Psalm 37:23-40: Take Refuge in Him
February 15, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Having told us to fret not because of the wicked, David now celebrates the path that is open before those who follow the Lord. Perhaps you wonder whether it really is worth it to commit your life to God. Perhaps there is some challenge that you are facing that means that you question whether the cost of following God is too high. Well, David here assures you that “The steps of a man are established by the Lord when he delights in his way” (37:23). What could be better than having God establish our steps!
This does not mean that the follower of God will never make mistakes or never experience trouble. It means that even when the righteous falls, God has him by his hand. “Though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand” (37:24). In fact, David is so bold as to say: “I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging bread” (37:25).
On this verse, Spurgeon remarked that David may not have seen the children of the righteous begging bread, but he had! We cannot use this verse to assume that everyone who is poor is not righteous, nor that if we say our prayers and read the Bible, we will never have financial difficulties. What it means is that-all other things being equal-following God is the surest path to safety in every respect. “The righteous shall inherit the land” (37:29). “Wait for the Lord and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land” (37:34). The blessing of God, fulfilled in Christ, and his kingdom, and in the New Heaven and New Earth, the “land,” are all for the righteous or, as Jesus put it, the “meek” who shall inherit the earth. Make sure that you are among that number that trusts in Christ and therefore inherits the kingdom of God!
While David says he has never seen the righteous forsaken, he has seen a wicked man flourishing “like a green laurel tree” (37:35). How can this be? How can it be that evil people seem to prosper? Ah, says David, keep on watching what happens to that wicked person. “But he passed away, and behold he was no more; though I sought him he could not be found” (37:36). The future of the wicked is not blessed.
Whereas, “Mark the blameless and behold the upright, for there is a future for the man of peace” (37:37). Again, this does not mean that for those who trust in Jesus, they will experience no trouble. No, it means that God “is their stronghold in time of trouble” (37:39) as they “take refuge in him” (37:40).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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