Sunday, June 20, 2010

Psalm 37 - "Trust in the Lord"

This morning, in preparation for the preaching of the Word, we read Psalm 37. I've always loved the Psalms because of the beautiful way they express a vast array of human emotions, cataloging the authors' struggles, trials, blessings, and victories. They also work very well adapted to music (which makes complete sense since many of them were intended to be sung). Every time I read through the book of Psalms, several stand out in a way that I haven't noticed before, and this was the case with Psalm 37 this morning.

The broader context of this Psalm deals with our temptation to fret at the seeming prosperity of the wicked. Our tendency is to adopt a myopic view of life, that is, to live "in the moment" and lose sight of God's eternal promises. This inevitably leads us to trust in our own strength, which then leads to hopelessness because we are so weak and powerless. But here the writer assures us that "evildoers shall be cut off," and "those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth." (vs. 9)

There are several verses which are particularly beautiful and encouraging to me. Though I don't find myself in the same situation as David - with men seeking my life at every turn - there are more than enough things in my life which cause me to worry and lose heart, and it's during those trials that I need to adjust my perspective, to view my situation the way God would have me view it.
"Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give you the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him...(vs. 3-7a)"

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. I have been young, and now I am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." (vs. 23-25)
I looked up Matthew Henry's commentaries on these verses and thought it well-worth sharing.
"To delight in God is as much a privilege as a duty. He has not promised to gratify the appetites of the body, and the humours of the fancy, but the desires of the renewed, sanctified soul. What is the desire of the heart of a good man? It is this, to know, and love, and serve God. Commit thy way unto the Lord... Cast thy burden upon the Lord, the burden of thy care. We must roll it off ourselves, not afflict and perplex ourselves with thoughts about future events, but refer them to God. By prayer spread thy case and all thy cares before the Lord, and trust in him. We must do our duty, and then leave the event with God. The promise is very sweet: He shall bring that to pass, whatever it is, which thou has committed to him."
The moment we lose sight of God's sovereign hand at work in our lives is the moment we begin to lose hope. We open the floodgates of uncertainty and anxiety, and it doesn't take long at all for us to become miserable and desperate. But the man who has a constant apprehension of God's sovereignty, His benevolence toward His elect, and His eternal promises which cannot change, is the man who is abounding in hope and joy no matter what his circumstances.

Wait on the Lord (vs. 34), trust in Him (vs. 3), delight in Him (vs. 4), commit your way unto Him (vs. 5), rest in Him (vs. 7), and "thou shalt be fed," and "He shall give you the desires of thine heart." (vs. 4)


Part of what inspired me to write this today was listening to A.W. Pink's The Sovereignty of God on the way up to church. I highly recommend the audiobook, available here, or find yourself a copy that you can mark up and highlight. It's an excellent book!

No comments: