09/20/2020–So…Why Be Afraid?
Psalm 37 (A Psalm of David)
(Also Quoted At the End of this Article)
Several things strike me as I read through this Psalm.
First of all, the entire treatise tells us (as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ) not to fret, worry, or be afraid…of anything…of any wrong being done (to us or others).
Some people interpret this to mean that we should just sail along and let the devil steal from us, kill us, and otherwise destroy us, as if we are helpless babies. Such is not the case.
Wound throughout the treatise, is the omnipresent and ongoing answer to making it through your life (at any time…not just “this season”) filled with God’s PEACE.
Consistently, throughout the Psalm, David says that we should not fret, BUT…we should TRUST IN THE LORD. It’s one thing to TRY not to worry, but it’s quite another thing to admit that we have been fearful, then to turn around (literally, if we need to) look the Lord in the eyes, and say, “I trust in you, Lord, to do good…to cut down the evil (and the evildoers) as if you were mowing the lawn. I trust in your faithfulness, Lord, and I let go of my doubt and unbelief. Thank you, Father God, for your loving care and protection, through your angels and your Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name. Amen!”
Another point that David consistently made, was that we need to KNOW THE DIFFERENCE between true evil and true good. He extensively enumerated things like, “…him who prospers in his way because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.” That stands out pretty boldly, in today’s world. There are constantly people saying things like, “Follow the money,” and, “Someone’s paying the rioters,” and right now, “Who’s paying the arsonists?”
So…is God saying to just turn a blind eye to all of these things? NO! David then specifically says, “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 shall inherit the earth. Yet a little while, and the wicked shall be no more; indeed, you will look carefully for his place, but it shall be no more.”
Again, David says, “…those who wait on the Lord shall inherit the earth.” He’s telling us to spend our time–instead of walking in fear, trepidation, doubt, anger, etc.—talking to and walking with the Lord. Spend your time DOING, “…if my people, who are called by my name…” (2 Chronicles 7:14) Look it up–in fact, while you’re at it, read the whole chapter!.
David says, “The wicked have drawn the sword and have bent their bow–to cast down the poor and needy, to slay those who are of upright conduct. Their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.” We’re definitely seeing those kinds things in 2020 (and believe me, this is not the ONLY time either I or many, many others have seen these things). David saw it back in HIS time…why else would the Lord have moved him to remind people about it?”
It’s a fact…David is instructing us in this Psalm, about the sorts of things that ARE wicked, so that we might recognize them when we see them, and then be able to combat them.
Then he instructs us about HOW to deal with them…”Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
As a human race, we have a common ground that a lot of people don’t realize. We HAVE DESIRES OF OUR HEARTS! Sometimes those desires are bent in the wrong directions. Once we accept Jesus as our Lord, we begin to learn more and more and more and more and more about how to bend those desires in the right directions. We need to recognize those who are still bent on destruction [against the will of the Lord] versus those who are (whether from a long time back or just recently) bent on walking in the love of God, which builds up His people…not destroy them. Then we need to seek the Lord to know what He would have us do to help Him, in this earth, to turn the evil around and off.
Notice that David’s instructions contain actions from us, toward God: trust; do; dwell; feed; delight. There are also actions from God, toward us: He will hear; He will give; He will lead; He will protect…etc.
Once again…God doesn’t expect us to just sit idly by and let everything happen that the devil has in mind for us! If God says, “Go…DO…” just do it! If God says, “Continue praying…” pray…and pray some more…until He says to move on to something else. If God says, “Vote for…” listen carefully, and do it! While you’re DOING…stop fearing, worrying, spreading anger, or purveying doom!!!
It’s interesting to note that in this Psalm, David says something THREE TIMES, in slightly different ways:
#1 “Yet a little while, and the wicked shall be no more; indeed, you will look carefully for his place, but it shall be no more. THE MEEK, HOWEVER, SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH, AND SHALL DELIGHT THEMSELVES IN THE ABUNDANCE OF PEACE.”
NOTE: In order to inherit the earth and be able to delight ourselves in the abundance of peace, we will have been able to notice that the evil has been vanquished.
#2 “THE LORD KNOWS THE DAYS OF THE UPRIGHT, AND THEIR INHERITANCE SHALL BE FOREVER. THEY SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED IN THE EVIL TIME, AND IN THE DAYS OF FAMINE THEY SHALL BE SATISFIED. However, the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord–like the splendor of the meadows–shall vanish; into smoke they shall vanish away.
NOTE: In order to have our forever inheritance, to not be ashamed (even in evil times), and to be satisfied (even throughout famines), we will have been able to notice that the evil has vanished.
#3 “WAIT ON THE LORD AND KEEP HIS WAY, AND HE SHALL EXALT YOU TO INHERIT THE LAND; WHEN THE WICKED ARE CUT OFF, YOU SHALL SEE IT. I have seen the wicked in great power and spreading himself like a native green tree. Yet he passed away, and behold: he was no more. Indeed I sought him, but he could not be found.”
NOTE: In order to be exalted and inherit the land, we will have been able to SEE that the evil “is no more!” Indeed, we will be able to seek him (because we’ll still exist)…but he will not be found. PERIOD.
Every one of those passages, and basically the entire Psalm, tell us that David understood perfectly that we live in a world where the devil wants to kill us, to steal from us, and to destroy us, plus the Bible also says he tries to “wear out” the saints. Those are his motives…pure and simple.
