God says and this is our main message:
Psalms 37:7 (ESVST)
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
At the beginning of this psalm 37, in verse 1-2, God says that we must avoid being angry because of evil doers because these will soon fade and wither. In verse 3, God says we must trust in him, do good and be faithful. In verse 4, God says we must take pleasure in him and he will give us the desires of our hearts. Then in verse 5-6, God summarizes what verses 3-4 are saying:
Psalms 37:5-6 (NLTse)
Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. 6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
This then brings us to our verse today which is verse 7, it start by saying be still before The Lord and wait patiently for him. God after saying to us in verses 1-6 that we should commit everything to him and trust in him and he will help us, he now says, we must be still before him and wait patiently for him.
The word still is a Hebrew word “daman” which means to be still, silent, to stand still or to be motionless. The word wait patiently is a Hebrew word “hul” which is often used to refer to labour pains. We all know what labour pains are and how an expecting mother patiently endures these pains until the moment of birth. The woman can do nothing about the pain except be still and patiently wait for the child to be born. This is exactly what God also expects from us, he expects us to do nothing and endure whatever problems we have knowing that he will eventually answer our prayers. He does not want us to go and wander around and start looking at alternatives which are evil and ungodly. God wants us to be as patient as a woman in labour. The fact that God used this specific word which refers to labour pains means that he is aware of our problems and he is aware that these problems bring us unhappiness and pain.
Verse 7 then continues to say fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! The word fret is a Hebrew word “harah” which means figuratively to be angry. The word prosper is a Hebrew word “salah” which means to succeed, to be victorious but also means to rush. The word represented by the words “carries out evil device” is a Hebrew word “mezimmah” which means to have evil plans or thoughts or to plan evil schems contrary to God’s law or righteousness. God is simply telling us here that we should not get angry because we are not getting what we asked for from God while others who are doing evil and ungodly things are quickly succeeding. This happens more often to Christians than any thing else.
As Christians we live among Christians and non Christians alike and we get advises, wether we ask for them or not from both sides. Most of the time these advises are evil and/or ungodly. A good example is Sangomas and/or traditional healers and/or false prophets. (Those that are reading this message and follow Sangomas as part of their tradition, this is not meant to offend you but rather to lovingly and humbly bring you to the realization that we are all sinners and in need of repentance and in need of Jesus Christ). We all know as Christians that the bible forbids us from consulting people who themselves consult spirit mediums or the spirit of the dead for assistance. Well if you did not know, now you know.
Leviticus 19:31 (NLTse)
“Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead. I am the Lord your God.
The bible also tells us to stay away from false teachers and/or false prophets. How often do we get our friends saying to us as Christians, “I had the same problem and went to see this Sangoma or this “prophet” and he healed me or and I got the promotion or I got married or I became pregnant. This Sangoma or this “prophet” helped me” how often we as Christians have heard this. Many times isn’t?
Here I am as a Christian, I have been praying day and night, non stop and God has not answered my prayers and here is a non Christian or a false Christian who only went to a Sangoma or a false prophet and now he has given him a breakthrough. This makes you think as a Christian, is my God really faithful, will he really help me, does he really love me? Maybe I must also go to the Sangoma or the false prophet and ask for help. Your child has been sick for a long time, you are not working and there is no food for your family, your kids cannot attend school, you cannot have children, etc. these are the problems that we as Christians face. This is when your faith is tested to the limit. Remember what God through Paul and also through the writer of hebrews said to us:
Romans 5:3-5 (NLTse)
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Hebrews 12:5 (NLTse)
And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said,
“My child, don’t make light of the L ord ’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you.
God is saying here in this psalm that don’t let the quick success of those that follow evil ways make you angry to an extent that you also want to follow them. God gives us an encouragement and a warning in verse 8-9 of this psalm and says
Psalms 37:8-9 (ESVST)
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. 9 For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.
God says here again that we must not get angry if those that follow evil ways succeed. God says this anger can only lead to evil because it might makes you so angry that you now choose to follow those that are doing evil. The warning from God is know that evil doers will be cut off but those that patiently waits for God like a woman in labour pains, shall inherit the land and in our case, he will answer our prayers.
Psalms 37:16-17 (ESVST)
Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked. 17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.
God says to us that it is better to have little than to have more by following evil ways because the evil doers, will be punished and those that are righteous will be upheld.
Psalms 37:25-26 (ESVST)
I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. 26 He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing.
David here the writer of this psalm 37 that we are busy with, gives a testimony and says that he has lived as a young men and now an old man and he has never seen God forsake his own children. He has never seen them begging for bread. He says God is forever giving generously and God’s children become a blessing. David is saying that look, God is true to his word, if he says he will take care of you, he will. Then David concludes his psalm by saying
Psalms 37:39-40 (ESVST)
The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble. 40 The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.
So, commit everything to The Lord and trust in him and he will help you. Be patient like a woman in labour pains who does nothing but endures labour pains until the child is born. Don’t wander off and follow evil schems no matter how successful the evil doers are, for God will soon punish the evil doers and uphold the righteous.
May these words find suitable soil in our hearts and grow and produce more fruits in Jesus name, amen.