Dwelling in the Land, Psalm 37

As I’ve blogged my way through the Psalms, I’ve noticed over and over how God’s promises are for the here and now as well as for the future.

While Psalm 37 repeatedly assures believers that they will inherit the land and dwell in it forever (which seems to refer to our eternal future), it also uses language implying that believers can dwell in delight in this life. Who doesn’t love the beautiful promise found in verse 4?

Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

But that delightful promise is followed by verses that provide the key to living in joy (5-7, ESV):

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
    and your justice as the noonday.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
    fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
    over the man who carries out evil devices!

Notice the imperatives? Commit, trust, be still, wait patiently, and fret not!

When we commit our way to the Lord and trust in him to act, he will. He may not make the righteousness of your cause immediately apparent. In fact, since the next verse encourages us to be still and wait patiently for him, I’m pretty sure that God usually takes his perfect time. He wants us to learn to rest in him and wait on his will.

Waiting is never easy, is it? We tend to rush in and try to do things our way. We’re often confident that we know the best way to respond when we’ve been wronged. We believe we should act because we’re obviously in the right! We’re certain we know what to do and our friends back us up. Full speed ahead!

Furl the sails! Drop the anchor! God commands us (these are imperatives, not suggestions) to commit our way to him, to trust him, to be still and wait patiently for him to act. And in the meantime, don’t worry about the guy who seems to prosper in his evil schemes.

God sees our hearts. If our cause is righteous, if we are just, he will make that shine as brightly as the noonday sun.

It isn’t easy to wait on the Lord. Ask him to give you the ability to commit your way to him and put your complete trust in him. Plead for peace to be still and wait patiently for his action (rather than rushing ahead of his will).  Beg God to grant you the equipping grace not to worry.

Then you can delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart!

You can read Psalm 37 in its entirety at the Bible Gateway site. And here are my reflections on Psalm 37 from nearly three years ago.

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2 thoughts on “Dwelling in the Land, Psalm 37

  1. This post really spoke to me at this time and I thank you. It’s amazing how the Holy Spirit uses writings to apply a gospel salve to different situations.

    When I read my last issue of Christian Renewal I saw that you’ve been busy!

    1. Hi, Anita. Yes, I have been busy, but not so many articles written by me will appear in the next issue of Christian Renewal.
      I never fail to be amazed at the ways God speaks to us through particular scriptures that are so appropriate for our current situations.
      Thanks for reading!

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