PSALM 37 - Wicked? 8 Dec 2019
Many people like simple clear statements. The wicked versus the righteous. It seems obvious. Crystal clear. The wicked go to hell and the righteous will have eternal life with God.
Already in the psalm it becomes complicated. The wicked appear to have a better life. A Dutch translation for wicked is: "Those without God" As if that would clarify everything. I am however not without fault. And I may appear pretty rich compared to most people on this earth. What would make me righteous?
Commit your destiny
In psalm 37,5 it says: "Commit your destiny to God, and He will act." I did entrust my life to God. I allow God to act in my life, as it pleases to Him. I never fell short in anything. I am however willing to become poor for the kingdom of God.
1 [Of David]
Do not get heated about the wicked or envy those who do wrong.
2 Quick as the grass they wither,
fading like the green of the fields.
3 Put your trust in Yahweh and do right,
make your home in the land and live secure.
4 Make Yahweh your joy and he will give you your heart's desires.
5 Commit your destiny to Yahweh,
be confident in him, and he will act,
6 making your uprightness clear as daylight,
and the justice of your cause as the noon.
7 Stay quiet before Yahweh, wait longingly for him,
do not get heated over someone who is making a fortune,
succeeding by devious means.
8 Refrain from anger, leave rage aside,
do not get heated -- it can do no good;
9 for evil-doers will be annihilated,
while those who hope in Yahweh shall have the land for their own.
10 A little while and the wicked will be no more,
however well you search for the place,
the wicked will not be there;
11 but the poor will have the land for their own,
to enjoy untroubled peace.
12 The wicked plots against the upright
and gnashes his teeth at him,
13 but Yahweh only laughs at his efforts,
knowing that his end is in sight.
14 Though the wicked draw his sword and bend his bow to slaughter the honest
and bring down the poor and the needy,
15 his sword will pierce his own heart,
and his bow will be shattered.
16 What little the upright possesses outweighs all the wealth of the wicked;
17 for the weapons of the wicked shall be shattered,
while Yahweh supports the upright.
18 The lives of the just are in Yahweh's care,
their birthright will endure for ever;
19 they will not be put to shame when bad times come,
in time of famine they will have plenty.
20 The wicked, enemies of Yahweh, will be destroyed,
they will vanish like the green of the pasture, they will vanish in smoke.
21 The wicked borrows and will not repay,
but the upright is generous in giving;
22 those he blesses will have the land for their own,
and those he curses be annihilated.
23 Yahweh guides a strong man's steps and keeps them firm;
and takes pleasure in him.
24 When he trips he is not thrown sprawling,
since Yahweh supports him by the hand.
25 Now I am old,
but ever since my youth I never saw an upright person abandoned,
or the descendants of the upright forced to beg their bread.
26 The upright is always compassionate,
always lending, so his descendants reap a blessing.
27 Turn your back on evil and do good,
you will have a home for ever,
28 for Yahweh loves justice and will not forsake his faithful.
Evil-doers will perish eternally,
the descendants of the wicked be annihilated,
29 but the upright shall have the land for their own,
there they shall live for ever.
30 Wisdom comes from the lips of the upright,
and his tongue speaks what is right;
31 the law of his God is in his heart,
his foot will never slip.
32 The wicked keeps a close eye on the upright,
looking out for a chance to kill him;
33 Yahweh will never abandon him to the clutches of the wicked,
nor let him be condemned if he is tried.
34 Put your hope in Yahweh,
keep to his path,
he will raise you up to make the land your own;
you will look on while the wicked are annihilated.
35 I have seen the wicked exultant,
towering like a cedar of Lebanon.
36 When next I passed he was gone,
I searched for him and he was nowhere to be found.
37 Observe the innocent, consider the honest,
for the lover of peace will not lack children.
38 But the wicked will all be destroyed together,
and their children annihilated.
39 The upright have Yahweh for their Saviour,
their refuge in times of trouble;
40 Yahweh helps them and rescues them,
he will rescue them from the wicked,
and save them because they take refuge in him.
Excerpt from THE NEW JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright (c) 1985 by
Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division
of Penguin Random House, Inc. Reprinted by Permission.
The wicked versus the righteous