked and will save them because they take refuge in Him.

NKJ  Psalm 37:40 And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, And save them, Because they trust in Him.

NRS  Psalm 37:40 The LORD helps them and rescues them; he rescues them from the wicked, and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

YLT  Psalm 37:40 And Jehovah doth help them and deliver them, He delivereth them from the wicked, And saveth them, Because they trusted in Him!

  • the Lord: Isa 31:5 46:4 Da 3:17,28 6:23 
  • from: Ps 17:13 27:2 1Jn 2:13,14 5:18 
  • because: Ps 22:4,5 1Ch 5:20 

JEHOVAH OUR 
HELPER AND DELIVERER

The LORD helps them and delivers them - In addition to coming to our aid to render help, David mentions the first of two statements that He also delivers those who belong to him. As noted below the Hebrew verb for help is translated with the Greek verb boetheo which depicts one calling for aid and Jehovah coming to the aid of the one who cried out. Upshot? Cry out (play "Cry Out") when you are in danger or distress! He is your Deliverer (play "My Deliverer.")

Helps (05826)('azar) means to protect, aid, help, succor, support, give material or nonmaterial encouragement. Azar often refers to aid in the form of military assistance and in many instances refers to help from Jehovah as illustrated by the uses below. The Septuagint translates 'azar with boetheo  which conveys the general idea of running to the aid of one who cries out for help. We see this picture in Hebrews 2:18+ which says "For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid (to help = boetheo) of those who are (CONTINUALLY BEING) tempted." The related English word succour (from Latin succurrere = to run up, run to help) means literally to run to and so to run to to support, to go to the aid of, to help or relieve when in difficulty, want or distress; to assist and deliver front suffering; as, to succor a besieged city; to succor prisoners.

Delivers (06403)(palat) means to deliver, to escape or help to escape, to rescue, to take to safety, to bring forth (Job 21:10 - "calves" = delivers a calf). The first use is by David in 2 Samuel 22 where he exalts God as "my deliverer," (2 Sa 22:2) and then later testifies "You have also delivered me from the contentions of my people." Most of the uses are in Psalms and speak of God's deliverance in various settings, including several pleas for Him to deliver (Ps 17:13, Ps 43:2, Ps 71:2, 4, Ps 82:4) In Ezek 7:16 it speaks of survivors who have escaped in time of danger. The verb always occurs in the Piel, except for its usages in Isaiah 5:29, Hiphil, and Ezekiel 7:16 (Qal). The verb for help ('azar)  is frequently coupled with palat as in Ps 37:40, Ps 40:17, Ps 70:5. In Psalm 18:2 David repeatedly praises God  with 8 descriptions - "The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer (Palat), My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." The Septuagint translates palat most frequently with the verb (or a cognate of this verb)  rhuomai  which means to draw or snatch to oneself and invariably refers to a snatching from danger, evil or an enemy. This basic idea is that of bringing someone out of severe and acute danger, and so to save, rescue, deliver, preserve. Rhuomai emphasizes greatness of peril from which deliverance is given by a mighty act of power. In the NT rhuomai is always associated with God as the Deliverer and with a person as the object of His deliverance.

Palat - 23v - calves(1), carries it off(1), deliver(5), delivered(4), deliverer(5), delivers(3), escape(1), preserve(2), rescue(3). - 2 Sam. 22:2; 2 Sam. 22:44; Job 21:10; Job 23:7; Ps. 17:13; Ps. 18:2; Ps. 18:43; Ps. 18:48; Ps. 22:4; Ps. 22:8; Ps. 31:1; Ps. 37:40; Ps. 40:17; Ps. 43:1; Ps. 70:5; Ps. 71:2; Ps. 71:4; Ps. 82:4; Ps. 91:14; Ps. 144:2; Isa. 5:29; Ezek. 7:16; Mic. 6:14

Treasury of David on And the Lord shall help them. In all future time Jehovah will stand up for his chosen. Our Great Ally will bring up his forces in the heat of the battle.  (CHS)

He delivers (palat) them from the wicked and saves them - David reiterates the deliverance of the godly by Jehovah, a truth worth repeating! 

