Psalm 37: Having Nothing, Possessing Everything

Peter Barnes: Psalm 37:12-26

(4 February 2018)


– 2 Cor.6:10. It is not straightforward – otherwise we would not be tempted to fret.
1. The contrast between the wicked and the righteous.

David says more about the wicked:
(a) the wicked plot – 37:12a. This is something decided.
(b) they are violent – 37:14. See Ahab and Naboth’s vineyard.
(c) they borrow and do not repay – 37:21.

The righteous are generous – 37:21, 26. They are generous because they trust in God to look after them. Note Ps.37:16.

2. How God judges the wicked, even in this life.
God responds to the wicked here on earth:
(a) He laughs at them – 37:13; Ps.2:1-4.
(b) So often sin rebounds on the sinner – 37:15; like Hamon who had gallows prepared for Mordecai, but who ended out being hanged on his own gallows. Spurgeon: ‘Malice outwits itself.’
(c) They are brought to nought – 37:20. They dominate the scene for a time, and then they are like smoke that dissipates and vanishes. Verse 22 says that they will be cut off from the land. God’s promises are not for them. See James 1:11.

3. God blessed the righteous, even in this life.

This is not always straightforward, so let us tread carefully. God sustains them in days of trial – 37:18-19.

– 37:25. Allen Gardiner perished of hunger in 1851. Luke 16:19-23. Alec Motyer: ‘Something broadly true and always ultimately true.’

– 37:23-24. The message of the gospel is not ‘Become a Christian and nothing will ever go wrong in your life.’