Psalm 37

1650 psalter

The Righteous One quieting our heart by teaching us to discern between the godly and the wicked

This psalm is all about “A good man, one who has the law of God in his heart.” He has been born again by the incorruptible seed. But the contrast is also made with the wicked, who seek occasion to hurt or even slay the righteous man.

So how should the upright, the meek, the saints, behave themselves under the enmity of the workers of iniquity. Well, there are pointers and guidelines given by David as to the Christian’s reaction. He is to trust in the Lord; delight in the Lord; commit unto the Lord; rest in the Lord and wait on the Lord. The Christian is not to fret in such circumstances, that is, not to be agitated or disturbed by the attitude of unbelievers. The New Testament equivalent would be, “be anxious for nothing, but make your requests known before God,” which means, do not be stressed with anxiety or be over-anxious.

As well as trusting in the Lord, we are to delight also in Him. Without delighting, then religion becomes a burden, the law of God becomes a ball and chain, and all opposition a source of fear and fretting. To delight is to seek all our happiness and stability in Christ.

Pastor Jeff O’ Neil

Recommended Tune: Consolation, Naomi, Jackson, St Agnes, St Anne

St Anne

Psalm 37

¹For evildoers fret thou not
Thyself unquietly;
Nor do thou envy bear to those
That work iniquity.

²For, even like unto the grass,
Soon be cut down shall they;
And, like the green and tender herb,
They wither shall away.

³Set thou thy trust upon the LORD,
And be thou doing good;
And so thou in the land shalt dwell,
And verily have food.

⁴Delight thyself in GOD; he’ll give
Thine heart’s desire to thee.
⁵Thy way to GOD commit, him trust,
It bring to pass shall he.

⁶And, like unto the light, he shall
Thy righteousness display;
And he thy judgment shall bring forth
Like noontide of the day.

⁷Rest in the LORD, and patiently
Wait for him: do not fret
For him who, prosp’ring in his way,
Success in sin doth get.

⁸Do thou from anger cease, and wrath
See thou forsake also:
Fret not thyself in any wise,
That evil thou should’st do.

⁹For those that evil doers are
Shall be cut off and fall:
But those that wait upon the LORD
The earth inherit shall.

¹⁰For yet a little while, and then
The wicked shall not be;
His place thou shalt consider well,
But it thou shalt not see.

¹¹But by inheritance the earth
The meek ones shall possess:
They also shall delight themselves
In an abundant peace.

¹²The wicked plots against the just,
And at him whets his teeth:
¹³The Lord shall laugh at him, because
His day he coming seeth.

¹⁴The wicked have drawn out the sword,
And bent their bow, to slay
The poor and needy, and to kill
Men of an upright way.

¹⁵But their own sword, which they have drawn,
Shall enter their own heart:
Their bows which they have bent shall break,
And into pieces part.

¹⁶A little that a just man hath
Is more and better far
Than is the wealth of many such
As lewd and wicked are.

¹⁷For sinners’ arms shall broken be;
But GOD the just sustains.
¹⁸GOD knows the just man’s days, and still
Their heritage remains.

¹⁹They shall not be asham’d when they
The evil time do see;
And when the days of famine are,
They satisfied shall be.

²⁰But wicked men, and foes of GOD,
As fat of lambs, decay;
They shall consume, yea, into smoke
They shall consume away.

²¹The wicked borrows, but the same
Again he doth not pay;
Whereas the righteous mercy shows,
And gives his own away.

²²For such as blessed be of him
The earth inherit shall;
And they that cursed are of him
Shall be destroyed all.

²³A good man’s footsteps by the LORD
Are ordered aright;
And in the way wherein he walks
He greatly doth delight.

²⁴Although he fall, yet shall he not
Be cast down utterly;
Because the LORD with his own hand
Upholds him mightily.

²⁵I have been young, and now am old,
Yet have I never seen
The just man left, nor that his seed
For bread have beggars been.

²⁶He’s ever merciful, and lends:
His seed is bless’d therefore.
²⁷Depart from evil, and do good,
And dwell for evermore.

²⁸For GOD loves judgment, and his saints
Leaves not in any case;
They are kept ever: but cut off
Shall be the sinner’s race.

²⁹The just inherit shall the land,
And ever in it dwell:
³⁰The just man’s mouth doth wisdom speak;
His tongue doth judgment tell.

³¹In’s heart the law is of his God,
His steps slide not away.
³²The wicked man doth watch the just,
And seeketh him to slay.

³³Yet him the LORD will not forsake,
Nor leave him in his hands:
The righteous will he not condemn,
When he in judgment stands.

³⁴Wait on the LORD, and keep his way,
And thee exalt shall he
Th’earth to inherit; when cut off
The wicked thou shalt see.

³⁵I saw the wicked great in pow’r,
Spread like a green bay-tree:
³⁶He pass’d, yea, was not; him I sought,
But found he could not be.

³⁷Mark thou the perfect, and behold
The man of uprightness;
Because that surely of this man
The latter end is peace.

³⁸But those men that transgressors are
Shall be destroy’d together;
The latter end of wicked men
Shall be cut off for ever.

³⁹But the salvation of the just
Is from the LORD above;
He in the time of their distress
Their stay and strength doth prove.

⁴⁰The LORD shall help, and them deliver:
He shall them free and save
From wicked men; because in him
Their confidence they have.