Ps. 37 Week One–Stay in the Land

Welcome to ‘2TW squared’–Through the Word, Through the Week!

Every Wednesday I’d like you to pull up a chair, a pillow or cushion, grab a cup of something hot and join in a study of God’s word. Think of this as sitting around the living room talking about God’s Word together.

For eight weeks I’ll share with you what I’ve been feasting on, offering my two cents and letting you digest the rest at your leisure. (More about that later.)
Each of our weekly ‘walks’ (which is why I chose the pathway photo above) will be reviewing 4 or 5 verses at a time, asking questions, defining words, and shining light on some of the gems I’ve discovered.

(I ask for your grace in this endeavor as this is the first time I’ve jumped into the online Bible Study blogging waters and random thinker that I am (some of you are smiling) will be ‘figuring out the strokes’ as I swim along.)

I’ll include my email address at the end if you’d like to ask a question or make a comment. I so look forward to hearing from you. 
Last year God gave me the word ‘dwell’ as a theme throughout the year. The word ‘Dwell’ is all over the place in Psalm 37. Now that I’ve lived with this word for a year it’s time to look back and ponder–how well did I do at resting, dwelling in God, making my home in Him? 

Psalm 37 is full of action words, phrases and words like:

“trust, dwell, enjoy, do good, take delight,

commit, trust, do not fret,

be still, wait, refrain from anger”

for starters.

(Your turn:  Read through  the 40 verses of this Psalm before we start and highlight (or underline) all the action words (verbs) you can find.  How many did you come up with?)

I’m calling Psalm 37 “The Pastoral Psalm”. 
Pastoral means ‘of or relating to shepherds or herdsmen,
or animal husbandry, also relating to the country or country life, rural.’

We know King David, who wrote this Psalm, spent a lot of time in the fields as a shepherd. He was intimately acquainted with grass and green plants (verse 2).

1 Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.”
David knew whereof he spoke when he said ‘do not fret about those who are evil or be envious of them….they will wither and soon die away.’
I’m not going to spend time reminding you to ‘fret not’ (i.e. worry).  Don’t do it. I realize that is easier said than done. Worry is sin. Yep, I said that. Besides, it makes life too short.
There are no easy answers to this tendency in our flesh, other than repenting when we DO worry.
v. 3 “Trust in the Lord…”
That takes a daily surrender, a moment by moment surrender actually. 
Trust.  Always.  He is a big God.

Enough said. Let’s talk about cows, sheep, goats, shall we? 
These ruminators (you can look that up later) stay in one place and pretty much eat all day long. (My notes from 2005 say, right beneath the words Psalm 37, ‘Chew, chew, chew.’

These grass eaters know how to ‘dwell. 
Dwell means ‘to reside, to live as an inhabitant,
to focus one’s attention.’
In other words, bloom where you’re planted.  Stop looking over the fence at someone else’s pasture.  Be happy with the food you have. 

Yes, instead of fretting, (my thoughts in italics):

v. 3 “… and do good

(that’s a tall order!)
dwell in the land and (and as a result)

enjoy safe pasture
(protected by the Shepherd)

‘Do Good’–yes, that’s a tall order.

Your Turn:  Find 3 scriptures that speak to this idea of ‘doing good.  What do they SAY, what do they MEAN and how can you APPLY THEM?
Read the scriptures in more than one version or paraphrase–how about the Message Bible?  The Amplified?  Share what you found in the Comments if you’d like.

Now–on to the ‘dwelling in the land.’  Think about that.  God wants us to consume what is in the pasture in front of us first.  In other words, ‘eat’ your Daily Bread–God’s Word.  Take it in.  Digest it, then you can give it away.  
There have been so many times when I have heard a message or read something in my quiet time or in Scripture and I’ve immediately had someone else in mind that needed to hear it.