BUT GOD…if we spend our time doing what He asks of us because we are spending our time looking into His eyes and delighting in Him…WILL make what the devil meant to harm us ricochet right back at him, with all of the Lord’s DUNAMIS (unending & righteous power) behind it…AND WE SHALL SEE IT HAPPEN!
That brings me to my three final points (which are all the same point)…
(1) Some people say that the time we are in is THE end of time, in the Biblical sense. They say that this is IT. Unfortunately, most people that proclaim that at ANY given point in time, tend to quite obviously not understand that at THAT time, the dead in Christ shall rise with Him in GLORY, we will have the most wonderful, beautiful, whole, free-from-sin-and-death place to live…EVER. Instead, they warn people to arm themselves against “the apocalypse,” and to do things like hoard food and goods, etc., etc., etc. Basically, they are spreading fear and trepidation, with no hope.
The thing is…if it IS that “end of time,” then those who are hoarding and trying to hide, will be found…and their end is at hand…they must reckon, then, with our great and holy God Almighty. There will be NO hiding from Him. Those who have “delighted themselves in the Lord and trusted in Him” for all things will be WITH God, proclaiming His glory and love, with every need met…no need for hoarding.
SO…WHY BE AFRAID?
…unless you are one of those who has been coming AGAINST God’s love and mercy?
(2) Others are saying that we are in END TIMES, in the Biblical sense. Personally, I think they are right. On the other hand, even many of those people are saying THAT with a rather “doom and gloom” point of view!
The thing is…if we are truly in the End Times, then we should be REJOICING! Again…there is no need for hoarding…there is no need for fear…unless you are in the crowd who will have to reckon with our great and holy God Almighty, from who you will NOT be able to hide. Again…those who have “delighted themselves in the Lord and trusted in Him” for all things will be WITH God, proclaiming His glory and love, with every need met…no need for hoarding.
SO…WHY BE AFRAID?
…unless you are one of those who has been coming AGAINST God’s love and mercy?
(3) Finally (as a simplistic round-up…this could go on in several directions, actually), both of the above groups, on a large scale, at least, seem to be focused on “the fact” that if someone gets into the top two offices of The United States beginning with 2024, who would then proceed to slide us into socialism, fascism, Marxism, or any other ‘ism, we will REALLY need to hoard food, and all the other stuff, and that our lives here on earth will be miserable, miserable, miserable. That well may be.
The thing is…has the scenario really changed, in any of those possibilities?
In any of those or any other eventualities (which means any and all of that IS coming, at some point, in some way, shape, or form, and with some type of intensity), there are three things to take away from it all:
(a) Are you delighting in the Lord and seeking His face on an ongoing basis…truly?
(b) Are you going around trying to snuff out those who are doing (a)?
(c) Are you ready to meet the Lord firmly able to stare Him in the eyes, and confess, “Jesus Christ…and Him crucified!”?
SO…WHY BE AFRAID?
…unless you are currently choosing (b)?
At the end of Psalm 37 (shown in its entirety, below, from the New King James Version of the Bible), I’ll quote two more (fairly short) pieces of scripture.
Psalm 37:1-40 (NKJV)
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 also 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 shall inherit the earth.
Yet a little while, and the wicked shall be no more; indeed, you will look carefully for his place, but it shall be no more. The meek, however, shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
The wicked plots against the just and gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him, for He sees that his day is coming.
The wicked have drawn the sword and have bent their bow–to cast down the poor and needy, to slay those who are of upright conduct. Their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
A little that a 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. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. However, the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord–like the splendor of the meadows–shall vanish; into smoke they shall vanish away.
The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous shows mercy and gives, for those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth, but those cursed by Him shall be cut off.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.
I have been young–and now am old–yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken nor his descendants begging bread. He [the righteous] is ever merciful, and lends, and his descendants are blessed.
Depart from evil, and do good, and dwell forevermore, for the Lord loves justice and does not forsake His saints. They are preserved forever, but the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.
The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell in it forever.
The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom and his tongue talks of justice. The law of his God is in his heart. None of his steps shall slide.
The wicked watches the righteous and seeks to slay him. The Lord will not leave him [the righteous] in his hand nor condemn him when he is judged.
Wait on the Lord and keep His way, and He shall exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.
I have seen the wicked in great power and spreading himself like a native green tree. Yet he passed away, and behold: he was no more. Indeed I sought him, but he could not be found.
Mark the blameless man and observe the upright, for the future of that man is peace, but the transgressors shall be destroyed together.
The future of the wicked shall be cut off, but the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord. He is their strength in the time of trouble. The Lord shall help them and deliver them. He shall deliver them from the wicked and save them, BECAUSE THEY TRUST IN HIM.
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all people. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything–by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving–let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God–which surpasses all understanding–will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report–if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
To You I will cry–O Lord, my Rock. Do not be silent to me, unless…I become like those who go down to the pit. Hear the voice of my supplications–when I cry to you–when I lift up my hands toward your holy sanctuary.
Do not take me away with the wicked and with the workers of iniquity–who speak peace to their neighbors but evil is in their hearts.
Give them according to their deeds and according to the wickedness of their endeavors. Give them according to the work of their hands. Render to them what they deserve, because they do not regard the works of the Lord nor the operation of His hands. You shall destroy them and not build them up.
Blessed be the Lord, because He has heard the voice of my supplications! The Lord is my strength and my shield. My heart trusted in Him and I am helped. Therefore, my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.
You are our strength, Lord, and you are the saving refuge of your anointed ones. Save your people, and bless your inheritance. Shepherd us, also, and bear us up forever.
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Scriptures marked (NKJV) are taken from the New King James Version®
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.
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