The Blessedness of a Believer
David explains the wicked ways of sinners (36:1-4). The wicked people have no fear of God because they are spiritually blind and dead. Everything they say is crooked and deceitful. They lack wisdom to know the truth. Biblical wisdom is the ability to see life from God’s perspective. Godly wisdom is born out of fear of God and the knowledge of God (Pro 1:7; 9:10). It enables to see life from eternal perspective. The wicked commit evil continually. At night they plot wickedness and refuse to turn away from evil. God hates wickedness but loves sinners. The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him. They put their hope in his mercy. Do you lack wisdom? Ask God for wisdom who gives generously to all without rebuke (James 1:5).
The psalmist appreciates God’s blessing upon the righteous (36:5-12). David meditated on the unfailing love of God to encourage himself. Meditation on the faithfulness and righteousness of God brings confidence in Christian life. David says, “How precious is your unfailing love, O God!”
He took refuge in the shadow of God’s wing. David knew that God is the fountain of life and light (Vs 9). The Christians can find their security and provision in Christ. Christ’s presence brings abundant provision and satisfaction in their lives. He is our light. We should allow him to guide and protect us. We should not allow the wicked to influence us. We should never be afraid the wicked. If we drink from the fountain of life, we will never thirst again (John 4:13). Christ is the found of the living water and the source of eternal life. Do you know him?
Trust in the Lord and Fret not
The psalmist exhorts the righteous to trust in the Lord and do not envy those who do wrong (37:1-8). Most probably David wrote this psalm in his old age. He was envious of the prosperity of the wicked. But he was convinced that though the wicked prosper they are like grass that soon withers. The righteous should trust in the Lord and he will give them the desire of their heart because they delight in the Lord. The lord will surely vindicate them. When we stop trusting the Lord, our hearts will become heavy and burdened. When we delight in the Lord, we learn to appreciate God and desire to do his will. God will take care of us. Is there anything that the Lord cannot provide when we pray in the will of God? Christians should place their trust in the Lord. Commit everything to the Lord. Committing our ways to the Lord is an act of our will. We must also trust the Lord because he promised to help us. Also we must wait on the Lord patiently. Christians should know God’s will and pray accordingly. In His time the Lord will accomplish everything for his glory and our good. Envying could lead only to evil and anger.
David exhorts believers that the wicked will be punished and be destroyed (9-24). He explains the coming judgment on the wicked. David contrasts between the meek and the wicked. The meek will inherit the land and live in prosperity. The wicked will be destroyed. Though they plot against the godly God will judge them. God will not forget the needy. He takes care of innocent. It is better to have little than to be wicked with much wealth. The Lord knows the godly and directs his steps. Though they stumble, they will never fall for the Lord holds them by the hand. Christians should take comfort in knowing that God is aware of their needs. In Christ we have everything needed. We have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ (Eph 1:3). He is our spiritual resource and we do not have to depend on others for help. God promises to guide us through life. How blessed to stay close to Him for spiritual strength and protection! Do you experience these blessings in your life?
David gives council in his old age (25-40). “Once I was young and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread”. The Lord provides food for the righteous. He never said the righteous will not go through troubles. David experienced a great deal trouble and afflictions in his life. But he was not left alone. God faithfully helped him to get through them. Christians must not afraid of getting old. Jesus said “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb 13:5). The righteous person speaks wisdom because the Word of God is in his heart. None of their steps shall slide. God will not allow the wicked to succeed. How encouraging that our life is not left to chance but God controls and guides us. David concludes the psalm by describing the difference between the godly and the wicked. David had seen the wicked flourishing like a green tree. But when he looked again, they were gone and could not find them. But the future of the perfect person is peace. Here the word “perfect” does not mean sinless but sincere. The Lord will deliver them from the wicked because they take refuge in God. They live by faith in Christ. Are you living by faith in Christ or by sight? Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and grow in the grace of God. May God help us!
A Prayer for Forgiveness
David starts this psalm by describing the consequences of his sin (38:1-12). The psalmist is severely disciplined for his personal sin. Sin may give pleasure for a season but it has consequences. David says, “My guilt overwhelms me- it is a burden too heavy to bear. I am exhausted and completely crushed. My loved ones and friends stay away fearing my disease. Even my own family stands at a distance” (Vs 4-11). His enemies spoke evil against him and planned treachery to ruin his life. David greatly suffered for his sin. Christians are not supposed to sin but they do sin. God disciplines his children because he loves them. He wants them to live in holiness to reflect God, their heavenly Father in this fallen world. When we confess our sins to God, he forgives our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Confessing sin is essential for enjoying fellowship with God and to become useful to him.
