February 19 2023
Today, Sunday February 19
“Those Blessed By Him…”
“The wicked borrows and does not repay, But the righteous shows mercy and gives. For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth, But those cursed by Him shall be cut off.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand. I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lends; And his descendants are blessed. Depart from evil, and do good; And dwell forevermore.
For the LORD loves justice, And does not forsake His saints; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, And dwell in it forever. The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, And his tongue talks of justice. The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide.”
If there were ever a time that we need to hear the truth, know the truth, believe the truth, speak the truth and live the truth it is today! We are told in Scripture that one of the characteristics of the last days would be the hypocritical liars. “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:1-2). We definitely are experiencing this in our news media and political world today! It doesn’t even bother them when they outright lie about things because they have a “seared conscience”.
Paul was speaking of the “last days” when the anti-Christ will be revealed in 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12, “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
The sad thing today is the numbers of people that “believe the lies” of the liars! But just because the world around us is hell-bent on enjoying their pleasure in unrighteousness, it is no excuse for us to throw up our hands in despair and give up. That is why the verses before us in Psalm 37:21-31 are so important and encouraging for us today!
In Psalm 37, written my David in his old age (v. 25), we are told to remember that even though the wicked seem to prosper and get by with their evil and deceitful deeds, they will soon come to a terrible end. God’s justice will always win in the end and the righteous will be rewarded for trusting and being faithful. In the first section of verses (vv. 1-11), we are encouraged to put our “trust in the LORD and do good” (v. 3), because the LORD can be trusted!!!!! In the second section of verses (vv. 12-20), we are reminded that “the LORD knows our days” (v. 18), and understands our situation!
Now in this third section of verses (vv. 21-31), we learn that the LORD blesses and delights in His people when they in obedience live out the truth that is in their hearts. The LORD blesses the righteous, first of all, with provision of their daily needs (vv. 21-22). The wicked may succeed for a time, but eventually they have to borrow in order to survive, while the godly have what they need and can lend to others (Deut. 15:6; 28:12, 44).
This isn't a promise for every believer at all times in all places, for many believers have died in poverty and hunger. Like the statements in the book of Proverbs, it's a generalization that proves true in so many cases that we can safely apply it to life. But even if we died in a prison with starvation after being tortured by the wicked, we can still be assured that our end is still better than theirs!
Our task is to be faithful to the end, to do good, to show mercy, and to still love and talk of justice. We can only stand strong in the evil time because “the law of our God is in our hearts, and none of our steps shall slide” (v. 31). Not only are we always blessed with His presence, our “descendants are blessed” also (v. 26). And we will “dwell forevermore” (v. 27).