Ps. 37 Week 8–Safe in the Land


Welcome back to our study of Psalm 37.  Two weeks left!


I’m so glad you dropped by; 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.
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The passage we’ll look at this week is verses 30-34.  I’d like to look at them verse by verse and comment as we go along.  

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30. “The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom and his tongue speaks justice.”

I don’t always feel righteous. I don’t always act righteous. But the fact is God has made us righteous because of Jesus. Our black sin was covered by his red blood to make our hearts white–the ‘scandalous exchange’ Charles Spurgeon has called it.

But uttering wisdom? Speaking justice?

Do I do that?  Uh, no.  

REAL LIFE

Today I was hollering across the classroom. Not at a student.  At the teacher–our head teacher.  In front of the students (and 3 other assistants).  I was reacting to a comment about a meeting I had not been invited to.  My feelings were hurt, so I blurted out a ‘why wasn’t I included?’ comment.  
Across the room.  Loudly.  Can you believe it?  And I should know better.
Not wise. At all. 

I was driving home and felt so very convicted by the Holy Spirit’s reminder to ‘whatever is true, whatever is just, whatever is pure’  to ‘think on these things’ from Philippians Chapter 4.  

Oh God, forgive me.  Give me your grace so when I open my mouth I would ‘utter wisdom’ and ‘speak justice.’

31. “The law of God is in his heart, his steps do not slip.
The wicked watches for the righteous and seeks to put him to death.”

The King James renders the first line of this verse “The law of his God is in his heart…”

Every year (well, this is the second year in a row 🙂 I read through Psalm 119, all 22 verses.  It takes a number of months to do this as I meditate on the words for God’s law.

In the Hebrew, the word for law is ‘torah’ (‘tore’ ‘raw’, accent on the ‘raw’ part). In Psalm 119 there are 7 different words for ‘law’–God’s covenant revelation for his children.

There are ‘laws’, ‘testimonies’, ‘precepts’, ‘statutes’, ‘commandments’, ‘rules’, ‘decrees’ and last, just plain ‘word.’ (Actually, that’s 8. )

Again, my prayer is ‘God, give me your grace to keep your law on my heart–in the deep, ‘knower’ part of me.’

The result of this keeping?  “His steps do not slip” (no matter what doors they take us through).

God has promised, as we read last week, even if we fall, He’s got his hand on us. 
The second half of the verse, talks about the wicked again who “watches for the righteous and seeks to put him to death.”
Instead of ‘the wicked’ (as in awful, nasty, mean people—and there are those–but not directly in my sphere) I looked at this as simply our enemy, Satan.
  
If you replace all the mentions of ‘the wicked’ with ‘the Enemy’, it seems easier to wrap your brain around because we DO have an enemy and he is watching.  I Peter 5:8 says the Devil goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.

We, the righteous, don’t need to live in fear because the Enemy is watching–we need to be confident when we are with our God, in His power and His name, we overcome.
So keep your eyes open while you’re on this path of pursuing God.  

33. “The LORD will not abandon him to his power
or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial”

David repeats this promise of God’s protection–a sure thing….we will not be abandoned to the enemy’s power.  AND, the part I especially noticed, he will not ‘be condemned when he is brought to trial.’

We will be tried. We will fail. We will fall.

I thought about the phrase ‘my words tripped me up’ and thought how appropriate that is.  My words trip me up OFTEN (see above).
But we are never condemned.  The blood of Jesus covers our mistakes. 
Every time we fall.
I just love that this is in God’s word–it shows just how well He KNOWS us.

And, saving the best verse for last….

34. “WAIT for the LORD and  keep his way 
and he will exalt you to inherit the land.”

In the ESV notes for Psalm 119, verses 2 and 3 it says this:
“The person who will keep God’s instructions, ‘shamar’ and ‘natsar’, 
(i.e. attend to them carefully, watch over them, treasure them)  
will find that his “way”, ‘derek’ and ‘orakh’
(i.e. the moral quality and orientation of his life) 
will more and more reflect God’s own character.”

So, as we sojourn with God on the pathway, oriented in the right direction with our eyes fixed on Jesus, keeping his way, we WILL be changed into the same image/likeness–that of our Saviour’s. (II Cor. 3:18)
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And the result–ta da~!
Multnomah Falls Trailhead, Oregon
Not only will you inherit the land–but God will exalt you.  Exalt me?
What does that mean?  I’m so glad you asked–“to raise in status or dignity, to fill with joy or pride.” (Websters New World Dictionary, c. 1990)

YOUR TURN

How many places have we been promised we would inherit the land in this Psalm?  I counted five verses.  (Can you?)

David thought it was important to remember we will receive what God has promised–the territory purchased back from the Enemy.

freedom from __________________

victory in ________________

rejoicing because of __________________

you fill in the blank _______________________

And no matter how many times we fall, even if it’s wet, slippery and dangerous,
we win!

5 thoughts on “Ps. 37 Week 8–Safe in the Land

  1. The activity you devised at the end was a faith-building exercise for me. I have FREEDOM FROM concern as I delight in the Lord (Psalm 37:3-4). I will experience VICTORY IN mindfulness–practicing God's presence (v. 4a). I am REJOICING BECAUSE God makes my steps firm, and he upholds me (vs. 23-24). I am at peace because God is trustworthy (v. 3), strong (v. 24), loyal (v. 28), able to save (v. 39), and helpful (v. 40). I DO feel exalted — filled with joy and pride–to be one of God's children, on whom all these blessings and more are poured out. Hallelujah!

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  2. Jody- I read this last Wednesday and keep coming back to it…so much to ponder…I really like how you see “tore raw” in torah… also made me think how the law is a tutor to lead us to Christ…(Galatians 3:24 NASB)and faith!

    I really like the note from ESV about living out the word reflects more and more God's character…

    Kel

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  3. “give me your grace to keep your law on my heart–in the deep, 'knower' part of me.'” What a beautiful prayer, Jody. If we simply do this how different would our reactions be to things!
    Great thoughts.

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