Psalm 37: Do Not Fret

September 18, 2020 at 11:42 AM 5 comments

Since my wife and I have begun memorizing Psalm 37, I’ve decided to write out some thoughts as I work my way through it.

1 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. (NKJV)

First, God is telling us not to worry about people who are evil and whose actions flow from evil. I like the Psalms because of how often the second stanza reiterates the previous stanza with different verbiage. Second, God is saying there is nothing about the evildoer or the worker of iniquity that we should envy. The lives of these people are really shallow, self-centered and honestly could not care about anyone else. What matters to them is what they think they need and want. It’s all about fulfilling their felt needs and if you get in their way, they will chew you up and spit you out.

Verse 2 informs us why we should not fret or be envious about these evildoers. God speaks frankly here, telling us that they will “soon” be cut down like the grass. The word “soon” is relative, but it speaks of God’s timing, not ours. Since He exists outside of time and not hindered by it (but can come in and out of it at will), from His perspective, the end of evil doers is truly soon. For us, maybe not so much, but again, God is speaking from His point of view.

As I started memorizing this Psalm and specifically these first three verses, I pictured myself riding my zero turn mower over my lawn. Sometimes, due to rainy weather, I cannot get to the lawn as often as I’d like. Sometimes, I just have to leave it in spite of the fact that it looks long and unruly and it’s covered with leaves and small branches that constantly fall from the trees near our home. I always like to see the lawn close cut, looking more like a carpet than an overgrown lawn. It gives me satisfaction to see what the lawn looks like after about an hour and a half of mowing. I also use a mulching kit on my zero turn which chops up the grass more finely so that it tends to sink down to the roots rather than stay on the top in clumps.

God is telling us several things in verse 2. He’s saying that we shouldn’t worry about evil doers because their time is in God’s hand. He is the master gardener, who not only “cuts the grass” but allows the green herb to wither (2b). He will deal with it in His time. Do not be concerned.

A green herb refers to a healthy, growing herb, one that is useful for seasoning food. My wife has several potted herb plants on our front porch. Sometimes, as she’s cooking, she’ll go out front with her cooking scissors and cut off a small section of one of the herbs, which she then adds to the dish she’s making.

As long as those herbs are green, they are healthy. Once they start to turn brown and wither, they are dying and are no longer useful to be added to foods. God is saying that He controls that process. The evil doer or worker of iniquity is under God’s control, whether he/she thinks so or not.

It is not hard to look around in society today to see people who are clearly doing evil things. You can name some of them and so could I. These people are discussed on social networks and forums because of the evil things they do. Because of these people, the rest of us tend to become afraid or even indignant. We want something to “happen” to them.

I was on Twitter the other day to see people continuing to ask, “Why isn’t Soros arrested yet?” Truth of the matter is that even if he was arrested (he won’t be), his purposes would continue and that actually holds true when he is visited by death. Even though he will one day stop living, his purposes will be carried on by his son and the foundations he has set up due to his wealth that will be passed down from father to son.

But the Lord is concerned with what will eventually be as far as evil doers and workers of iniquity are concerned. There will come a day when the evil doer will no longer exist. Yes, that day is in the future at some point and we’re not simply talking about certain evil people who will die. God is telling us that at some point in the future, the time of it being known only to Him, all evil doers and workers of iniquity will no longer be found anywhere on earth.

If that is the case, why should that help transform our character and mind into the mind of Christ now? It should because embracing this truth helps the recreation of God’s mind and character within us. We start to pull back and see the larger picture. It helps us to know that God is in control and that He will act according to His will and timing. That’s a very sure thing.

Knowing this should also help us to stop relying on other human beings to get things done. While it’s always nice when people can do something to stop evil, it’s never a sure bet. It’s never a guarantee that people will be able to stop evil permanently. That’s never been the case throughout human history and it won’t be the case until God Himself deals with it.

Understanding and believing this helps us know that in spite of what people in positions of authority might accomplish, evil doers will remain with us until God puts a permanent end to it. It also should help us understand and know that since evil will be with us until God finally stops it, the only thing that we can offer in response is the Gospel. People need it, even though most think they don’t. They need God. They need His saving Gospel truth.

