Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wait for the 9th Inning

Psalm 37 is an acrostic written when reflecting as an old man on lessons learned in the school of grace. (v. 25) [Part 1 of 2]

I. Do Not Assume the Wicked Have It all That Good

A. Do not fret over the prosperity of the wicked; evildoers die like mown grass.A Psalm of David. Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.” (Psalm 37:1-2) Who envies Kobe beef as it feasts in the stall?

1. Even serious believers misinterpret the apparent prosperity of evil; Asaph made the problem the subject of Psalm 73.A Psalm of Asaph. Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” (Psalm 73:1-3)

2. Evildoers are actually moving into dangerous places; such people are oblivious to the trouble they cultivate for themselves. “Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.” (Psalm 73:18-20)

B. Seek contentment in the Lord and it will develop eventually.Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (Psalm 37:3-4) There are many thing nature might want which grace will not seek.

C. Worry only makes life unnecessarily more unpleasant; God knows what needs to be done and He will do it.Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.” (Psalm37:7-9)

D. Life is too short to worry about the wicked; they don’t last long. “For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” (Psalm 37:10-11) “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)

II. The Wicked Are Clueless

A. The Lord laughs as the wicked throw their tantrums. The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.” (Psalm 37:12-13) Wicked people will still bark when they can’t bite.

B. The wicked seem unable to comprehend that their own weapons strike back at them rather than at people under God’s protection. “The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation. Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.” (Psalm 37:14-15) Like Haman, the wicked build their own gallows.

C. The final accounting in life is the only one that matters; worldly wealth and prosperity, which disappear instantly at death, cease to be impressive compared to the eternal treasures of the redeemed.A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.” (Psalm 37:16-17)

D. Nothing escapes the mind of God; the final accounting will be good for upright people and irremediable for wicked people. “The LORD knoweth the days of the upright:and their inheritance shall be for ever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.” (Psalm 37:18-20)

E. Avoid the deadly attractions of the damned. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

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