The world today puts a lot of effort and money into marketing. The internet, radio, TV, newspapers, magazines and signboards are full of promotions of one thing or another. Usually the aim of these promotions is to make us envious of what other people have or experience – and want it ourselves!
David’s Psalm 37 is very special, it is full of spiritual advice to those who aim to live in a godly way in contrast to the attitudes in our world. David says, “I have been young and now I am old” (verse 25) so these are words of reflection at the latter end of his life. He starts by saying “be not envious of wrongdoers” because they, like the grass, have no future. In another Psalm we read, “I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked” (73:3). So David had to learn the right attitudes in his life’s experiences, like we do. But it is not just a matter of avoiding doing wrong, or not being envious of the successful: note what David also says, “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way” (verse 7).
It is a real challenge to “be still” in the sense that is meant here – in a world that is hyperactive. How much are you being swept along by it? Is it affecting you subconsciously? The awareness the Lord gives David, leads him to see a time when “the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace” (verse 11). Our Lord Jesus repeats this and applies it to inheriting the entire earth (Matthew 5:5)! We need this awareness, if we are to effectively counteract temptations to take part in as much of this world’s spirit of living – without actually engaging in wrongdoing.
David says, “the Lord laughs (mocks) at the wicked for he sees that his day is coming” (verse 13). Now note verses 30,31, “The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom and his tongue speaks justice. The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip”. An essential foundation for that kind of thinking and living is achieved by those who regularly read the word of God, and really think about what they read: may that include all who are reading this.