Ps. 37 Week 4–Inherit the Land

Welcome back to our study of Psalm 37….

Every Wednesday for the next 7 weeks or so, I’d like you to pull up a chair, a pillow or cushion, grab a cup of something hot and join us as we sit around the virtual ‘living room’ talking about God’s Word together.

Each of our weekly ‘walks’ (which is why I chose the pathway photo above) will be reviewing 4 or 5 verses at a time (maybe more), asking questions, defining words, and shining light on some of the gems I’ve discovered.

I hope you’ll join us and leave your thoughts in the Comments.
The chunk of passage we’re going to look at today covers vv. 10-19. That’s a lot more than 4 or 5 verses, I know, but  I want to look at some overall themes and addressing them all together seemed best.

The Psalmist writes in these verses of the stark contrast between two outcomes:
Those who will be cut off (the wicked)
Those who will inherit the land
(from the ESV Bible)

“10 In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;

    though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.

11 But the meek shall inherit the land

    and delight themselves in abundant peace.

view from a hilltop on a friend’s property

12 The wicked plots against the righteous

    and gnashes his teeth at him,

13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,

    for he sees that his day is coming.

14 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows

    to bring down the poor and needy,

    to slay those whose way is upright;

15 their sword shall enter their own heart,

    and their bows shall be broken.

16 Better is the little that the righteous has

    than the abundance of many wicked.

17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,

    but the Lord upholds the righteous.

18 The Lord knows the days of the blameless,

    and their heritage will remain forever;

19 they are not put to shame in evil times;

    in the days of famine they have abundance.”

There is an awful lot of talk about the wicked in these lines….those who will be ‘cut off’ and frankly, I don’t see myself doing battle with ‘wicked’ people in my present circumstances. (No, ‘wicked’ is some enemy of Bilbo Baggins’ in The Hobbit; those were evil beings! But I digress…)

I looked up this use of ‘wicked’ and in every instance in this Psalm, it is ‘rasha’ in the Hebrew (raw shaw).  It means ‘morally wrong, an actively bad person, condemned, guilty, ungodly.’

To be honest my first thought was, “That was ME before I let Jesus take over my life.  I was ungodly, felt guilty, I was morally wrong and actively bad. And very lost.”

When I put it in that context, wicked isn’t as dark a word as it sounds.

More to the point, it is true ‘the wicked will be cut off’–we will be lost without the righteousness of Christ.  

In this Psalm there are many mentions of the righteous and their dwelling or heritage/inheritance:  vv. 11, 18, 22, 27, 29 and 34. 

Can you find references to our inheritance in other places in the Word? 
Any thoughts about what you notice?

SO—our inheritance as children of God is a big deal.  But before we go there, let’s talk about our righteousness. I like the Amplified Bible’s rendering of this as ‘those in right standing.’

We are righteous BECAUSE of what Jesus did for us.  He shed his shed blood in our place, we live in HIS power to continually save us, and because of his mercy, we are in right standing before God.  It is not because of anything we have done.

Righteousness isn’t what you DO, it is what is declared about you that matters….

So, when we walk in that righteousness we will have an inheritance.  
Verse 11 states not only will we inherit the land, we will “delight ourselves in abundant peace.”
Oh–peace.  Jesus, I want that.  I want to be in the land where I should be and be at peace.
Two years ago I spent several months reading and studying the book of Joshua.  It is a story of God’s promise to the Israelites that they would receive a Promised Land.  If you remember, He told them that way back in Genesis with Abram……..but it took them many, many years to receive what God had promised.

There was a Promise, there was Preparation and there was Pursuit.

Joshua 1:13 records, “The LORD your God is providing you a place of rest and will give you this land.”

He promised them a place of rest–‘nuakh’ in Hebrew–freedom from threat. 

But it did not come without a price.  There were giants, there were battles, there were traitors. And over and over again through many, many chapters God is still saying “Occupy the land!’  Take what I’ve given you.”

The children of Israel had to make the effort to walk in what God had given them.

Has God given you a ‘kingdom’? Has he promised you territory that He said would be yours? (not physical land, but a place of abundance and peace).
Has he set you free from something? 

I know he has done that in me.  Four years ago I had a time of prayer and release and powerful touch of God, so powerful it knocked me to the floor.  And I’ve been walking in greater freedom ever since.

And I want to keep walking in it.  

Back to Psalm 37– the last lines of this passage say:
19 they are not put to shame in evil times; 
in the days of famine they have abundance.”

from my vegetable garden this summer
Biblical wisdom does NOT say, ‘Just trust God and you will be well off.” (And I know this first hand to be true).  This verse speaks to God’s faithfulness in challenging situations.

Off the top of your head can you share a time when God provided abundantly for you in a ‘time of famine’? (The famine could have been in time, finances, health, or food.)

A Prayer:

“Father, teach us how to stay in the land you’ve given us, live off the land before us, be still where we are and to walk in the inheritance you’ve promised us as your righteous children.”

Oh, He’s given us so much!

(Can we study Joshua next? 🙂

Linking for the first time with Do Not Depart, a place for the Word.

3 thoughts on “Ps. 37 Week 4–Inherit the Land

  1. An example of God providing abundantly during famine: Several years ago I was faced with a difficult, ongoing situation. God's grace and strength helped me press on, but I must admit, it was a struggle. Imagaine my surprise when I counted up the entries in my blessings journal for that year and discovered the number was the largest of any previous year. I started that journal in 1983! Miraculously, God set me free from that difficult situation another year later, and sent me into new territory. I don't know what the future holds, and waiting presents its own challenges. But I keep affirming to myself that God is in control and he will accomplish his purpose in his time!


  2. Jody- This a meaty challenge this week…I'm going to need to marinate on this one for awhile…I appreciate the definition for wicked and how true that it is Christ's rescue that makes it possible for me to live a righteous life. I always get stuck on the idea of righteousness…just hard to accept grace sometimes…will ponder this some more and get back to you.
    Thanks again for challenging us in the Word! And I love Joshua!


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