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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Psalm Chapter 37

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: David, Asaph, Solomon, Heman, Ethan, Moses, and the Sons of Korah
Date Penned: (1440-586 BC)
Overview: Poetry for the Expression of Praise and Worship to God (c 1-150)
Theme: The First Book of Psalms (c 1-41)
Message: God's Faithfulness Contrasted with Sinful Hearts (v 1-12)

Psalms 37 Commentary

(37:1) A Long-Term Benefit - We should never envy evil people, even though some may be extremely popular or excessively rich. No matter how much they have, they will fade and vanish like grass that withers and dies. Those who follow God live differently from the wicked and, in the end, will have far greater treasures for eternity. What the unbeliever gets on earth may last a lifetime-if he or she is lucky. The benefits of following God will last forever. 

(37:4-5) Delight in the Lord - David calls us to take delight in the Lord and to commit everything we have and do to him. But how do we do this? To delight in someone means to experience great pleasure and joy in his or her presence. This happens only when we know that person well and when we have been a faithful friend. Thus, to delight in the Lord, we must get to know him better and be faithful in our relationship with him. The certainty of God's great love for us will then indeed give us delight. To commit ourselves to the Lord means to entrust everything--our lives, families, jobs, possessions- to his control and guidance. To commit ourselves to the Lord means to trust in him (37:5), believing that he can care for us better than we can ourselves. We should wait patiently (377) for him to work out what is best for us.

 (37:8-9) Anger Reveals a Lack of Faith - Anger is a destructive emotion. At its core, it reveals a lack of faith that God loves us and is in control. We should not allow our anger to distract us; instead, we should trust in God, giving ourselves to him for his use and safekeeping. When you dwell on your problems, you will become anxious and angry. But if you concentrate on God and his goodness, you will find peace. Where do you focus your attention? 

(37:11) Meekness -Meekness hardly seems the proper demeanor for dealing with strong enemies. God's warfare, however, must be carried out with calm faith, humility before God, and hope in his deliverance. Jesus also promises a sure reward for those with a humble attitude (Matthew 5:5). 

(37:21) Money and Character - You can tell a lot about a person's character by the way he or she handles money. The wicked person steals under the guise of borrowing. The righteous person gives generously to those in need. Unscrupulous people focus on themselves, while righteous people look out for the welfare of others. 

(37:23-24) God Delights in Those Who Trust Him - The person in whom God delights is one who follows God, trusts him, and tries to do his will. God watches over and makes firm every step that person takes. If you would like to have God direct your way, then seek his advice before you step out. 

(37:25) Responding to Those in Need - Because children starve today, as they did in David's time, what did David mean by these words? The children of the righteous need not go hungry because other believers can help them in their time of need. In David's day, the Israelites obeyed God's laws that ensured the poor were treated fairly and mercifully. As long as they were obedient, food would be available for everyone. When the Israelites forgot God, the rich took care only of themselves, and the poor suffered (Amos 2:6-7). When we see a Christian brother or sister suffering today, we can respond in one of several ways: (1) We can say, as Job's friends did, that those who suffer brought it on themselves. (2) We can say that this is a test to help the poor develop more patience and trust in God. (3) We can help those who are in need. David would approve of only the last option. Although many governments have programs for helping the poor, their efforts are not nearly enough. This is no excuse for us to ignore those within our reach who are in need.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

God's Timetable

Each day, we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we continue in the Book of Psalms with Chapter 37. In our text today, we see a theme of how we need to trust the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act. We know we are on the Lord's timetable instead of our own. It seems to us that the wicked prosper, but all will come to meet their maker. In making an application, we see that we need to trust the Lord in all we do. Don't mistake the grace of God that is extended to sinners as lawlessness or liberty in sin. Salvation is available to all sinners, but make no mistake that time of grace will end, and after death comes the judgment. How about you? Have you repented in your time of grace? If saved, do you trust the Lord in a land where the wicked prosper? Let us learn from our Psalm and text today to remember that we are on God's timetable as He extends grace to sinners, so we must trust and serve the Lord even when it seems that the wicked are prospering because we all will face our maker and give an account for our lives.


Psalm 37

Psalm 37

 1Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

 2For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

 3Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

 4Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

 5Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

 6And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

 7Rest 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.

 8Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

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

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

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

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

 13The LORD shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.

 14The 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.

 15Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

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

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

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

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

 20But 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.

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

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

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

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

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

 26He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.

 27Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.

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

 29The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.

 30The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.

 31The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

 32The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.

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

 34Wait 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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