Psalms 37

Of David.

1 [a]Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.
10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.
12 The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them;
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.
14 The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright.
15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.
16 Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked;
17 for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.
18 The blameless spend their days under the LORD’s care, and their inheritance will endure forever.
19 In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.
20 But the wicked will perish: Though the LORD’s enemies are like the flowers of the field, they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.
21 The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously;
22 those the LORD blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be destroyed.
23 The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.
25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.
26 They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing.[b]
27 Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever.
28 For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed[c] ; the offspring of the wicked will perish.
29 The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.
30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just.
31 The law of their God is in their hearts; their feet do not slip.
32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, intent on putting them to death;
33 but the LORD will not leave them in the power of the wicked or let them be condemned when brought to trial.
34 Hope in the LORD and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.
35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,
36 but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found.
37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace.[d]
38 But all sinners will be destroyed; there will be no future[e] for the wicked.
39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40 The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take 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 81

  • 1. Proverbs 3:31; Proverbs 23:17-18
  • 2. Psalms 73:3; Proverbs 24:19
  • 3. S 2 Kings 19:26; Job 14:2; Psalms 102:4; Isaiah 40:7
  • 4. ver 38; Psalms 90:6; Psalms 92:7; James 1:10
  • 5. Deuteronomy 30:20
  • 6. Isaiah 40:11; Ezekiel 34:14; John 10:9
  • 7. S Job 27:10; Isaiah 58:14
  • 8. S Job 7:6; Psalms 21:2; Psalms 145:19; Matthew 6:33
  • 9. Psalms 4:5; Psalms 55:22; Proverbs 16:3; 1 Peter 5:7
  • 10. Psalms 18:24; Psalms 103:17; Psalms 112:3; Micah 7:9
  • 11. S Job 11:17
  • 12. S Exodus 14:14; S Isaiah 41:1; Psalms 62:5; Lamentations 3:26
  • 13. S Psalms 27:14; Psalms 40:1; Psalms 130:5; Isaiah 38:13; Habakkuk 3:16; Romans 8:25
  • 14. ver 1
  • 15. Jeremiah 12:1
  • 16. Psalms 21:11; Psalms 26:10; Psalms 119:150
  • 17. Ephesians 4:31; Colossians 3:8
  • 18. ver 1
  • 19. S Psalms 31:22; Psalms 101:8; Psalms 118:10; Proverbs 2:22
  • 20. Isaiah 25:9; Isaiah 26:8; Isaiah 40:31; Isaiah 49:23; Isaiah 51:5
  • 21. ver 22; Psalms 25:13; Isaiah 49:8; Isaiah 57:13; Isaiah 60:21; Matthew 5:5
  • 22. S Job 7:10; Job 24:24; Ezekiel 27:36
  • 23. S Numbers 14:24; Matthew 5:5
  • 24. S Leviticus 26:6; S Numbers 6:26
  • 25. Psalms 2:1; Psalms 31:13
  • 26. S Job 16:9; Psalms 35:16; Psalms 112:10
  • 27. 1 Samuel 26:10; Psalms 2:4; Ezekiel 12:23
  • 28. S Psalms 22:20
  • 29. Psalms 11:2
  • 30. S Psalms 35:10
  • 31. S Psalms 9:16
  • 32. S 1 Samuel 2:4; Psalms 46:9; Jeremiah 49:35
  • 33. Proverbs 15:16; Proverbs 16:8
  • 34. Job 38:15; Psalms 10:15
  • 35. Psalms 41:12; Psalms 140:12; Psalms 145:14; Psalms 146:7
  • 36. S Job 23:10; Psalms 44:21; Psalms 1:6
  • 37. ver 27,29
  • 38. S Psalms 34:21
  • 39. Psalms 68:2; Psalms 102:3; Isaiah 51:6
  • 40. S Leviticus 25:35; Psalms 112:5
  • 41. S Job 5:3; Proverbs 3:33
  • 42. ver 9
  • 43. S Numbers 14:8; Psalms 147:11
  • 44. S Job 11:15; S Psalms 7:9; Psalms 66:9; 1 Samuel 2:9
  • 45. S Psalms 13:4; Psalms 27:2; Psalms 38:17; Psalms 55:22; Psalms 119:165; Proverbs 3:23; Proverbs 10:9; Proverbs 24:16
  • 46. 2 Chronicles 9:8; Psalms 41:12; Psalms 145:14; Psalms 147:6
  • 47. ver 28; S Genesis 15:1; Hebrews 13:5
  • 48. Psalms 111:5; Psalms 145:15; Mark 10:46
  • 49. S Leviticus 25:35
  • 50. Deuteronomy 28:4; Psalms 112:2; Psalms 147:13
  • 51. Psalms 34:14; 3 John 1:11
  • 52. S Numbers 24:21
  • 53. S Deuteronomy 7:6; S Psalms 18:25; S Psalms 97:10
  • 54. S Genesis 17:14; S Deuteronomy 32:26; Proverbs 2:22; Psalms 21:10; Isaiah 14:20
  • 55. ver 9; Proverbs 2:21
  • 56. Isaiah 34:17
  • 57. Psalms 49:3; Proverbs 10:13
  • 58. S Deuteronomy 6:6; S Job 22:22; Psalms 40:8; Isaiah 51:7
  • 59. ver 23; S Deuteronomy 32:35
  • 60. S Psalms 10:8
  • 61. Psalms 11:5
  • 62. Job 32:3; Psalms 34:22; Psalms 79:11
  • 63. Psalms 109:31; 2 Peter 2:9
  • 64. Psalms 27:14
  • 65. S Psalms 18:21
  • 66. ver 9
  • 67. Psalms 52:6
  • 68. S Job 5:3
  • 69. ver 10; Proverbs 12:7; Isaiah 41:12; Daniel 11:19; Job 20:5
  • 70. ver 18; S Genesis 6:9; Psalms 18:25
  • 71. Psalms 11:7
  • 72. Isaiah 57:1-2
  • 73. S Psalms 1:1
  • 74. S ver 2; Psalms 73:19
  • 75. ver 9; Psalms 1:4
  • 76. S Psalms 3:8
  • 77. S Psalms 9:9
  • 78. S 1 Chronicles 5:20; S Psalms 20:2
  • 79. S Psalms 34:7; Isaiah 31:5
  • 80. S Psalms 18:48
  • 81. Psalms 2:12

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. This psalm is an acrostic poem, the stanzas of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
  • [b]. Or "freely;" / "the names of their children will be used in blessings" (see Gen. 48:20); or "freely;" / "others will see that their children are blessed"
  • [c]. See Septuagint; Hebrew "They will be protected forever"
  • [d]. Or "upright; / those who seek peace will have posterity"
  • [e]. Or "posterity"

Chapter Summary


\\<<[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