Psalm 37

Hello, my friend.  From time to time a friend sends me something heard or read, which is often a great challenge and blessing.  This chapter from a book called “Praying the Psalms” was enriching.   I don’t know the author of this book, but he seems to know the author of the Psalms well.  And he writes, “Most of the Psalms can only be appropriately prayed by people who are living at the edge of their lives, sensitive to the raw hurts, the primitive passions and the naïve elations that are at the bottom of our life.  The Psalms mostly do not emerge out of situations of equilibrium.  Rather, people are driven to such poignant prayer and song as are found in the Psalms precisely by experiences of being overwhelmed, nearly destroyed and surprisingly given life which empower us to pray and sing.”

We have seen this in recent weeks, as we have read some of David’s groans of despair and his cries for help.  Too often, I think, we wrap our lives in a cocoon of conventional Christian expression and behavior, suitable for Sundays and pious acceptability, when in fact, much of our lives may be lived in great tensions, anxieties, uncertainties and fear.  So these Psalms, if read candidly and honestly, touch us in ways that nothing else in Scripture can do.

Our PSALM 37 for today is not one of despair but a kind of orderly hymn of praise to God, with thoughts of joy and peace.  We read it with thankfulness, because too often we do “fret because of evil men or are envious of those who do wrong.”  We need to, as Proverbs 3:5,6 reminds us:  “Trust in the Lord and do good” or as The Message version puts vss.5-7, “Open up before God, keep nothing back; He’ll do whatever needs to be done:  He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon.  Quiet down before God, be prayerful before Him. Don’t bother with those who climb the ladder, who elbow their way to the top.”  And you may have noticed how, through this Psalm, David reminds us, in vss.6, 16, 17, 21, 25, 30, 32 and 39 that we are called righteous, sharers in God’s life and His nature, and that ‘the salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord, their stronghold in time of trouble.’

I love The Message translation of vs. 16, “Less is more and more is less.  One righteous will outclass fifty wicked.  For the wicked are moral weaklings but the righteous are God-strong.  God keeps track of decent folk; what they do won’t soon be forgotten.  In hard times, they’ll hold their heads high; when the shelves are bare, they’ll be full.”   So however you are today, in whatever circumstance, may you know that God cares about you, you are His personal concern.

Thank you, Lord, for these stimulating, refreshing thoughts, in times of high-wind or gentle breeze, you are with us, enabling, blessing, using.  Bless my friend who is alongside, and those, Lord, in very special need.  We love and pray for them and their families.  Thank you, Lord.

And thank you, partner, for your love and prayers.  I thank God for you.  Cheerio!

Psalm 37

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