The commercial world puts a lot of effort into marketing. The internet, radio, TV, newspapers, magazines and sign boards are full of promotions, the aim being to make us want more, to be envious of what others have or experience. They hope we will want it ourselves! Now 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 of the world in 2022. 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. “I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked” (Psalm 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 others: note what David 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 challenge to “be still” in the sense that is meant here when all around us society is hyperactive. How much are you being swept along by it? Is it affecting you sub-consciously?
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 counteract temptations to be swept along with this 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 today by those who regularly read the word of God, and think about what they read.