Today [Psalm Thirty-Seven]. The Over-arching Favor of God. In this psalm David is consoling a young crippled man who had been taken advantage of. Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s only surviving son. He was crippled and dependent for all of his needs. In the midst of his suffering a trusted person in his life lied about him and took unfair advantage. His fortunes were lost. His life was in jeopardy. David steps in to the situation to encourage this young man and assure him that this situation didn’t take God by surprise and that things were going to work out.
[Psa 37:1-40 KJV] 1 [[[A Psalm] of David.]] Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. 3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; [so] shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring [it] to pass. 6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. 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. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. 9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. 10 For yet a little while, and the wicked [shall] not [be]: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it [shall] not [be]. 11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. 12 The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. 13 The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
This psalm was written (scholars believe) as a personal exhortation to Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth you may remember was the sole remaining member of Saul’s family and was the son of David’s dear friend Jonathan. David had searched out any surviving heirs of Saul’s house and upon discovering Mephibosheth – brought him in his crippled condition to his own house. Normally kings would seek out and kill members of a deposed rule but in this case Mephibosheth was carried daily to the king’s table and loved as one of David’s own son.
At the time of the events this psalm refers to, Mephibosheth and been defrauded by a servant in his house by the name of Ziba. Through subterfuge and misrepresentation Ziba stole Mephibosheth’s fortune and taken very unfair advantage of this crippled young man. David writes this psalm to comfort the young man and to encourage him to know and trust that God is in control of everything going on in his life.
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. 15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken. 16 A little that a righteous man hath [is] better than the riches of many wicked. 17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous. 18 The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. 19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. 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. 21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth. 22 For [such as be] blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and [they that be] cursed of him shall be cut off. 23 The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth [him with] his hand. 25 I have been young, and [now] am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. 26 [He is] ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed [is] blessed.
It is a great temptation to look at those who defy God and blaspheme his name and get stressed out and discouraged. David looks down through the centuries and counsels us not to be downcast or frustrated at the perpetrators of injustice around us and in society. When David says in verse 1 “fret not” the word there means in the Hebrew to “wax hot”. Injustices abound. Sometimes we face personal crisis in our own lives because of ungodly people. This was the case in Mephibosheth’s life. David encourages him to keep his emotions in check and realize that the end of the story will be in the hands of God and not man.
Instead of fretting and being in anxiety over the godless and profane persons around us David counsels us rather to delight ourselves in the Lord. Mephibosheth feels his dreams have been destroyed but David reminds him that when he delights in the Lord that God will give him the desires of his heart. Part of understanding this verse and statement is realizing that God not only gives you the object of your desires but also gives you the desires themselves. What am I saying? God causes your heart to crave and desire what He fully intends to give you and see manifest in your life. In other words beloved, the ache in your heart is the prophecy over your life. God does not tease. God does not taunt. He doesn’t promise abundant life and then leave us groveling as paupers. He will cause us to long for what He fully intends to see released into our life and then He will see to it that exactly that is what comes to pass – if we cooperate with the plan!
Verse 8 tells us to be patient and not get angry. Do not let anger and doubt derail what God is doing. As God told my wife, Kitty “give Me some cooperation – I’ll give you some change!” What about the evil doers? Leave them to God. Their works will precede them. They will ultimately be extinguished from your life. As God promised Abraham – He will curse those that curse you. This is not some medieval concept. What the original language suggests is that God will execrate from your life those that dare to even trifle with you – so take heart! Don’t be distracted. Keep your focus on the goodness of God and not the schemes of evil doers.
27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore. 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. 29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever. 30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. 31 The law of his God [is] in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. 32 The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him. 33 The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged. 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]. 35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. 36 Yet he passed away, and, lo, he [was] not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found. 37 Mark the perfect [man], and behold the upright: for the end of [that] man [is] peace. 38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. 39 But the salvation of the righteous [is] of the LORD: [he is] their strength in the time of trouble. 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.
In verses 14-15 David declares to Mephibosheth that the snare others had set for him would be their own undoing. When you realize that others are working at contrary purposes to you – realize this: They are crafting in their devices their own down turn. They may think they have plans to take from you or set you at a disadvantage but for all the energy they are expending the end result is their own undoing. Trust in God. Know that He is working in your behalf. Mephibosheth was a cripple. There was very little he could do to defend himself. The assault against him was by someone who he depended on as trusted insider in his life. God moved nonetheless and by the times things were settled down Mephibosheth was intact and Ziba was punished. Restoration took place because God was faithful as always.
In verse 23 David says that the steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord. In other words you are not at the mercy of random circumstance. When you put your trust in God – He will insinuate Himself into every moment of every day to make manifest His purpose in blessing you and directing you. He will see to it that you are in the right place and the right time with the right people. He will give you favor with those you need to have favor with. He will see to it that even your mistakes cause you to prosper. Nothing can separate you from His favor. When God is for you it is complete futility for anyone to be against you!
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