Psalm 37: Learning To Rest In God

Psalm 37: Learning To Rest In God September 15, 2017

When everything around them seems to be falling apart, what can a believer do?

Strength in Storms

The trees we have in Kansas are typically bent to the North because during the summer, the strong southwesterly winds are persistently pressing them that way. After time, even the largest of trees begin to grow towards the North, but this wind doesn’t harm them, and in fact, it helps them. When they’re growing, the stiff and consistent wind continually strengthens the parts of the tree that are more vulnerable, and by doing so, the tree grows proportionally stronger in those areas. The wind has caused the tree to grow stronger, so during the severest windstorms, it’s less likely to lose large branches…but the winds also manage to strengthen the root system. The dry and windy summers of Kansas cause the tree’s root system to grow rapidly, and as it grows rapidly, it sends down giant taproots, sometimes 10 to 20 feet deep or more, and these act as anchors for the tree during drought and wind. The tree ends up with a root system that’s elaborate enough to hold the entire tree firm, even in the fiercest of winds. I believe there’s a lesson for us in that. You know what they say; what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Meanwhile, in a biosphere, the trees were dying, even though they had plenty of sunshine and abundant moisture. The problem? There was no wind at all. This meant, the trees didn’t have to put up any resistance at all, and over time, that made them more vulnerable to disease, and as they weakened over time, they began to die. In fact, the trees and the savannah suffered from a lack of developing “stress wood,” something that’s naturally created in response to winds. It was only when they discovered the trees and savannah needed the wind so they could build up resistance. Why? It’s because they’d never built up any resistance at all to outside environmental forces. Another lesson; the strong winds that hit us, benefit us, and there is strength of faith that’s developed after being delivered from the storm, but the greatest growth is while we’re in the storm…just like the trees!

Cat Lion

Don’t Worry

In this psalm from David, he writes, “Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb” (Psalm 37:1-2), and what I believe David is saying is, when you look at all the evil in the world and all those who do evil, don’t envy them, because they’re not getting away with anything. The day is coming (Rom 12:17-19; Rev 20:12-15) when God will judge them, so it’s not our job. That is God’s prerogative. Rather than fret, or worry, here’s what we are to do: Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:3-4). Those desires might not come immediately, which is why he writes, “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act” (Psalm 37:5), and “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:7a). If we can walk in this world with an eye to the kingdom, knowing full well that God’s got this, we can wait, trust, and rest in him, and that means, “no fretting!”

Established Steps

The psalmist writes, in what to me is wisdom literature, “The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand” (Psalm 37:23-24). If you delight in something, that means you have a strong feeling of joy or happiness, and there is great pleasure and satisfaction in it. Whatever you can think of that you delight in, whether it be an ice cream sundae, a new car, a birth of a child (big one), that is delight, so delighting in God is good since it can establish your steps. If you are that delighted in God, as you would be with your child or spouse, you’d spend lots of time and show them lots of attention. The person that finds great delight in God might fall, but they won’t end up on their face permanently (cast headlong). That’s because “the Lord upholds his hand” for those who delight in Him. And for those who’ve trusted in Christ, they find their greatest delight in Him because of what He’s done.

Not Forsaken

David must have felt a sense of abandonment at times because he was often running for his life, trying to escape King Saul, so when David wrote, “I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread” (Psalm 37:25). David wrote from experience, and he knew what it felt like to be forsaken…by Saul, and by his own sons, so when David says, he’s never “seen the righteous forsaken,” the Hebrew word for forsaken is, “`azab” and means, “to depart from, leave behind, leave, let alone, abandon,” or “neglect.” David says he’s never seen God do that, and neither have I, so we can rest in the fact that “the LORD loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever” (Psalm 37:28). Not only does the Lord preserve them (and you if you’ve trusted in Christ), “The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him” (Psalm 37:40).

Conclusion

There is so much in this psalm that it could fill volumes and volumes of books, but if we reduce it, it would be these things: If you delight yourself in the LORD, he will give you the desires of your heart, but you must commit your ways to Him; you must trust in Him at all times; you must wait on His timing; and you must refrain from anger because the anger of man rarely does good. I think the key words in this psalm are the most important ones: We must trust, wait, rest, delight, and commit, and this will give us patience, peace, stability, and the knowledge that the Lord will deliver His own and bring swift judgment upon those who refuse to repent and trust in Christ. Vengeance is God’s, and not ours.

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas.  Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Tanya Dixon

    This post was so well-written, and deeply engaging! I will be re-reading this encouraging and comforting post again and again. Thank you for posting it.♡♡♡☆☆☆☆☆

    • Jack Wellman

      Thank you so kindly. If there is any redeeming value in this article, it is from God Himself, becasue it is based upon His Word, not mine, so all glory to Him and to Him alone (Psalm 115:1; 1 Cor 4:7),

      • pud

        Yeah, “he” didn’t want you to be a plumber. All part of the creator of the universes plan…LOL

  • pud

    The Earth is about to be destroyed: stunning claim
    Morning Ticker 11h ago
    RELATED COVERAGE
    Biblical prophecy claims the world will end on Sept. 23, Christian numerologists claim
    Highly Cited Fox News 14h ago

    AGAIN…YOU ARE ALL LUNATICS

  • pud

    How you can know for sure that christians are idiots and lunatics

    Women sprayed in the face with acid by another crazy person….The lunatic christian babbles the following…

    ‘She so strongly believes that salvation and forgiveness comes from Jesus Christ alone and is praying that she would receive that. She is so very trusting in Lord to keep her safe and I know that everyone is so inspired by her faith in God and willingness to keep her attacker in her prayers.’
    Siverling posted on Facebook Sunday that she and her friends are all safe and said she did not sustain any injuries.
    She wrote: ‘Thank you so much to everyone who has reached out to see if I’m ok and/or has been praying for us. I did not receive any injuries from the attack in Marseille this morning and we are all safe. The French police and the U.S. Consulate have been wonderful and we are so thankful for that.
    ‘I pray that the attacker would be healed from her mental illness in the name of Jesus and receive the forgiveness and salvation that can only come from Him.
    ‘”This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.” Psalm 91:2.’

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4894276/Boston-College-student-praying-attacker.html#ixzz4t1IkilV1
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  • pud

    More evidence that christians and other superstitious religious lunatics are idiots… You have to be simple minded, stupid, uneducated or out of your mind to babble nonsense like this…

    “I Don’t Have Anything To Start Over” – Harvey Victims Pray For Relief As 1000s Remain Stuck In Shelters

    “It’s heartbreaking…the Lord closes some doors and opens others. He’s going to pull me through this sooner or later.”

  • David might not have seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging bread, but there are plenty of Christians living in poverty (“begging bread”). If Christians “beg bread”, then it seems as if God is not hearing their prayers.

    Of course, if God does not exist then no amount of praying will do any good. God won’t “give you the desires of your heart”.