Summary: David gives us 12 positive commands to address the universal problem of why evil people prosper.
Larry Brincefield, firstname.lastname@example.org
November 13, 2002
Title: Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Text: Psalm 37:1-11, 25
One of the great struggles for Christians down through history is, "why do bad people prosper, and Christians seem to struggle?"
That question has weighed heavily on people’s hearts and minds
from the earliest days of Scripture.
In Job chapter 21, Job asked...
Why do the wicked live on?
and increasing in power?
Their homes are safe and free from fear.
They spend their years in prosperity,
and go down to the grave in peace.
Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him?
What would we gain by praying to him?
You can sense the pain and troubled mind of someone who has
lost his livelihood,
lost his wealth,
lost his health,
and even lost his children.
And even today, those questions continue
God, I’ve tried to live a Christian life,
I’ve been faithful to you and to the church,
and yet when I prayed that You would heal my daughter,
You were silent...
Where are you God?
Why do people that
don’t even profess Christ,
they don’t even pray for your intervention,
Why does their child live?
God, why did my _________ (husband, wife, etc) have to die?
Don’t you care?
God, why did you allow terrorists to kill so many people in our country?
why does terrorism and hatred spread?
what have we done to deserve all this?
And if you are honest with yourself,
you will probably admit to feeling like this at some point during your Christian journey.
Psalm 37 is a powerful poem written by David as he is getting older.
David has experienced much in his life...
he has seen lots of things...
and we will benefit by listening to the wisdom of someone who has been through so many things...
David has been hunted down like an animal,
he has seen members of his own family killed,
he has struggled with dysfunctional relationships within his own family.
This Psalm deals with the universal question of:
why does it seem that evil people prosper,
and good people tend to struggle.
And David has been there
he knows how you feel.
And in this Psalm, he offers,
not even 10
but 12 positive commands
that will encourage us
and help us with this universal problem.
I wish I could take the time to deal with each one of the 12 individually,
there is so much richness in these 12 verses...
but we will go through them all...
and as we do,
I trust that you will begin to get a picture of God’s faithfulness to the Christian.
Do Not Fret
First of all, David says, "Do not Fret". Other versions say:
Don’t be upset,
In fact, David wants to make extra sure that we get the message,
he repeats the command 2 more times,
once in verse 7
and once in verse 8.
David understands that this is a problem for God’s people...
he’s been there,
in the past, he has worried about things,
but now that he is older,
he sees the futility of worrying about it.
Jesus Himself said, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life" Matt 6:27 (NIV)
Do Not Be Envious
David’s next encouraging command is "Don’t be envious"
"Don’t be jealous of the properity of evil people.
Don’t be jealous if they seem to financially prosper
and you seem to struggle paycheck to paycheck.
David then explains why in verse 2,
the evil people are like grass,
grass may look lush and green for a season,
but eventually it turns brown,
Hebrews 11:25 says that Moses "chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time"
It may not seem like it now, but at some point,
the evil will receive their just desserts,
and the righteous will receive their just reward.
And it may not happen until the Judgment, but it will happen.
Trust in the Lord
Then David says, "Trust in the Lord"
In fact, that could be the theme of this entire section.
Do you see the evil prospering? TRUST IN THE LORD!
Do you see the righteous suffering? TRUST IN THE LORD!
"Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey"
The next command is to "do good"
The funny thing about helping others...
it tends to lift US up.
Dwell in the Land
Then David says "Dwell in the land"
In other words, Christian, stay where you are.
Don’t go looking for satisfaction elsewhere.
Be satisfied with the realization that God is in control.