David expresses his confidence that the Lord would rescue him (38:13-22). He hoped and waited on God to answer his prayer. Christians should not give up their hope, if they stumble and fall. When we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive our sins and restore us. We should come to God in a contrite heart. David says, “For I am ready to fall, and my sorrow is continually before me”. His desperate situation helped him to understand that his sin was the cause of his suffering. Christians should learn the lessons from David’s experience. Satan is a deceiver and he would encourage us to rationalize our sinful practices. If we sin, don’t give into our emotions but we must confess our sins to God immediately. David was deeply sorry for what he has done and confessed his sin. His enemies hated him and slandered against him. David says’ “Do not abandon me, O Lord. Do not stand far from me”. God cannot forsake us because He owns us. He is our salvation and help in time of needs. We serve a compassionate Savior. Do you know this loving God through Christ? If not, why not receive Christ as your Lord and Savior by faith now?
A Prayer for Divine Compassion
David casts himself on the mercy of the Lord as his only hope (39:1-6). He was disciplined for his sin and realized how brief his life on the earth and it is numbered. He was silent before God and sought his mercy. When we sin, instead of confessing we make excuses. But David did not do that, he was silent and did not argue with God. Suppressing our feelings only aggravates our sufferings. David prayed, Lord, make me to know my end, and how fleeting my life is”. He sought relief from his suffering by submitting to Lord’s will. People often forget that life is no longer than a width of a hand and a breath. We are merely moving shadows and not knowing who will spend our wealth. Christians should count their lives for God and in eternal things. They should not argue with God or make excuses but devote their precious time to serve Christ. When we sin, confess it right away and get busy in serving Christ for the glory of God.
In the midst of trouble, David found his confidence and hopes in the Lord (39:7-13). He expresses his commitment to the Lord and in his promises. When David was afflicted by God, he cried for help. He prayed that God would remove the chastening from his life. He says, “I am only a traveler passing through as my ancestors were before me”. David could find hope in none other than in the Lord. Biblical hope and confidence are born of faith in God. Faith, hope and love are inseparable. Christians hope is not a feeling but the confident assurance that God will take care of our future. When Jesus Christ is your Lord, your future is secured. When we lose hope in God, we lose joy in life. Christians are born again to a living hope in the risen Christ (1 Pet 1:3). The basis of our hope is the unchanging character of God. His faithfulness in keeping his promises in the past gives us confident hope for the future. Christians should not be caught off guard because Jesus knows what the future hold for us. Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? You can have joy, confidence and peace if your hope is in Christ.
A Thanksgiving Psalm for God’s Salvation
This psalm starts with a prayer for help and dedication to God (40:1-10). David patiently waited for God to help him. He says, God lifted him out of the pit of despair, out of the miry clay and set his feet upon a rock. Waiting on the Lord is not wasting time but worthwhile because of what God is going to do for us. God’s deliverance gave David a new song for rejoicing in the Lord. The basis of his deliverance was that he trusted in the Lord. David says, God’s blessings toward him are innumerable and cannot be counted. God’s blessings gave David a new perspective of life and eternity. It helped him to rededicate his life to do the will of God. God reveals his will through his Word. “My ears have pierced” is a reference to a custom among slaves when they rededicate to their masters (Ex 21:6). Verses 6-8 is a reference to Christ and his death on the cross (Heb 10:5-7). David was not afraid of speaking about God’s faithfulness, salvation and his unfailing love in the congregation. While we are waiting on God, he is working all things for his glory and our good (Rom 8:28). Are you waiting on the Lord or look to men for help? Are you afraid of sharing the gospel with others? Leave all your burdens with the Lord and he will not disappoint you. Pray to God to give you the boldness to share the gospel with others. The gospel is not the good news that is to be kept to ourselves but to share.
David prayed that God would not withhold his mercy and unfailing love from him (40:11-17). He was surrounded by many troubles due to his sin. He says, “My sins pile up so high, I can’t see my way out”. David’s prayer became more intense and specific. He says, “Rescue me and come quickly to help. Those who try to trouble and humiliate him may turn back in disgrace”.
He wants that those who love the salvation of the Lord would rejoice greatly. David humbly acknowledges that he is poor and needy yet the Lord thinks about him. He prays that the Lord would not delay helping him. How comforting that God knows us intimately and personally. He knows us better than our closest relatives and friends. God thinks about us lovingly. He is our heavenly Father. His thoughts toward us are thoughts of peace and not of evil (Jer 29:11). God knows what is best for us and always does what is perfect for us (Ps 138:8). We do not see all the details of our life and how they fit together. But God knows our future and he does all things for his glory and our blessing. Do you long to know God who thinks about you? Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to know this loving God personally.