Psalms 37

Listen to Psalms 37
1 1Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not 2envious of wrongdoers!
2 For they will soon 3fade like 4the grass and wither 5like the green herb.
3 6Trust in the LORD, and do good; 7dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.[a]
4 8Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will 9give you the desires of your heart.
5 10Commit your way to the LORD; 11trust in him, and he will act.
6 12He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as 13the noonday.
7 14Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; 15fret not yourself over the one who 16prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
8 17Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! 18Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
9 19For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall 20inherit the land.
10 In 21just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at 22his place, he will not be there.
11 But 23the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in 24abundant peace.
12 The wicked 25plots against the righteous and 26gnashes his teeth at him,
13 but the Lord 27laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his 28day is coming.
14 The wicked draw the sword and 29bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose 30way is upright;
15 their sword shall enter their own heart, and their 31bows shall be broken.
16 32Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.
17 For 33the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD 34upholds the righteous.
18 The LORD 35 knows the days of the blameless, and their 36heritage will remain forever;
19 they are not put to shame in evil times; in 37the days of famine they have abundance.
20 But the wicked will perish; the enemies of the LORD are like 38the glory of the pastures; they vanish--like 39smoke they vanish away.
21 The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous 40is generous and gives;
22 for those blessed by the LORD [b] shall 41inherit the land, but those cursed by him 42shall be cut off.
23 The 43steps of a man are 44established by the LORD, when he delights in his way;
24 45though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD 46upholds his hand.
25 I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children 47begging for bread.
26 He is ever 48lending generously, and his children become a blessing.
27 49Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you 50dwell forever.
28 For the LORD 51loves justice; he will not forsake his 52saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be 53cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land and 54dwell upon it forever.
30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.
31 55The law of his God is in his heart; his 56steps do not slip.
32 The wicked 57watches for the righteous and seeks to put him to death.
33 The LORD will not 58abandon him to his power or let him 59be condemned when he is brought to trial.
34 60Wait for the LORD and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on 61when the wicked are cut off.
35 62I have seen a wicked, ruthless man, spreading himself like 63a green laurel tree.[c]
36 But he passed away,[d] and behold, 64he was no more; though I sought him, he could not be found.
37 Mark the blameless and behold the upright, for there is a future for the man of 65peace.
38 But 66transgressors shall be altogether destroyed; the future of the wicked 67shall be cut off.
39 68The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in 69the time of trouble.
40 The LORD helps them and 70delivers them; 71he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they 72take refuge in him.

Images for Psalms 37

Psalms 37 Commentary

Chapter 37

David persuades to patience and confidence in God, by the state of the godly and of the wicked.

Verses 1-6 When we look abroad we see the world full of evil-doers, that flourish and live in ease. So it was seen of old, therefore let us not marvel at the matter. We are tempted to fret at this, to think them the only happy people, and so we are prone to do like them: but this we are warned against. Outward prosperity is fading. When we look forward, with an eye of faith, we shall see no reason to envy the wicked. Their weeping and wailing will be everlasting. The life of religion is a believing trust in the Lord, and diligent care to serve him according to his will. It is not trusting God, but tempting him, if we do not make conscience of our duty to him. A man's life consists not in abundance, but, Thou shalt have food convenient for thee. This is more than we deserve, and it is enough for one that is going to heaven. 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; roll thy way upon the Lord, so the margin reads it. 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.

Verses 7-20 Let us be satisfied that God will make all to work for good to us. Let us not discompose ourselves at what we see in this world. A fretful, discontented spirit is open to many temptations. For, in all respects, the little which is allotted to the righteous, is more comfortable and more profitable than the ill-gotten and abused riches of ungodly men. It comes from a hand of special love. God provides plentifully and well, not only for his working servants, but for his waiting servants. They have that which is better than wealth, peace of mind, peace with God, and then peace in God; that peace which the world cannot give, and which the world cannot have. God knows the believer's days. Not one day's work shall go unrewarded. Their time on earth is reckoned by days, which will soon be numbered; but heavenly happiness shall be for ever. This will be a real support to believers in evil times. Those that rest on the Rock of ages, have no reason to envy the wicked the support of their broken reeds.

Verses 21-33 The Lord our God requires that we do justly, and render to all their due. It is a great sin for those that are able, to deny the payment of just debts; it is a great misery not to be able to pay them. He that is truly merciful, will be ever merciful. We must leave our sins; learn to do well, and cleave to it. This is true religion. The blessing of God is the spring, sweetness, and security of all earthly enjoyments. And if we are sure of this, we are sure not to want any thing good for us in this world. By his grace and Holy Spirit, he directs the thoughts, affections, and designs of good men. By his providence he overrules events, so as to make their way plain. He does not always show them his way for a distance, but leads them step by step, as children are led. God will keep them from being ruined by their falls, either into sin or into trouble, though such as fall into sin will be sorely hurt. Few, if any, have known the consistent believer, or his children, reduced to abject, friendless want. God forsakes not his saints in affliction; and in heaven only the righteous shall dwell for ever; that will be their everlasting habitation. A good man may fall into the hands of a messenger of Satan, and be sorely buffeted, but God will not leave him in his enemy's hands.