The third verse of Psalm 37 helps us get our minds off of the abject evil that guides this planet. Yes, God is Supreme Ruler. He is the only God. All others, including Satan are fakers. They have nothing except death and hell to offer. They are allowed to do what they do because their actions ultimately work to glorify God. Eventually, the entire world will see what evil can actually manufacture (during the coming Tribulation), and it won’t be pretty in any sense. But it will fully be out in the open and it will be destroyed out in the open when Jesus jumps on that white stallion and returns to vanquish Antichrist and False Prophet to the Lake of Fire.

We are commanded to “trust in the Lord, and do good.” That’s difficult isn’t it? It’s made more difficult if we focus on all the evil in the world and start feeling overcome by it. God says to get our minds off of evil doers and workers of iniquity. That’s God’s department to deal with and He will deal with it far better than we can. What should we do instead? Trust Him and continue doing good. What are “good” things we should be doing? They are spelled out for us throughout Scriptures but in general, we are to love justice and love all people. By loving them, it means first and foremost, sharing the Gospel with them. James sums this up for us in James 1:27.

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. (NKJV)

Doing our best to meet the needs of those who are truly in need. Ultimately, it is to be and remain separate from this fallen world so that we do not become “spotted” with the stain of this world. I think too many Christians get caught up in the cares of this world and end up compromising their faith because of it.

If we consistently do our best to live righteously, we are proving to God we love Him and want only His will in our lives. The second stanza of verse 3 is another way of saying the first stanza, “Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.”

To dwell in the land means to live righteously. Had the Israelites lived in such a way, they never would’ve been removed from the land in judgment by God, using numerous nations to be His arm of judgment against Israel. Living correctly before God leads to righteous living. Since we are already labeled righteous due to our faith in Christ and having received salvation, it should naturally flow from us to live in a way that complements that label. Being righteous before God (because of Jesus), should mean living righteously in what we do and say.

As we continue with this Psalm, more truth is revealed. I’m looking forward to memorizing the entire Psalm and repeating it to myself while thinking about what it means. I firmly believe that as we hide His Word in our hearts, the Holy Spirit will be enabled to use it to cause the kind of growth that He wants and expects from us.

If we are not reading His Word, the only thing you have is your faith in Christ. While that of course is exactly what saves us, it is important to understand that without a steady diet of His Word, very little to no growth can actually happen in the life of the Christian. In fact, without solid grounding in His Word, we will be like ships tossed on the waves (Ephesians 4:14). Paul tells us this is the difference between being an “infant” or a “mature” person in Christ.

Give some consideration to memorizing chunks of God’s Word if you’re not already doing that. Choose a Psalm or another portion of God’s Word and choose a large enough section so that you’re not simply taking a verse or two out of context.

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, eternity, Global Elite, Healthy Living, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation. Tags: .

False Teachers and Prophets, Part 3 News and Notes Update: September 24, 2020

5 Comments

  • […] Last time, we introduced this short series by highlighting the first three verses of Psalm 37. You can read that article by clicking this link: Psalm 37: Do Not Fret […]

  • 2. Jen b  |  September 25, 2020 at 10:17 AM

    I love this Psalm so much and have also been spending much time here lately. We have been studying through the minor prophets recently and I couldn’t help but note Habakkuk paints such a picture…here he is noting the sin in Israel and asking God why He isn’t judging it. Then he gets a glimpse of the judgment God has planned for Israel by nations more pagan and sinful than they were and he asks for mercy. Oh God, in your wrath remember mercy.
    Looking around our country and the unspeakable acts being perpetuated and the perversity of those in authority, the verse: “And we are of God and we know the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” has never seemed more real and true than right now.

    Thank you for this exhortation through Psalm 37. Even the teacher/pastor needs encouragement sometimes, I thought you might find this sermon by J Vernon McGee relevant in case you have time to listen…old by true:

    https://www.oneplace.com/ministries/thru-the-bible-sunday-sermon/listen/mans-questiongods-answer-842539.html

    • 3. modres  |  September 25, 2020 at 11:46 AM

      Couldn’t agree more👍🏼 Thx for the link to McGee. My wife and I enjoy his commentaries.

  • 4. Maranatha Today  |  September 18, 2020 at 12:05 PM

    Thanks so much for this article…your expansion on this scripture is needed and appreciated.

    • 5. modres  |  September 18, 2020 at 1:41 PM

      Thank you. It’s certainly helping me.


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