Saves (deliver, help) (03467)(yasha'' See also yeshua our word "Jesus") is an important Hebrew verb which means to help, to save, to deliver. The root in Arabic is "make wide" which underscores the main thought of yasha' as to bring to a place of safety or broad pasture in contrast to a narrow strait which symbolizes distress or danger. TWOT adds that the concept of "wide" "connotes freedom from distress and the ability to pursue one’s own objectives. To move from distress to safety requires deliverance. Generally the deliverance must come from somewhere outside the party oppressed." The Septuagint translates Yasha' in this passage with the verb exaireo (ek = out + aireo = to take, remove, seize) literally means to take out (used literally in Lxx of Jdg 14:9KJV "he took the honey out of the mouth of the lion"). In some contexts it means tear out or pluck out (Mt 5:29, 18:9, Lxx = Lev 14:40). To take out from a number. In the middle voice (most of the uses in the Lxx and NT are middle voice) it means to take out for oneself and hence to rescue or deliver someone from a perilous or confining circumstance, setting them free.

Treasury of David on  He shall deliver them from the wicked. As he rescued Daniel from the lions, so will he preserve his beloved from their enemies; they need not therefore fret, nor be discouraged. And save them, because they trust in him. Faith shall ensure they safety of the elect. It is the mark of the sheep by which they shall be separated from the goats. Not their merit, but their believing, shall distinguish them. Who would not try the walk of faith? Whoever truly believes in God will be no longer fretful against the apparent irregularities of this present life, but will rest assured that what is mysterious is nevertheless just, and what seems hard, is, beyond a doubt, ordered in mercy. So the Psalm ends with a note which is the death knell of the unhallowed disquietude with which the Psalm commenced. Happy they who can thus sing themselves out of ill frames into gracious conditions. (CHS)

Because they take refuge in Him - To take refuge in God is another way to say they (by grace) believe in Him, trusting in Him. To take refuge stresses the insecurity and self-helplessness of even the strongest of men. It emphasizes the defensive or external aspect of the salvation found only in Christ, the unchanging One in Whom we "find shelter". As Ps 46:1 says "God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble." To take refuge in Jehovah reminds me of the great proverb that says "The Name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe (Hebrew verb  sagab which pictures on lifted high above the fray and thus safe!)" (Pr 18:10+) (See Name of the LORD is a Strong Tower)

Study the following XR's (esp Ps 64:10, Zep 3:12) -- (2Sa22:3 22:31 Ps2:12 5:11 7:1 11:1 14:6 16:1 17:7 18:2 18:30 25:20 31:19 34:8,22 36:7 37:40 46:1 57:1 61:3,v4 64:10 62:7 73:28 71:7; 91:2,v9 94:22 118:8 118:9 141:8 142:5 143:9 144:2 Pr14:32 30:5 Isa57:13 Je16:19 17:17 Na1:7 Zep3:12 Ru2:12)

Refuge (seek/take refuge/shelter in) (02620) (chasah) means to flee for protection. The picture is that of one who confides or puts their trust in another (usually God - see 36 uses). The verb can mean to put trust in or have hope in (this would be one's attitude or mindset) but can also mean to flee for protection to (this would be one's action consistent with a mind that trusted & hoped in God). God is ever the sole Refuge of His people and trust in Him protects the "trustee!" It is always better to trust in God rather than to trust (batah) in princes (Ps 118:8-9). The Septuagint translates the Hebrew chasah in this verse with the verb elpizo which means to look forward with confidence to that which is good and beneficial. To express desire for some good with the expectation of obtaining it. In short, when we take refuge in Jehovah, it is not with the mindset of "I hope He will protect/deliver/save me," but it is with complete confidence/trust/assurance that He will do so! 

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