Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Psalm 37

This Psalm is a study in contrasts. The righteous is instructed on the end of his ways compared with the wicked man's. I have read this Psalm many times and drawn encouragement from the many admonitions to rest in the Lord and not fret because of the prosperity of the wicked. The Lord's promise to make things right in the end is comforting as it assures the believer that God is aware and in control of every event in the entire global scheme of things.

Sunday evening, however, another nuance of the Psalm taught me. Pastor Vincent was preaching, and he pointed out that, though the text may hastily be read as a triumphant gloating over the demise of evil in the face of God's intervention, the words really convey a much more sober tone. The psalmist uses expressions like "You will look carefully for his place and he will not be there," and "I have seen a wicked, violent man spreading himself like a luxuriant tree in its native soil. Then he passed away, and lo, he was no more; I sought for him, but he could not be found."

While God's control over the present and the assurance of the revelation of His ultimate triumph in the end should bring delight and satisfaction to the hearts of true believers, there should be in every child of God a desire to see, not the destruction of sinners, but their deliverance.

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