July 8, 2020
Daybreak: Psalm 37:1-40
“Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” (Psalm 37:5)
In my daughter’s freshman year at college, she was not allowed to choose whom she would room with, and ended up sharing a dorm with two girls where the atmosphere was so unappealing that she often did her homework while sitting on the floor in the hallway. While God was with her and she knew He was in control, that experience made her especially concerned about whom she would live with the following year.
As her sophomore year approached, she was allowed to choose a roommate, but she was reluctant to depend upon her own limited knowledge of the other students. She knew the best way was to ask the Lord to find a roommate for her. After she prayed, however, several weeks passed with no sign of a roommate. Many times my daughter thought of someone she could ask, but when she considered taking action, the Lord checked her heart by asking, “Didn’t you say that I could choose a roommate for you?”
As the deadline approached, it became more and more difficult to wait and hold on to her trust that the Lord would bring someone to her in time. Also, she experienced pressure from others who thought she was being foolish in taking such a passive role. She had committed to waiting on God, though, and less than two weeks before the deadline, a girl she barely knew asked to room with her.
The two girls quickly found that they had much in common, including a shared interest in athletics, hobbies, and religion. They even speak the same second language! They received the same honors at graduation, and both received the baptism of the Holy Ghost during their college years. Now, several years later, they are still the best of friends.
My daughter could have relied on her own judgment to find a roommate, but the outcome would not have been as good. She did not know every girl on campus who needed a roommate, but God did, and He sent one who was easy to room with. My daughter could not see the future and know that she would need encouragement during that year, but God could, and He sent a Christian roommate for fellowship. If we will commit our ways to God and place our trust in Him, we can be assured that He will bring about the best outcome for us as well.
Psalm 37, another wisdom psalm, was written by David in his old age (see verse 25). From the vantage point of a long life of experience, he meditated upon a theme that is frequently considered in wisdom literature: a contrast between the wicked and the righteous. The point is made that while the unrighteous frequently are prosperous and enjoy great power, the righteous are secure because they are held in God’s hand and thus have no need to fret over their fate. Psalms 49 and 73 also address this topic, as does much of the Book of Job.
This psalm is written in acrostic form, with every third verse beginning with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Its sententious style, which is characterized by terse sayings embodying general truths, is similar to that of Proverbs.
The statement, “The arms of the wicked shall be broken” (verse 17), means that the strength of the wicked will be destroyed. In verse 20, the declaration that the enemies of the Lord shall be “as the fat of lambs” indicates that the life of a wicked person will be as fleeting as the smoke of a sacrifice. The “seed” of the righteous, alluded to in verses 25, 26, and 28, are his children. The “green bay tree” in verse 35 is supposed by several commentators to be a reference to the cedars of Lebanon; others suggest it simply alludes to a tree that thrives in its own native soil.
The psalm concludes with a reassurance that to the righteous, the Lord provides salvation, strength in the time of trouble, and deliverance from the wicked.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I. Book I (1:1 — 41:13)
II. Book II (42:1 — 72:20)
III. Book III (73:1 — 89:52)
IV. Book IV (90:1 — 106:48)
V. Book V (107:1 — 150:6)
A Closer Look
- According to verse 23, who orders the steps of a good man?
- What are some ways we can delight ourselves in the Lord (see verse 4)?
- How can we keep our focus on our own relationship with God and not on the lives of others?
It pays to entrust everything in our lives to the Lord’s control and guidance.