February 11 2023
Today, Saturday February 11
“Trust in the LORD”
“Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. 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.”
Psalm 37 deals with the age old question, “Why do the wicked prosper while the righteous suffer?” Put another way, people often ask, “Why do bad things happen to good people, while evil people seem to prosper and get by with their sin?” And even so, often it does seem like the ungodly people who have no thought of God in their minds are enjoying life and its pleasures, while people who are living for the LORD are in miserable pain and dealing with discouraging problems all the time. Well Psalm 37, along with many other Psalms, gives us God’s perspective on this question and His instructions to handle this issue.
David begins to answer this question by giving one negative instruction, "Don't fret" (v. 1). And he gives it several times (vv. 7, 8). Then he follows up with four positive instructions: “Trust in the LORD and do good” (v. 3), “delight in the LORD” (v. 4), “commit your way to the LORD” (vv. 5-6), and “rest in the Lord” (v. 7).
First, we are told to “fret not” (vv. 1-2). The word translated "fret" means "to burn, to get heated up." David's message was, "Cool down and keep cool!" When we see evil in the world, we ought to feel a holy anger at sin (Eph. 4:26), but to envy the wicked only leads to fretting, and fretting leads to anger (v. 8). Oh my friend, it is so easy to start wanting and envying what the world has. The flesh wants it, and the devil is tempting us and encouraging us to go for it. Why not? “Everybody else has it and is doing it”!
David’s argument is that the wicked are temporary and will one day be gone (see vv. 9, 22, 28, 34, 38). They are like grass that either fades away or is cut down and burned. In the east, vegetation is abundant during and immediately after the rainy seasons, but it quickly vanishes when the moisture is gone. James mentions this same thing in James 1:10-11, where he reminds us that one day the rich will be humbled, “because as a flower of the field he will pass away. For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits.” So many other passages teach us the same thing: (Psalms 90:5-6; 102:11; 103:15-16; Isa. 40:6-8; 1 Peter 1:24.)
It is interesting that David only gives us basically one negative thing not to do, but then he gives us four positive things we should be doing. I have said for years, “that if you are doing what you should be doing, you can’t be doing what you shouldn’t be doing. If you are where you should be, you can’t be where you shouldn’t be!”
The first positive thing we should do is “trust in the Lord” (v. 3). This is an important first! Because if we are trusting in the LORD we can also do the next three positive things. We can then “delight, commit, and rest in the LORD” with no problem! A fretful heart is not a trusting heart, because it lacks joy and peace (Rom. 15:13). Faith and good works go together, so we should also do good as we wait on the Lord (34:14; Luke 6:35; Gal. 6:10). If we are trusting we won’t be fretting!
Remember Paul’s admonition in Romans 12:21: “Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good”. We can accomplish this when we “feed on His faithfulness”. The LORD is faithful to save us, to protect us, to provide for us and to guide us! When we are tempted to fret, worry or envy what the sinner has we should remind ourselves of the “faithfulness of the LORD” with verses like Lamentations 3:21-26, “This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Through the LORD'S mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him!" The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the LORD.”
Today, may the Lord help us to “Trust in Him and feed on His faithfulness”!