I need to remember that the Holy Spirit has something to say to me.  I need to take the food in for myself, let it ‘digest’ (i.e. meditate on it for awhile) so that the nourishment is complete, then give it away.
Besides the food you need each day, ask God to show you what’s in your ‘pasture’–i.e. within the fences of your life. What are your ‘boundaries?’  Are there physical boundaries you’re looking at?

Does your ‘field’ look like a kitchen and a play room and a van?  Does it look like an office–at home or away?  Is it a school room, a grocery store, a kitchen table piled with bills?
Everyone’s field is different and has different demands.

I often want to run away from those demands when they overwhelm me. (And you?)

Here is a comfort, from the Amplified Bible, Psalm 37 verse 3:
“….so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness,
and truly you shall be fed.”
Several weeks ago I was lamenting to the Lord–accounting to Him the dearth of any time set aside to feed myselfemotionally, mentally, spiritually–(forgetting that He already knows) and glanced out the window at the birds.
(not these birds…….this is snow from a few years back…)
There were birds everywhere, swooping from the roof to the feeders,hopping on the grass,pecking the ground, all about my yard.
In the rain. Pouring rain.
They were oblivious to their surroundings. At that moment
God spoke very clearly and simply to my heart….
“I feed the birds; don’t worry, I’ll feed you.”
 “I will feed you.”

One more verse.   

(Also while you’re there–dwelling in the land)
v. 4 ‘Take delight in the Lord,

and He (no one else) will give you
the desires of your heart.”

Only God can give us the desires of our hearts as we delight in Him.  No one else—not our spouse, a good friend, a mom, a dad, a colleague–only God.  
The Amplified Bible says, “He will give you the desires and ‘secret petitions’ of your heart.”
I love that–our Heavenly Father knows our ‘secret petitions’, the prayers we don’t really pray, the dreams we have, the desires–for our marriages, our children, our impact in this world–the needs big and small.
HE will give them to us as we delight in Him.
Because he is The Good Shepherd, our Pastor.
See you next week!
Linking with the lovely sisterhood at Soli Deo Gloria–more encouragement over there!

7 thoughts on “Ps. 37 Week One–Stay in the Land

  1. Jen, when I started blogging last January I spent a LOT of time looking at other people's pastures. The joy I'm finding lately and the contentment in grazing in my own grass and listening to what the Shepherd is telling me is such a relief. One thing I hear Him saying is to continue focusing on encouraging and participating in the Soli Deo Gloria community. You've started a good thing.
    I will be praying that Jesus refines for you in 2013 what your boundaries are and what He's calling you to.


  2. “Doing good” doesn't just mean to have good personal habits, like not smokin' or cussin'. It seems to refer to making life better for others. Isaiah 1:17 is a representative verse.

    Thanks for the inspiration to chew on God's care for me. Time to refresh my trust, I think!


  3. Kel-Thanks so much–you are so sweet to pass on 2TW squared to your readers. I appreciate it.
    We're reading I and II Peter in our Home Group–I had forgotten about the 'do good's there.
    Thanks for joining me on the pathway to Psalm 37.


  4. So what most hits my heart is the confirmation of something that I feel like God has been talking to me about this year — the idea of dwelling in the pasture that He has given me instead of looking at the pasture that my neighbor has. I want to truly value, dwell, and be satisfied with the people He has put in my life instead of looking over at someone else's “numbers.”

    (BTW, ignore my email — I got here today while waiting for a friend to arrive)


  5. Jody-thanks for encouraging me to chew, chew, chew on the phrase “do good”…it is used three times in the First Letter of Peter, chapters 3 and 4…one time it is a quote of Psalm 34:14…I had fun looking up the Hebrew and Greek meanings of the phrase…in Hebrew it's two separate words in greek it is one compound word… one of the meanings being “well-doing”…you are doing a good thing here. writing about God's word and challenging us to dig in…I will mull these over some more and share more insights as they occur to me! I am making this my weekly Bible Study. Also I plan to promote your Bible study tomorrow over at Nourishment for the Soul. I am going to start promoting good blogs and websites on Thrilling Thursdays 🙂


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