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Don't Fret About Others (Psalm 37)

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Psalm 37 Jan. 20 By David.  1Don’t fret because of evildoers, neither be envious against those who work unrighteousness. 2For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither like the green plant. 3Trust in Yahweh, and do good. Dwell in the land, and enjoy safe pasture. 4Also delight yourself in Yahweh, and He will give you the desires of your heart. 5Commit your way to Yahweh. Trust also in Him, and He will do this: 6 He will make your righteousness go forth as the light, and your justice as the noon day sun. 7Rest in Yahweh, and wait patiently for Him. Don’t fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who makes wicked plots happen. 8Cease from anger, and forsake wrath. Don’t fret, it leads only to evildoing. 9For evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for Yahweh shall inherit the land. 10For yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more. Yes, though you look for his place, he isn’t there. 11But the humble shall inherit the land, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. 12The wicked plots against the just, and gnashes at him with his teeth. 13The Lord will laugh at him, for He sees that his day is coming. 14The wicked have drawn out the sword and have bent their bow to cast down the poor and needy, to kill those who are upright in the way. 15Their sword shall enter into their own heart. Their bows shall be broken. 16Better is a little that the righteous has, than the abundance of many wicked. 17For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but Yahweh upholds the righteous. 18Yahweh knows the days of the perfect. Their inheritance shall be forever. 19They shall not be disappointed in the time of evil; in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.  20But the wicked shall perish, the enemies of Yahweh shall be like the passing beauty of the fields. They will vanish— vanish like smoke. 21The wicked borrow, and don’t pay back, but the righteous give generously. 22For such as are blessed by Him shall inherit the land. Those who are cursed by Him shall be cut off. 23A man’s goings are established by Yahweh; He delights in his way. 24Though he stumble, he shall not fall, for Yahweh holds him up with His hand. 25I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his children begging for bread. 26All day long he deals graciously, and lends. His seed is blessed. 27Depart from evil, and do good. Live securely forever. 28For Yahweh loves justice, and doesn’t forsake His saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off. 29The righteous shall inherit the land, and live in it forever.  30The mouth of the righteous talks of wisdom, his tongue speaks justice. 31The law of his God is in his heart, none of his steps shall slide. 32The wicked watches the righteous, and seeks to kill him. 33Yahweh will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged. 34Wait for Yahweh, and keep His way, and He will exalt you to inherit the land. When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.  35I have seen the wicked in great power, spreading himself like a green tree in its native soil. 36But he passed away, and behold, he was not. Yes, I sought him, but he could not be found. 37Note the perfect man, and see the upright, for there is a future for the man of peace. 38As for transgressors, they shall be destroyed together. The future of the wicked shall be cut off. 39But the salvation of the righteous is from Yahweh; He is their stronghold in the time of trouble. 40Yahweh helps them, and rescues them. He rescues them from the wicked, and saves them, because they have taken refuge in Him. 


37:4 He will give you the desires of your heart- This isn’t a blank cheque promise that we will get whatever we ask from God. If we delight in Him, then our greatest desires will be forgiveness from Him, to see His glory extended, and to have a place in His eternal Kingdom. And it is this latter desire which this Psalm speaks of frequently, comforting us in the hope of eternity in God’s Kingdom on earth; a hope which means that we will not be jealous of the wicked who are briefly prospering in this very short life (:1). See on 38:9.
37:21 The righteous give generously- The inspiration for generosity in this life is that we shall eternally inherit the Kingdom on earth (:22). If we really believe that we shall and do even now partake in this ultimate Divine generosity, we will naturally be generous in the few things God has entrusted to us in this life.
37:23 He delights in his way- God delights in our life path, even though that path includes stumbling (:24).
37:25,26 Just as Israel were provided with basic bread, water and clothing for their wilderness journey towards the promised land, so God has promised to provide us with such basic necessities. We can take colossal comfort from this, although it so easily becomes obscured by our materialistic society bent as it is on acquisition. The fact that most of us are no longer agriculturally self-sufficient likewise tempts us to doubt this promise. Having this assurance, we can ‘afford’ to be generous (:26), not just rising to it occasionally, but as a characteristic of our lives, the very spirit by which we live (“all day long”). 
37:29 This is a clear proof text that the hope of the righteous is eternal life on earth, not in Heaven. The allusion is clearly to the promises to Abraham of eternal inheritance of the land, and these promises are the basis of the Christian Gospel to which we stand related by baptism into Christ (Gal. 3:8, 27-29).