Summary: We are not to get over worried. Leave the worrying to God. Commit your way to God. Roll everything onto Him. Do your duties and enjoy His blessings. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
(1). The Lord Can Be Trusted (vs 1-11).
(2). The Lord Understands Your Situation (vs 12-20).
(3). The Lord Blesses His People (vs 21-31).
(4). The Lord Judges The Wicked (vs 32-40)
• I would guess that we are all familiar with the Dutch Christian Corrie ten Boom;
• Who, along with her father and other family members,
• Helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II;
• As a result she was imprisoned for it.
• Her most famous book, The Hiding Place, describes the ordeal.
• Corrie ten Boom had a number of well-known sayings;
• “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
• “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
• “If you look at the world, you'll be distressed.
• If you look within, you'll be depressed. If you look at God you'll be at rest.”
• One of my favourites is: “Don't bother to give God instructions; just report for duty.”
• Corrie own favourite saying was; ‘Don’t wrestle just nestle!’
• When we are close to God, nestling in his love,
• We don’t have to wrestle with unresolvable issues.
• We can simply trust a loving God to do the right thing
• The theme of this psalm is ‘Don’t wrestle just nestle!’
• David the psalmist tells his readers again and again;
• Not to ‘fret’ or be ‘envious’ of those who choose to do wrong.
Note: Two things by way of introduction:
• FIRST: Psalm 37 is a wisdom Psalm, a teaching Psalm.
• It is hard to outline because it appears to be a string of short, unconnected sentences,
• It reads a bit like sections of the book of Proverbs.
• That may be because in the Hebrew language this psalm is an acrostic,
• Each of the Hebrew stanzas (roughly every two verses in the English translation).
• Starts with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
• SECOND: If your Bible has titles above the psalms;
• You will note that David is identified as the author
• Verse 25 tells us that he wrote this psalm late in life,
• He writes: “Now I am old”.
• So the psalm is written in his old age after a lifetime of reflection,
• And as David ponders and deliberates he writes down for us how God;
• Deals with both the righteous and the wicked.
(1). The Lord Can Be Trusted (vs 1-11).
“Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 he will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the LORD
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret – it leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.
10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy peace and prosperity”.
• In this section David gave one negative instruction; “Don’t fret”.
• In fact he says that three times in verses 1, 7 & 8.
• The word ‘fret’ means to ‘burn up, to get heated up’;
• David’s message was, ‘Be cool and stay cool’ – don’t become anxious!
• So David gave one negative instruction; “Don’t fret”.
• But notice he gives four positive instructions:
• Verse 3: “Trust in the Lord”
• Verse 4: “Delight in the Lord”
• Verse 5-6: “Commit yourself to the Lord”
• Verse 7: “Rest in the Lord”.
• Early in his missionary explorations,
• David Livingstone was prevented by a local chieftain from crossing through his territory.
• After several days of futile bantering back and forth.
• Livingstone whipped out his revolver and demanded to go through.
• It was a move that Livingstone always regretted,
• For it was not in keeping with Psalm 37, which was his favourite Psalm.
David Livingstone often quoted Psalm 37 verse 5;
• e.g. When he gave a friend a Bible, he inscribed it with Psalm 37 verse 5;