Psalms 37:1-2 ESV
“Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.”
How would you define an evildoer? Certainly, anyone who commits sin does evil, but the context is not of those who may occasionally sin, but of those who practice evil. It is of those who intentionally and habitually do others harm. They are malicious, immoral, and dangerous people.
Wrongdoers (or workers of iniquity) is similar, as it is also their practice to do evil, but it is more that they make a profession of doing evil. This is what they live for. They plot evil against other people with the full intent to do them harm, for this is their goal in life.
Sometimes those who make a practice or a profession of doing evil to others are well liked and admired people, who are wealthy, perhaps, and who seem to have everything work out for them. They seem to be at ease, and they may have very likeable personalities.
So, this is a caution to not be jealous of them and of their success, their wealth, or their popularity among the people. We are not to wish we could have the things they have or be resentful that such evil people should be so successful or so well liked.
But the other caution here is that we are not to fear them or their evil. For very evil people sometimes have enormous power over others, or they know how to make themselves look good (and innocent) while they make the righteous look bad (and evil).
So, we must continue to obey the Lord in doing what he has called us to do, and in saying what he gives us to say, and not fear what the wicked might do to us or say about us, nor fear what cruel tricks they might try to pull on us, too, to try to make us look bad.
We must always keep in mind that God is absolutely sovereign over all, and he has the power to keep us doing what he wants us to do despite all evil plots against us to try to destroy us. And the wicked will one day be no more, for God will destroy them.
Psalms 37:3-4 ESV
“Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Despite the evil that evildoers are doing, we must remain focused on Jesus Christ and on his gospel, and on following him wherever he leads us. We must remain faithful to our Lord and stay the course despite all of Satan’s attempts to bring us down and to destroy us.
We must put our full trust in Jesus Christ and in his word and in all his promises to us and know without a doubt that he is absolutely in control over all things, and that he is all powerful, and that nothing can happen to us but what God allows it for a purpose, and he will carry us through it.
And we must continue doing the good that our Lord prepared in advance that we should do, that we should walk in it. But we don’t do all of this as trying to earn or to deserve our own salvation. We do it because that is what our salvation is all about (Eph 2:8-10).
It is about us dying to sin and self and being reborn of the Spirit of God and now walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6).
But we also don’t do all of this out of some mechanical response to some religious rituals. We obey our Lord because we love him, because we delight in him. We enjoy serving him. We want to walk in his ways, for he has put that in our hearts. It gives us great joy to walk in fellowship with Him.
Then, his desires become our desires, which is what it means to love. It means to choose (to prefer) what he chooses. And then he gives us our desires because they are now in line with his. So, what he gives us is going to agree with his holiness and righteousness.
Psalms 37:5-6 ESV
“Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.”
Evildoers are going to assail us. They will gossip about us or slander us, or they will try to trip us up with our own words so that they will have cause to accuse us. They will perform all kinds of trickery, too, to try to make us look bad and to make them look good by comparison.
When this happens, we are to commit our way to the Lord, surrender our reputations to him, and trust him that one day the truth will come forward and that we will be exonerated. For we have no control over what others say about us. We have to humble ourselves and make ourselves of no reputation.
In fact, we may be called upon to continue for many years doing what the Lord wants us to do while others are convinced that we are not right in the head or while they are convinced that we are in the wrong. Sadly enough, too many people believe whatever they are told about others without checking it out to make certain it is true.
But the Lord has a day in mind when all that is hidden will be revealed, and the evil that evil people do will be exposed, and the good that the righteous do, empowered by the Spirit, will also rise to the surface, and they will be justified for the good that they did in obedience to their Lord.
Psalms 37:7 ESV
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!”
In the meanwhile, we commit our lives and our reputations to our Lord, and we humble ourselves, and we remain willing to be thought of as evil even while we know in our hearts that we are doing what we are called of God to do. And so we rest in the Lord, surrendered to him.
We wait patiently on the Lord to bring those things hidden into the light so that the truth will be known, and the evil will be exposed for what it is. And we don’t let the evil being done against us take us out, but we remain faithful to our Lord in all things, accepting that we will suffer injustice for the sake of the name of Jesus.
Regarding those who carry out evil devices, we just have to give them over to the Lord, too. We pray for wisdom and discernment to know how to respond to such people as this, and we pray for the grace of God to love our enemies, to do good to them, to pray for them, and to say to them what will be beneficial for them. We need to especially pray for their salvation.
The Spirit Calling
An Original Work / November 12, 2019
Hear the Spirit calling.
He’ll keep you from falling.
Tenderly He’s calling,
“Come and follow Him.”
Walk with Jesus daily.
Don’t give in to lazy.
Folks may call you crazy.
Fellowship with Him.
Follow where He leads you.
Eat what Jesus feeds you.
His love will renew you
If you follow Him.
Do what Jesus tells you.
Don’t let your faith fail you.
His love will avail you
If you walk with Him.
Jesus, Lord and Savior,
Reigneth now forever.
He gave us His favor
So we’d live with Him.
Turning now from our sin,
Holy Spirit live-in.
Holiness we walk in,
Purified by Him.