Psalm 37 (Part 3) – A Good Lifestyle

Reading Time: 6 Minutes

The characteristics of evil people dominated verses 12-20 in Psalm 37. Today, we will observe the lifestyle of people who live according to God’s guidance.

Generous Givers

After the tax collector Zacchaeus met Jesus, his first impulse was to become a generous giver.

He told Jesus, “Listen, sir! I will give half my belongings to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will pay back four times as much” (Luke 19.8).

The wisdom of this Psalm notes that a living relationship with God affects our view of of possessions.

The wicked borrow and never pay back,
but good people are generous with their gifts.
Those who are blessed by the Lord will possess the land,
but those who are cursed by him will be driven out.
(Psalm 37.21-22)

We can be sure that the Apostle Paul was familiar with this Psalm. When Jesus changed his life, the truth of the Psalm’s words became even more significant to him.

Paul wrote that generosity should be a hallmark of a child of God. He said, “You should each give, then, as you have decided, not with regret or out of a sense of duty; for God loves the one who gives gladly.”

Paul also knew that God will care for his giving people. He wrote, “And God is able to give you more than you need, so that you will always have all you need for yourselves and more than enough for every good cause” (2 Corinthians 9.7-8).

Taking Direction

Guidance and help are themes of the next powerful verses.

The Lord guides us in the way we should go
and protects those who please him.
If they fall, they will not stay down,
because the Lord will help them up.
(Psalm 37.23-24)

Praise God for his guidance, because I have frequently referred to myself as one of God’s “blind” servants. I identify with he words of Isaiah.

Is anyone more blind than my servant,
more deaf than the messenger I send?
(Isaiah 42.19)

I have often followed God’s direction and not known where it was taking me. I am sure that my own pride and self-will was in part the fault. Praise God, he gives direction that is a pure gift of his grace.

Isaiah says this about God’s guidance and leadership.

I will lead my blind people
by roads they have never traveled.
I will turn their darkness into light
and make rough country smooth before them.
These are my promises,
and I will keep them without fail.
(Isaiah 42.16)

According to this Psalm, God is like a parent teaching a child to walk. When the child falls, our heavenly Father picks it up with no condemnation, dusts off its knees and helps it get going again.

Praise God for how he leads us and picks us up when we fall!

Secure in God

The next two verses could be painful for many of the world’s hungry and impoverished to hear.

I am old now; I have lived a long time,
but I have never seen good people abandoned by the Lord
or their children begging for food.
At all times they give freely and lend to others,
and their children are a blessing.
(Psalm 37.25-26)

The truth is that good people are never abandoned by the Lord. If you re-read the first eleven verses of this Psalm, you will have a good picture of what is meant by “good.”

Good people trust God and behave in a good manner. They seek their happiness in a relationship with God. They don’t give in to worry and anger, but wait for God to act in their lives.

Several years ago, I read about a minister who served the people who live on the landfill in Manila, the Philippines. His church is on the landfill and his children have learned how to pick through the trash to find food.

The story brought me to tears, as I compared my life to the sacrifice of this godly family. As we read these two verses, let’s be humbled by people around the world who suffer and are vulnerable.

Let’s also determine to give freely to those who have need.

Aligned with God

The message of the prophets was always to turn away from evil and to do good. The lifestyle of God’s people will do the same.

Turn away from evil and do good,
and your descendants will always live in the land;
for the Lord loves what is right
and does not abandon his faithful people.
He protects them forever,
but the descendants of the wicked will be driven out.
The righteous will possess the land
and live in it forever.
(Psalm 37.27-29)

God’s guidance is that we align our lives with God’s will. He loves what is right, because he knows that this kind of living will bring a blessing.

The prophets warned the nation that if they turned away from God, he would drive them from the land. Sadly, this happened around 600 BC. The king of Babylon defeated the Israelites and removed them from the land in one of the most tragic times in Israel’s history.

As we pray, we can ask God to align our lives with his will. We also can pray for the people of our country that we will do the same.

May We Pray for You?

Maywood Baptist Church has a prayer team who is honored to pray for you. Please email me at bsprad49@gmail.com or private message me on Facebook. I will pray for you and ask the team to pray, too.

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