day 14 – put a psalm in my heart

Today we sit before God with a single psalm in view, Psalm 37. Odds are, you’re probably familiar with the wording of some of it and don’t even realize it (vs. 11,16,25).

In this psalm we overhear an older man (vs. 25) sharing some wisdom with a younger man. The essence of the wisdom is to keep an open and hopeful mind, and to always trust God despite what your eyes might lead you to believe. If your senses and experience tell you the wicked are the ones who are always ascending, the righteous are always getting the shaft, and this greatly troubles you (vs. 1), don’t close your mind just yet and think you’ve got the whole story and so, understand everything. Live long enough and you will see the tables turned. Don’t draw any hasty or rash conclusions, just keep trusting God, because faith and experience, says the older man, has taught him what the younger man cannot yet see, namely, that there is more to come. [Or to sum it up in the single word of my current sermon series – “AND”]

MorningPs. 37.1-20. Sure, there’s plenty to be unhappy about in this world and it appears that evil is getting the last word. But, keep trusting God for I’m here to tell you that he’ll act for the good when the time is right and however he deems best.

Mid-dayPs. 37.21-31. Those who live for God, who live rightly, will come to experience better times. Don’t go over to the dark side by means of doubt and despair.

NightPs. 37.32-40. The time will come when things are turned right-side up and so, the end for the good is better than it is for others. Keep your trust and hope in the Lord alive, living in light of him and for him, living his way. “… a future awaits those who seek peace.” (vs. 37b)

* Try this. Read Psalm 1 right after you finish reading this psalm. Psalm 37 sounds like commentary on a real life discussion of the validity of Ps. 1. It is as though an older man and a younger man are standing on the summit of a mountaintop and the mountain itself is Ps. 1. They’re standing right in between vs. 3 and vs. 4 of Ps. 1, surveying everything around them, and drawing conclusions from what they see. Note how the last two verses of Ps. 37 echo the last verse of Ps. 1. Imagine the older man and the younger man, shouting those words from the summit and listening to them echo across the valleys and ridgelines.