Welcome back to our study of Psalm 37….
We’re getting close to the finish line and 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, maybe less), 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.
Spring is coming. I can feel it. The ground is warming up, the buds are bursting on branches of shrubs and trees in my yard, there is more sunlight at the end of the day, the birds are rejoicing. It is time to plant.
I’ve got my seeds in jars in a big basket on the shelf and my catalog from
Bakers Seeds is open on the counter–I am itching to get started.
But we had a frost last night and it was 29 degrees when we woke up—brrrr….. Still gonna have to wait a few more weekends before I get out in the dirt and start preparing the ground for harvest.
God’s ‘seedtime’ knows no time. It is always time to plant and be confident of a harvest. Just as sure as a carrot seed will grow to be a carrot and not a turnip, our ‘seeds’ of righteousness–right living and ready repentance–when planted in the soil of our life will yield a harvest.
God has promised it.
I decided again this week to look at our verses in Psalm 37 in the King James Version. Many of the words I wanted to study—‘justice’ for instance–were in the NIV or ESV but when I went to my concordance to find them, were not listed for Psalm 37. So I thought I better go back to the original. (I know the King James Version is NOT the original…..but as close to what I can get my hands on for word sourcing.)
So, here’s our passage for the week (we’re getting close to the finish line!):
25 “I have been young, and now am old;
yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken,
nor his seed begging bread.
26 He is ever merciful, and lendeth;
and his seed is blessed.
27 Depart from evil, and do good;
and dwell for evermore.
28 For the Lord loveth judgment,
and forsaketh not his saints;
they are preserved for ever:
but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land,
and dwell therein for ever.”
Notice how many times the word ‘seed’ is used in this passage as well as the promises of inheriting the land. I mentioned when we started this was a ‘pastoral psalm’–from the first ‘pastor/shepherd’ David who spent most of his early years out of doors on the land.
He knew about having a place to dwell and finding contentment there.
Our contentment in dwelling comes in the promises here that when we choose to invest wisely–sow our seed–God promises a harvest.
What do you have to invest?
- Your time
- Your talents
- Your talk
- Your tithe (or offerings)
Now, I’m not going to tell you how or what to give your money to. And frankly, I think these ‘seeds’ David mentions are more along the lines of the intangibles. What words can you invest today in the life of a child, a co-worker, a spouse? Can you water the seeds someone else has already planted and add a word of encouragement?
What about an investment of time? Verse 25 and 29 both speak of the righteous–that’s us, purchased by the blood of Jesus and made white because of Him.
And righteousness looks like something–you can see its fruit. We should be kind, patient, forgiving, other-centered…(am I stepping on any toes here besides mine?) Those kernels of care will always yield a harvest of results.
Maybe you’re planting seeds of prayer–for your children. Mine are grown and married but they still keep me coming to the Father with petitions for God’s Spirit to inhabit their lives, for the hearts to follow hard after them.
And what about your talents and gifts? They been given to you to give away–to hold lightly, acknowledging the Father from whom they come and giving Him the glory when He works through you.
This psalm of promises says we will dwell in the land and our children will also. And our grandchildren, no doubt, as a godly legacy continues.
- What ‘seeds’ do you have to invest in someone else?
- Is it financial–that’s an exciting privilege to partner in God’s work that way. Tell us about it.
- v. 25 above says, ‘he is ever merciful and lendeth...’ That one’s hard–has God ever asked you to give away something without ever hoping to get it back? That’s how we should give–with empty, no-strings-attached hearts.
- Is it a talent—share with us! How has God been using you to bring him glory with your gifts?
- What about time? Are you giving it away at your child’s school, maybe in Sunday School, maybe helping a neighbor? There are a hundred small things to do with this precious commodity.
YOUR TURN–look it up
“…yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken…”
is cross referenced in Hebrews 13:5 and Deuteronomy 31:6. Go have a look see and share what speaks to you.
“Turn from evil and do good” (v. 27) is repeated in Romans 12:9.
Go look it up for yourself–Romans Chapter 12 is righteousness in action–for sure!
“…Then you will dwell in the land forever.” Look at Psalm 34:14 for a parallel.
“The righteous will inherit the land…”–how about Proverbs 2:21?
“and dwell in it forever.” See Isaiah 34:17
I so like Eugene Peterson’s translation of this last verse:
“The good get planted on good land and put down healthy roots.”
Sowing, seeds, planting, harvest…..it’s life in the garden
that God has given us.
I will end with this. Verse 28 had me stumped in the King James
“For the Lord loveth judgment,
and forsaketh not his saints;”
Why would God ‘love judgment’? Judgment connotes something negative to me. In the ESV it’s translated “For the Lord loves the just….”
That’s a little different. Does he love judgment–an action/declaration–or people who are just?
I had to go to the Hebrew and here’s what I can make of it.
‘mishpat’–from a verdict pronounced judicially,
(abstract) justice, including a participant’s right
or privilege or due order.’
I think what the Psalmist is saying is that
God loves doing right by us–his righteous ones,
and to cap it all off,
‘he forsaketh not his saints’–ever.
He will bring the abundant harvest of life in people,
in circumstances, in peace…when we plant and trust in him.~~~~~~~~~~If you want to catch up with our first six weeks of looking at Psalm 37“Through the Word through the Week”-2TWSquared-you can click here.