God’s Word of Wisdom
Psalm 37: This psalm addresses the age-old question of why bad things happen to good people while evil people prosper. The psalmist indicates that he is old (verse 25), and it appears he has probably witnessed much in his lifetime. Despite the prevalence of evil, the psalmist exhorts his readers/listeners to trust in the Lord.
The Destiny of the Wicked and of the Good
1Don’t be worried on account of the wicked;
don’t be jealous of those who do wrong.
2They will soon disappear like grass that dries up;
they will die like plants that wither.
3Trust in the Lord and do good;
live in the land and be safe.
4Seek your happiness in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desire.
5Give yourself to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will help you;
6he will make your righteousness shine like the noonday sun.
7Be patient and wait for the Lord to act;
don’t be worried about those who prosper
or those who succeed in their evil plans.
8Don’t give in to worry or anger;
it only leads to trouble.
9Those who trust in the Lord will possess the land,
but the wicked will be driven out.
10Soon the wicked will disappear;
you may look for them, but you won’t find them;
11 but the humble will possess the land
and enjoy prosperity and peace.
12The wicked plot against good people
and glare at them with hate.
13But the Lord laughs at wicked people,
because he knows they will soon be destroyed.
14The wicked draw their swords and bend their bows
to kill the poor and needy,
to slaughter those who do what is right;
15but they will be killed by their own swords,
and their bows will be smashed.
16The little that a good person owns
is worth more than the wealth of all the wicked,
17because the Lord will take away the strength of the wicked,
but protect those who are good.
18The Lord takes care of those who obey him,
and the land will be theirs forever.
19They will not suffer when times are bad;
they will have enough in time of famine.
20But the wicked will die;
the enemies of the Lord will vanish like wild flowers;
they will disappear like smoke.
21The wicked borrow and never pay back,
but good people are generous with their gifts.
22Those who are blessed by the Lord will possess the land,
but those who are cursed by him will be driven out.
23The Lord guides us in the way we should go
and protects those who please him.
24If they fall, they will not stay down,
because the Lord will help them up.
25I am old now; I have lived a long time,
but I have never seen good people abandoned by the Lord
or their children begging for food.
26At all times they give freely and lend to others,
and their children are a blessing.
27Turn away from evil and do good,
and your descendants will always live in the land;
28for the Lord loves what is right
and does not abandon his faithful people.
He protects them forever,
but the descendants of the wicked will be driven out.
29The righteous will possess the land
and live in it forever.
30The words of good people are wise,
and they are always fair.
31They keep the law of their God in their hearts
and never depart from it.
32Wicked people watch good people
and try to kill them;
33but the Lord will not abandon them to their enemy’s power
or let them be condemned when they are on trial.
34Put your hope in the Lord and obey his commands;
he will honor you by giving you the land,
and you will see the wicked driven out.
35I once knew someone wicked who was a tyrant;
he towered over everyone like a cedar of Lebanon;
36but later I passed by, and he wasn’t there;
I looked for him, but couldn’t find him.
37Notice good people, observe the righteous;
peaceful people have descendants,
38but sinners are completely destroyed,
and their descendants are wiped out.
39The Lord saves the righteous
and protects them in times of trouble.
40He helps them and rescues them;
he saves them from the wicked,
because they go to him for protection.
Today’s Key Verse: Psalm 37:23
The LORD guides us in the way we should go and protects those who please him.
The psalmist begins in an imperative tone, instructing his readers/listeners not to be worried on account of the wicked and not to be jealous of those who do wrong (verse 1). After you have read this entire psalm, can you agree with that statement? Why or why not? Given the situation in our world today, do you find this psalm comforting or encouraging? Why or why not?
God of mercy and love, sometimes my faith is shaken when I witness evil in the world today and question why such acts happen. But I know, God, that you are always in control and that you see everything. You promise never to abandon those who put their faith and trust in you. Teach me to be patient and to wait upon you, trusting in your steadfast love. Amen.
Proverbs 1:1-33: The value of proverbs is described.