Psalm 37 carries the marks of a wisdom Psalm (specifically mentioned in v. 37) telling the contrast of the righteous and the wicked. It is an acrostic psalm according to the Hebrew alphabet. In many ways it tells us to trust the Lord.
This Psalm is full of promises. It stretches back to the promise made to Abraham that his descendants would be numerous and they would also inherit the land. It also restates in a different way that God will contend with those who contend with Abraham(s) descendants - named here as the righteous.
Through baptism we are made the people of God, the New Israel, the recipients of all God's promises; God's covenant people.
Therefore these promises are written for us. What a wonderful thought!
"Do not fret ... or be envious" instead, "trust in the Lord and do good ... take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." (One of my favorite promises in this Psalm.)
"The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him." Another favorite promise. After all, who hasn't stumbled in life? Who hasn't made mistakes? But the Lord doesn't let go. He has us in his grasp. In fact, the Lord has made a place for us in his eternal kingdom.
The final two verses are a restatement of the theme of the whole Psalm, "The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him."
Go in peace my friends, remember that although things may look grim, God's got this. Better yet! God's got you!
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.