Ps. 37 Week 5–Be Generous in the Land

                                                                           
Welcome back to our study of Psalm 37….
Every Wednesday for the next few weeks, you’re invited 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.
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REVIEW:
Last week we talked about a large chunk of verses dealing with the wicked (who, by definition, can be any of us without Jesus.) We also introduced the idea that God has an inheritance for us–a Promised Land He wants to give us if we will take it.
This week I want to talk some more about our inheritance and being generous in the land–wherever and whatever that ‘land’ is for you.

INFO:
VV. 20-21 (ESV)
“But the wicked will perish;
though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field
they will be consumed
they will go up in smoke.
The wicked borrow and do not repay
but the righteous give generously.”
Psalm 112:5 says, 
“Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, 
who conducts his affairs with justice.”
THOTS:
Being generous is a strong command from the Lord, urging us to be generous with what we have–do you have extra time?  Can you stop and pray with someone at church or invite them for coffee? Can you volunteer for an hour a week at a school?  
Do you have extra money?  Give it away–even if it’s $10.00–to your church first or to a non profit that you know is doing good work.  
Do you have a talent or a gift?  Writing, painting, teaching?  Organizing chaos, gardening?  I don’t know–something you enjoy doing that you are good at.  Is there a place where you can give that away?
When we are content in God and have all we need we can give generously and lend freely–without any expectation of return (that is always the hard part.)

INFO:
Let’s talk some more about our inheritance, for here the Word says again:
v. 22 “For those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land,
but those cursed by him shall be cut off.”

The word ‘inherit’ in the Hebrew is ‘yaresh’–to occupy by driving out previous tenants and possessing in their place.”
We talked last week about the theme and message in the book of Joshua being all about taking possession of the land God had promised to the children of Israel.

THOTS:
Failure to Occupy:
How many times did God tell the Hebrews, “This is yours, I’ve given it to you, go in and take it….” and they failed to occupy?
There is a promise to the people, they cross over Jordan, the walls fall at Jericho, there are battles, kings are killed, the Southern cities of Judah are conquered, the Northern kings are defeated (this takes up till Chapter 11). 
Chapter 13 continues and there is still land to be taken, it is divided among the tribes–Judah, Ephraim, Manasseh and so on. In Chapter 18 Joshua reminds them once again saying, 
“How long will you wait before you go in to take possess of the land the Lord has given you?
How long will we wait?
Why can’t we ‘occupy’ the land that God has given us? (Makes me think of the Occupy Seattle (or New York, or Austin, or Los Angeles) a movement of people who refuse to budge when they believe in a cause.)

Father, give us your grace and strength and courage to reclaim possession of the land you’ve given us–‘territory’ in our minds where lies have lived, that we can replace them with the truth.  “Land” you’ve given us in our hearts that are given over to you and nothing and no one else.

YOUR TURN:
Is there any land you’re failing to occupy?  Space you haven’t given over to God in your life? Is there a battle you need to fight first? Something you need to let go of?
Today marks the first day of Lent, marking the 40 fast days before Easter.

I think I’m going to give up striving….will you remind me I said that?  Give up trying so hard?
The last part of this section is my favorite: 
v. 23  “The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way;”
I love the way the Amplified Bible shares this: 
“The steps of a good man are directed and established
of the Lord when he delights in His way (and busies himself with every step.)”

I think it’s important to note WHEN we delight in God’s ways, he directs and establishes our steps. When we’re delighting in our own ways, we can get way off the path.

The phrase “he busies himself with every step” doesn’t speak to me so much of being busy but being attentive to where I place my feet.

Are we watching our steps as we walk on the path before us?  Do we delight in His ways?

Oh, Father keep us there this week!

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Next week–stumbling but not falling….see you then!

4 thoughts on “Ps. 37 Week 5–Be Generous in the Land

  1. I am right with you, Jody, on the idea to give up striving, to stop trying so hard. That people-pleasing demon is extremely sly. He tricks me into thinking I'm ministering to people when actually I'm ministering to myself. I feel good when people are pleased with me. So problem #1: My motivation is wrong. Problem #2: There aren't enough hours in the day to please everyone. Thank you for giving credence to such a goal during Lent–not doing more, but doing less.

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  2. Same here, Jody. Your reminder to occupy is well-placed. God gives us the right and the ability to take the ground He indicates and expects us to do it. In doing this, we demonstrate–mostly to ourselves, I think–that He is sovereign over His creation, and that He will, as He says, give it to whom He determines for reasons He only needs know.
    Occupy. Yes. I must remember this.
    Thank you.

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  3. Jody- Thank you once again for this rich banquet from the word…generosity occupies your heart! I had fun looking up the words…generous and occupy…then I got on a tangent with the word delight. I looked up Ps37:23 in various versions…it is hard to tell if who the subject is…does God delight in the good/godly person or does the godly person delight in God's way…I think it works either way…when I sense God delights in me I am moved to follow and keep in step with his way. When I delight in God, then his way seems more clear. Here are a random list of definitions I found for delight (chapets in Hebrew) from Strong's concordance…to incline to, to bend (toward), to be pleased with, to desire…I am delighting in this study of Psalm 37!

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