I haven’t included the remaining text of the psalm today. It is rather a long section. But please do read it.
What this psalm does show clearly is that there is a dividing line running through the world, and on one side there are “the righteous” (those brought into a right relationship with God and who are therefore seeking to live right) and on the other “the wicked.” No one reading Psalm 37 with eyes wide open would want to stay on the “wicked” side of the line. For although these people may often seem to do well in life, and regularly the godly suffer at their hands, it is only for a short time. Ultimately, all will be well with those who fear God, but not so for those who reject Him. So note, at the beginning of today’s section, the call for repentance in verses 27, 28 – a call to get onto the right side of the dividing line. Again, we are encouraged to take the long view.
In his book, ‘In Christ alone’, Sinclair Ferguson refers to Peter’s words about Christ leaving us an “example” that we might follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:18-21). He says, ‘The word “example” here (hupogrammos) is very evocative. It was used of the copper-plate handwriting of the teacher that was to be imitated by the pupil. Jesus has written out the vocabulary of Christian living for us; we are to copy it on the pages of the autobiography we are writing. Some words are not easy to learn – especially these ones: p-e-r-s-e-c-u-t-i-o-n and s-u-f-f-e-r-i-n-g. But they are key words if the name of Jesus is to be legible in our lives’ (p.203).
Psalm 37 presents a world-view that will pertain until Jesus returns to turn the tables. Persecution is the lot of masses of believers across the world today. It has been the case throughout history, and it is the norm to be expected. But let’s not lose sight of the big picture.
I saw Wicked bloated like a toad,
croaking pretentious nonsense.
The next time I looked there was nothing—
a punctured bladder, vapid and limp (35,36 ‘The Message’).
In the end, all shall be well.
PRAYER: Lord God, today I pause to think about, and pray for, all my suffering brothers and sisters in Christ. Encourage them with your love, and fill them with hope. Thank you that rampaging evil will not have the final word.