Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light and your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret--it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off but those who wait on the Lord they shall inherit the earth.
A little that the righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken but the Lord upholds the righteous. The Lord knows the days of the upright and their inheritance shall be forever. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delights in his way. Psalm 37:1-9, 16-18,23
Psalm 37 is one of many of my personal favorites. I mean really who cannot relate to it? How often do we look around in frustration at the huge disparity? The rich get richer and poor get poorer. The power brokers or politicians elected by the people are so far removed from the lives of everyday hardworking people that empathy, justice, equality, compassion do not even appear to be a part of their vocabulary. Liberty and justice is not for all and they know it and don't care, unless your income dictates they should. The health and well-being of its citizens is not a very real concern for many leaders of this country but it is the hard work (health and well-being) of those same citizens that helps to build the economy.
That is why Psalm 37 is so important. David is the author of this many many centuries old wisdom poem song. Goes to show there really is nothing new under the sun. Wickedness becomes more sophisticated in the ways it shows itself but it still is what it is.
A few of the things we can learn from this psalm are:
1. We have to trust in the Lord while we do good and depend on His faithfulness. Trusting and waiting does not mean idle. We have to continue to do good, stand for what is right and not compromise. Continue to do what we are able. Work for change and instill the same values in the next generation. When we choose wrong for wrong we then become what we despised; wicked. It is not always easy to do but it is always worth it. After all the wicked (those who never repent) will be cutoff, arms broken.
2. We must commit (submit) our ways, plans and desires to the Lord. As we do that in our intimate relationship with Him our desires for ourselves and humanity will begin to line up with His. Literally to commit in the original language means "to roll over on." That's an act of submission. Submission of my will, desire to His. Yes of course He will give you the desires of your heart. They will look like His. We have a very clear picture of what it looks like when the plans, will, desires of man are unsubmitted to God and based solely on their preferences and wallets. It does not work.
3. We should not spend our time consumed with the ways of the wicked. Being passionate about advocating for justice is decidedly different from being consumed with the ways of the wicked. One makes life better (justice) and the other just makes us bitter and only produces very limited results if any at all and causes us harm.
4. We have to remember that our steps have been ordered. There is nothing that has happened, will happen or is happening that God did not already know about and that He cannot work together to achieve good. Trusting that God is really who He says that He is in His word is key. Believing that God is good all the time when we say it is key. Embracing daily that my path, my steps have purpose and God is weaving a beautiful tapestry that I cannot see, is not an option, it's a must.
This approach to life does not make me weak. It makes me stronger longer. This approach does not render me voiceless. It makes the call clearer and the tone of the bell more powerful. It does not make me idle, passive or lazy but fuels my fire and guards my time so that my work is more fruitful.
Let's keep walking and working on the pathway of faith. We tread in the footsteps of the giants of our faith and culture. None as great as our Savior Christ who thought it not robbery to obey even to death on the cross and HE WAS AND IS the single greatest revolutionary activist advocate visionary ever.
We pray: Father direct our thoughts and order our steps. Give us wisdom and fresh ideas. Let actions be fueled by your love and not by bitterness. Help us to not focus on what we do not have to the extent that we forget what we do. Help us to use what we have to stand and fight and give voice to what's right according to your will. You have not forgotten us. You will bring it to pass. Amen.