Summary: Don’t worry about the wicked...
May 22, 2011
It’s easy to get discouraged especially when it seems as though the wicked prosper over the righteous. Why should we continue on in our faith if wickedness seems to pay off?
Apparently David was asked a similar question and we find his answer here in the 37rd Psalm. We begin with:
ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE RIGHTEOUS:
#1- Do not envy the wicked because they will be cut down and withered
Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 2For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
Don’t worry yourself over them, and don’t be envious of them. They may seem to be prosperous, but they’re more like grass that’s easily mowed down. They’re not like oak trees—they’re more like plants (green herbs).
#2- Trust completely in the Lord for sustenance and prosperity
3Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
We trust in the Lord, and, therefore, we do good. He causes us to dwell in the land. The wicked are compared to grass mowed down, but we’re called residents and we are fed. We have all we need from His hand both spiritually and physically.
4Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
We delight ourselves in the Lord. The wicked delight in themselves and their comforts, but we look to Him. He alone is our joy and happiness. He alone is our contentment and prosperity, our comfort. In doing this we find fulfillment for every desire of our hearts because He alone will never fail us or fall short.
5Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 6And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
We prepare the horse for battle, but we know victory belongs to Him (Prov. 21:31). We plan to go here or there, but we know it’s only according to His will (Jas. 4:13).
We commit our way to Him, and we know He will bring it to pass. He gets all the glory for all our successes and all the praise in our “failures.”
And He makes our righteousness in Christ shine like the noonday sun! What a contrast between the righteous and wicked—they are mowed down and withered, but we shine brightly.
7Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
The world goes on in its strivings, but all things are complete for us in Christ. We rest, and we wait patiently. We don’t worry about the wicked.
8Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
It’s tempting to be angry or wrathful towards the wicked, but David warns against it. We, the righteous, do not participate in their evil. We overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21).
We are different from them:
THE END OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND OF THE WICKED COMPARED:
#1- The wicked are cut off forever, but the righteous will inherit the earth
9For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
Connect verses 8 and 9: “Do not do evil, for evildoers shall be cut off.”
It’s not possible that we’ll never do evil again so long as we’re in the flesh, but we have been justified and sealed with the Holy Spirit. We are righteous because we have received righteousness from God.
The wicked have no righteousness, and the distinction between us is shown by our works. They practice evil and walk in darkness while we practice good and walk in light.
They are cut off, but we inherit the earth.
#2- The wicked will be defeated, but the righteous will inherit the earth
10For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. 11But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
The wicked strives to make his place and to secure his inheritance, but in the end he won’t even be found. There will be no remembrance of him, but the meek will inherit everything. Truly, “the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just” (Prov.13:22).
#3- The power and abundance of the wicked is lost and forgotten, but the Lord upholds the righteous
12The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. 13The LORD shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming. 14The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation. 15Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken. 16A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. 17For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.