Posted February 11, 2013
He Will Not Forsake His Saints
37 Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
2 For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
What happens when we do all the right things and yet it gets us nowhere, while others do all the wrong things and seem to flourish? We are left in a predicament. Do we abandon our good practices and do as the evildoers do, or do we remain faithful to God? In this psalm, David calls us to not fret over evildoers or be envious of them by pointing to their inevitable future. He tells us that they will “soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.” God’s justice will surely come, though it may not come in the timeframe we would like. However, God promises that ultimately evildoers will be exposed, brought to justice, and fade away. We can’t have a short term mentality in this life, but rather have the long term in view in order to not lose hope! When we are considering abandoning ship, David reminds us to not forget the trajectory of the wicked.
What should we do instead? David calls us to live constructive lives by trusting in the Lord and doing good. Don’t let your trust in God be broken when you see evildoers prosper! Don’t cease to do good because “you did it and it didn’t matter.” It matters greatly! Often we approach God like he’s a cosmic vending machine and if we put in the right amount of change and don’t get the intended results, we get frustrated and look for another vending machine that will do for us what we want it to. God will not be mocked, won’t be controlled, and won’t be told what to do. He is God in heaven and we are his people on earth; let us not attempt to reverse this order. In Galatians 6:9, Paul calls us to “...not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Do not give up, but trust in a trustworthy God and continue to do good! He also calls us to “dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.” Don’t give up, but settle down and continue with an eternal perspective. David employs an interesting phrase when he calls us to “befriend faithfulness.” Humans waver and falter, but one of the things God calls us to is to seek to be faithful in every season. Each season we are in is an opportunity to “befriend faithfulness”. Are you befriending faithfulness in the season you are in or are you rejecting faithfulness until God does what you want him to do?
Lastly, David calls us delight ourselves in God (as compared to the very things the evildoers are delighting in). Why so? Because God will give us the desires of our hearts. Note that this is not merely a dutiful allegiance to God, but one that involves our emotions, our heart, our affections as well. God knows it is not merely enough to do the right thing simply because it’s the right thing to do. He wants us to learn to treasure God above all else on this world. This delight spoken of is ultimately a corrective and purifying delight. This singular delight in God shapes all other (plural) delights and puts them in their correct order. No longer will we be victims of “disordered love”, but rather we will have “ordered love” and an “ordered delight”. A love that delights in God first and foremost, and in turn loves and delights in other things in a pure and godly way. The amazing and beautiful thing about the delight of God’s people as opposed to the delight of the evildoers is that ultimately the delight of the evildoers will pass away and be exposed for what it was, but the delight of the godly will be eternal. Friends, we will delight in something in this life. May we choose our delights wisely for our delights ultimately guide us and shape us. “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” What a promise!
This week’s song was written by Chris Clark and produced by Dustin Ragland.