Sunday Devotional 10th July 2022
by Bruce Billington
We are continuing to explore the knowledge of God as expressed in the Psalms. This week we will continue to explore Psalm 37 – a Psalm of David.
Wait for the LORD and keep His way,
And He will exalt you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
I have seen a wicked, violent man
Spreading himself like a luxuriant tree in its native soil.
Verse 34 is a hard verse or concept to most of us. It is a call firstly to patience and hope when nothing seems to be going our way. Sometimes it may almost seem like God is hiding from us. It is here that we are in the highest risk of taking things into our own hands, which results in missing out what God had for us, or at least a good portion of it.
If we endure, God will ultimately exalt us. This is a wonderful Hebrew word has a depth of meanings. It is best understood here to mean lifted up and made triumphant. It results in victory and blessing.
So what does it require from us? That we must keep God’s way and stay focussed on Him. Waiting doesn’t necessarily mean doing nothing. It means that we will stay on course, doing all that we can to remain faithful to His ways and His bidding. Furthermore, we should do this with a good heart and cheerfulness, not sulking or wallowing in self-pity.
Yes, this is all easy to say and hard to carry out, yet our faith demands that we do it. So, can it be done? Yes, it must be achievable. Oswald Chambers says,
This “Do not” must work during our days of difficulty and uncertainty, as well as our peaceful days, or it will never work. And if it will not work in your particular case, it will not work for anyone else. Resting in the Lord is not dependent on your external circumstances at all, but on your relationship with God Himself.”
Our Lord never worried and was never anxious because His purpose was never to accomplish His own plans but to fulfill God’s plans.
We must not falter and never allow the consideration to enter our minds of turning aside or going our own way. Jesus told us that he who endures to the end will be saved (Matthew 24:13). This does require that we look beyond our present situation and place everything in His hands. We have been given the Holy Spirit to empower us to achieve all that God requires of us. In Christ, we can do this.
What does it mean to inherit the land? Under the Kingdom of God in the New Covenant it means that we will experience all that is truly good. Our blessings will come to us in God’s time and will be consistent with His love, faithfulness, and His purpose for our lives. Of course, this also stretches beyond this life into eternity in the new heaven and earth that He will bring to us. Throughout the dark days of this present age, we must hold fast to this light of hope.
This verse also tells us what happens to the wicked. We are told that we will ultimately see their demise. Sometimes this applies to the present situation we are living in, but it also has a strong future component to it. It is true that because we live in a fallen world which is heavily influenced by Satan, that we must expect injustices to continue. At times it will seem like the wicked seem to be thriving. David himself testifies that he has seen the wicked flourish like trees in their native soil (V35). But they always ultimately die, and when they do, they totally disappear from the face of the earth, never to be seen again. They do not endure, and neither does all that they possessed while on this earth.
Focusing on our future reward is a great way to strengthen us and enable us to endure the disturbing injustices of the present. God is faithful and just, and He will not forget our faithfulness to Him (Hebrews 6:10).
We can sum all of this up by saying that the righteous who stand strong against temptation, will dwell in the peace and grace of God despite their circumstances (prosperity or poverty) and the wicked will come to a sad end and perish, despite whatever pleasures they enjoyed for what is only a fleeting moment in time.
The words of Joshua seem appropriate to end this comment.
“Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15).
God bless you