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Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40

It is sometimes hard to believe what human beings are capable of doing to other human beings. Sometimes there is no other way to describe the swindlers, scammers, criminals, perpetrators and fabricators other than to say they are pure evil. It is natural to cringe when we think about the wrong-doer out there living it up and prospering. Everything in us cries out, “That’s not fair!” It is comforting to know…time eventually tells and the truth will always rise! King David explains in Psalm 37:1-11; 39-40 that the hay-day for bad guys and girls won’t last forever.

Obviously, David was qualified to give advice on dealing with evil-doers. By the time he wrote this acrostic poem, he was an insightful, older man. He had learned he could not control what other people did, but he could certainly control his response. He shares his wisdom by giving us practical do’s and don’t s.

In verse one, David gives the instruction not to fret and not to envy the wicked. Fretting goes beyond feeling worried. Biblical fretting is described as getting worked up or riled up. And by that I mean the situation consumes our thoughts—it eats us alive, gets under our skin, gets our goat. It keeps us up at night re-living and re-hashing until we have worked ourselves into a slow burn. Envy has a similar root meaning—to burn with jealousy.

In this passage, David repeats himself about not fretting and being envious when we see the wicked prosper and then thankfully he tells us why. David knew it was a waste of time, and that anger would only lead us to doing evil ourselves. The truth is, evil-doers will not last. Their prosperity is short-lived. Soon they fade, wither and will be cut down (vs. 2,9).

Instead of worrying over the temporary success of evil-doers, David tells us to shift our focus to the Lord. “Trust in the Lord and do good” (VS.3a). God is worthy of our confidence. After all, He works with all information and has never lied. He has a perfect, flawless record in faithfulness. The Hebrew word for trust is bāṭaḥ which is different from hoping or believing. It means to rely on with all one’s weight. We are to trust God completely and go about doing the things we know are good.

In verse three David writes, “Dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness” (3b, NKJV). Dwell (shāk̠an) means to encamp; tabernacle; dwell in as a residence the arena in which God has called us. The idea is not to run away, but to stay put and feed on the faithfulness of God. His faithfulness cures insecurity!

In verse 4, David continues with the list of Do’s. “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (VS 4, NASB). Delight means to enjoy as a delicacy! When we center our hearts around fellowship and communion wi