Verses 34-40 Duty is ours, and we must mind it; but events are God's, we must refer the disposal of them to him. What a striking ( psalms 37:35-36 ) But God remarkably blights the projects of the prosperous wicked, especially persecutors. None are perfect in themselves, but believers are so in Christ Jesus. If all the saint's days continue dark and cloudy, his dying day may prove comfortable, and his sun set bright; or, if it should set under a cloud, yet his future state will be everlasting peace. The salvation of the righteous will be the Lord's doing. He will help them to do their duties, to bear their burdens; help them to bear their troubles well, and get good by them, and, in due time, will deliver them out of their troubles. Let sinners then depart from evil, and do good; repent of and forsake sin, and trust in the mercy of God through Jesus Christ. Let them take his yoke upon them, and learn of him, that they may dwell for evermore in heaven. Let us mark the closing scenes of different characters, and always depend on God's mercy.

Cross References 72

  • 1. ver. 7, 8; Proverbs 24:19
  • 2. Psalms 73:3; Proverbs 3:31; Proverbs 23:17; Proverbs 24:1, 19
  • 3. Job 14:2; See Job 27:13-23
  • 4. Psalms 90:5, 6
  • 5. Psalms 129:6
  • 6. Psalms 62:8; Psalms 115:9-11; Proverbs 3:5; Isaiah 26:4
  • 7. Leviticus 26:5; Proverbs 2:21
  • 8. Job 22:26; Isaiah 58:14; [Philippians 3:1; Philippians 4:4]
  • 9. Matthew 6:33
  • 10. Psalms 22:8; Psalms 55:22; Proverbs 16:3; 1 Peter 5:7
  • 11. [See ver. 3 above]
  • 12. Isaiah 58:8, 10; Micah 7:9
  • 13. Job 11:17
  • 14. [Psalms 62:1; Isaiah 30:15; Lamentations 3:26]
  • 15. ver. 1
  • 16. Jeremiah 12:1
  • 17. [Ephesians 4:26]
  • 18. [See ver. 7 above]
  • 19. ver. 2, 22
  • 20. Psalms 25:13; Proverbs 2:21; Isaiah 57:13; Isaiah 60:21
  • 21. Job 24:24
  • 22. Job 7:10
  • 23. Cited Matthew 5:5
  • 24. Psalms 119:165; [Isaiah 32:17]
  • 25. Psalms 31:13
  • 26. See Psalms 35:16
  • 27. See Psalms 2:4
  • 28. See Job 18:20
  • 29. Psalms 7:12
  • 30. See Psalms 7:10
  • 31. See 1 Samuel 2:4
  • 32. Proverbs 15:16; Proverbs 16:8; [1 Timothy 6:6]
  • 33. Psalms 10:15; Job 38:15; Ezekiel 30:21, 22
  • 34. ver. 24
  • 35. See Psalms 1:6
  • 36. ver. 9
  • 37. Psalms 33:19; Job 5:20
  • 38. [Matthew 6:30; James 1:11]
  • 39. Psalms 68:2; Psalms 102:3; Hosea 13:3
  • 40. ver. 26
  • 41. See ver. 9
  • 42. ver. 2
  • 43. Psalms 25:12; 1 Samuel 2:9
  • 44. Psalms 40:2; Psalms 119:5
  • 45. Proverbs 24:16; Micah 7:8; 2 Corinthians 4:9
  • 46. ver. 17
  • 47. [Psalms 109:10; Job 15:23]
  • 48. Psalms 112:5, 9; Deuteronomy 15:8, 10; Matthew 5:42; Luke 6:35
  • 49. See Psalms 34:14
  • 50. [Psalms 102:28]
  • 51. See Psalms 11:7
  • 52. See Psalms 16:10
  • 53. ver. 2, 9; Psalms 21:10; Proverbs 2:22; Isaiah 14:20
  • 54. [See ver. 27 above]
  • 55. Psalms 40:8; Psalms 119:11; Deuteronomy 6:6; Isaiah 51:7; Jeremiah 31:33; [Romans 7:22]
  • 56. [Psalms 73:2]
  • 57. Psalms 10:8
  • 58. [2 Peter 2:9]
  • 59. Psalms 109:31
  • 60. ver. 9; See Psalms 27:14
  • 61. Psalms 52:5, 6; Psalms 91:8
  • 62. See Job 5:3
  • 63. [Psalms 52:8]
  • 64. ver. 10; Job 20:5
  • 65. ver. 11; Psalms 119:165; Isaiah 57:2
  • 66. [Psalms 52:5; Psalms 104:35; Proverbs 2:22]
  • 67. Psalms 73:17; Job 18:17
  • 68. See Psalms 3:8
  • 69. Psalms 9:9
  • 70. [Isaiah 31:5; Acts 12:11]
  • 71. [1 Chronicles 5:20; Daniel 3:17, 28; Daniel 6:23]
  • 72. See Psalms 11:1

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Or and feed on faithfulness, or and find safe pasture
  • [b]. Hebrew by him
  • [c]. The identity of this tree is uncertain
  • [d]. Or But one passed by

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO PSALM 37

\\<<[A Psalm] of David>>\\. This psalm, it is very probable, was written at the same time, and upon the same occasion, with the former; and describes the different states of good and bad men; and is full of exhortations, instructions, and advice to the people of God; intermixed with various encouraging promises. A late learned writer {h} thinks it was written for Mephibosheth's consolation under Ziba's calumny. {h} Delaney's Life of King David, vol. 2. p. 219.

Psalms 37 Commentaries