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Matthew Henry's Commentary

Psalm Chapter 37

avid persuades to patience and confidence in God, by the state of the godly and of the wicked.

Verses 1-6: When we look abroad we see the world full of evil-doers, that flourish and live in ease. So it was seen of old, therefore let us not marvel at the matter. We are tempted to fret at this, to think them the only happy people, and so we are prone to do like them: but this we are warned against. Outward prosperity is fading. When we look forward, with an eye of faith, we shall see no reason to envy the wicked. Their weeping and wailing will be everlasting. The life of religion is a believing trust in the Lord, and diligent care to serve him according to his will. It is not trusting God, but tempting him, if we do not make conscience of our duty to him. A man's life consists not in abundance, but, Thou shalt have food convenient for thee. This is more than we deserve, and it is enough for one that is going to heaven. To delight in God is as much a privilege as a duty. He has not promised to gratify the appetites of the body, and the humours of the fancy, but the desires of the renewed, sanctified soul. What is the desire of the heart of a good man? It is this, to know, and love, and serve God. Commit thy way unto the Lord; roll thy way upon the Lord, so the margin reads it. Cast thy burden upon the Lord, the burden of thy care. We must roll it off ourselves, not afflict and perplex ourselves with thoughts about future events, but refer them to God. By prayer spread thy case and all thy cares before the Lord, and trust in him. We must do our duty, and then leave the event with God. The promise is very sweet: He shall bring that to pass, whatever it is, which thou has committed to him.

Verses 7-20: Let us be satisfied that God will make all to work for good to us. Let us not discompose ourselves at what we see in this world. A fretful, discontented spirit is open to many temptations. For, in all respects, the little which is allotted to the righteous, is more comfortable and more profitable than the ill-gotten and abused riches of ungodly men. It comes from a hand of special love. God provides plentifully and well, not only for his working servants, but for his waiting servants. They have that which is better than wealth, peace of mind, peace with God, and then peace in God; that peace which the world cannot give, and which the world cannot have. God knows the believer's days. Not one day's work shall go unrewarded. Their time on earth is reckoned by days, which will soon be numbered; but heavenly happiness shall be for ever. This will be a real support to believers in evil times. Those that rest on the Rock of ages, have no reason to envy the wicked the support of their broken reeds.

Verses 21-33: The Lord our God requires that we do justly, and render to all their due. It is a great sin for those that are able, to deny the payment of just debts; it is a great misery not to be able to pay them. He that is truly merciful, will be ever merciful. We must leave our sins; learn to do well, and cleave to it. This is true religion. The blessing of God is the spring, sweetness, and security of all earthly enjoyments. And if we are sure of this, we are sure not to want any thing good for us in this world. By his grace and Holy Spirit, he directs the thoughts, affections, and designs of good men. By his providence he overrules events, so as to make their way plain. He does not always show them his way for a distance, but leads them step by step, as children are led. God will keep them from being ruined by their falls, either into sin or into trouble, though such as fall into sin will be sorely hurt. Few, if any, have known the consistent believer, or his children, reduced to abject, friendless want. God forsakes not his saints in affliction; and in heaven only the righteous shall dwell for ever; that will be their everlasting habitation. A good man may fall into the hands of a messenger of Satan, and be sorely buffeted, but God will not leave him in his enemy's hands.

Verses 34-40: Duty is ours, and we must mind it; but events are God's, we must refer the disposal of them to him. What a striking picture is in ver. (35,36), of many a prosperous enemy of God! But God remarkably blights the projects of the prosperous wicked, especially persecutors. None are perfect in themselves, but believers are so in Christ Jesus. If all the saint's days continue dark and cloudy, his dying day may prove comfortable, and his sun set bright; or, if it should set under a cloud, yet his future state will be everlasting peace. The salvation of the righteous will be the Lord's doing. He will help them to do their duties, to bear their burdens; help them to bear their troubles well, and get good by them, and, in due time, will deliver them out of their troubles. Let sinners then depart from evil, and do good; repent of and forsake sin, and trust in the mercy of God through Jesus Christ. Let them take his yoke upon them, and learn of him, that they may dwell for evermore in heaven. Let us mark the closing scenes of different characters, and always depend on God's mercy



David 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 Psalm 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 see that we are on the Lord's timetable instead of our own. It seems to us as the wicked prosper but all will come to meet their maker. In making 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 judgement. 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.

 

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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.