From: Dave Friedrich
Psalm 37: Fret Not...The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth
When the wicked prosper...
When we see the wicked prosper, and that is all we see, it is hard not to fret or become bitter, maybe even jealous (v 1). The wicked are those who in arrogance live with God to their back. They have a practice of disadvantaging others in order to advantage themselves, especially the poor and needy and upright (v 14). As extreme terrorists, they create fear in us. What if I or someone I love becomes their next victim? But the wicked can also be more ordinary, everyday professionals who have become successful at the expense of others. This can make us bitter (v 8) and jealous, especially if we don’t have that same success. It can tempt us to follow their way.
Trust in the Lord and do good...
Psalm thirty-seven broadens our vision beyond the wicked and their success, to the Lord and what He will do. He will cause the wicked “to be no more” (v 10) and He will ensure “that the meek inherit the land” (v 11). Wicked people ruling on the earth is a temporary reality. Meek people ruling on the earth will be the permanent reality as Jesus promised when he expanded this psalm to: “the meek will inherit the earth!” (Matt 5:5)
The righteous are those who in humility live facing and trusting God (v 3). Their vision goes beyond the wicked and their brief success, to the Lord who will humble the proud and exalt the humble (Matt 23:12). Therefore they “do good to all”(v 3; Gal 6:10) and practice meekness, disadvantaging themselves in order to advantage others, especially the poor and needy and the family of faith (Gal 6:10).
But Jesus taught that “all” includes even our enemies, that we should pray for those who persecute us (Matt 5:44). Therefore, let us pray for the wicked, that they would “be no more,” that in Christ they too would die (Rom 6:6) and become “the meek who inherit the earth.”
I live in Southborough with Anna, Cole, and Adam where I work at L'Abri Fellowship. Recently I have discovered the joy of standup paddle-boarding.