Psalm 37 (Part 4) – More About Good and Evil

Reading Time: 6 Minutes

I found myself in today’s prayer time attempting to incorporate too many verses in my prayer. The strength of connection with God seemed to dwindle away and my focus became more of a Bible study than a time of prayer.

Let’s remember, prayer is not the end goal. Rather, a genuine meeting with God is the purpose of all prayer.

If you can relate to my experience in prayer today, please consider choosing a small number of verses and make them the theme of your prayer time. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance; he will direct your prayer time to be most effective.

Please use the information in the blog to enhance your understanding of the Bible passage. But, please make meeting God the most important point of each day in the Psalms.

Good People

Good people are characterized in verses 30-31.

The words of good people are wise,
and they are always fair.
They keep the law of their God in their hearts
and never depart from it.
(Psalm 37.30-31)

Like the Book of Proverbs, these verses state basic truths of God.

In your prayer time, you may want to ask God for wisdom, as did Solomon. He said, “Give me the wisdom I need to rule your people with justice and to know the difference between good and evil” (1 Kings 3.9).

You may also ask God to help you internalize his instruction for living, as is found in the first Psalm and others.

They find joy in obeying the Law of the Lord,
and they study it day and night.
(Psalm 1.2)

The Influence of Evil

Evil influences seek to steal, kill and destroy life (John 10.10). That is why Jesus incorporated “lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6.13) into the Lord’s Prayer.

Wicked people watch good people
and try to kill them;
but the Lord will not abandon them to their enemy’s power
or let them be condemned when they are on trial.
(Psalm 37.32-33)

Daily prayer for deliverance from evil is a good practice. God will hear that prayer and keep us alerted to the schemes of the enemy.

In addition, we can pray for God’s protection from evil for our family, the church and the nation.

Clear Instructions from Experience

Lessons from history highlight the demise of tyrants, mobsters, dictators, and autocrats. On the other hand, the actions of honorable people inspire us with their outstanding service.

Put your hope in the Lord and obey his commands;
he will honor you by giving you the land,
and you will see the wicked driven out.
I once knew someone wicked who was a tyrant;
he towered over everyone like a cedar of Lebanon;
but later I passed by, and he wasn’t there;
I looked for him, but couldn’t find him.
(Psalm 37.34-36)

As we pray these verses, we can ask God to help us obey his directions for living. We can ask him to help us realize that his instructions are beneficial and not burdensome.

Jesus never assumed that a life of faith was easy. He often challenged the smallness of the faith of people who walked with him every day (See Luke 9.41 and 12.28).

We can ask God to increase our faith and follow the example of Jesus’ close followers (See Luke 17.5).

Praise God

The closing verses of this Psalm recall God’s goodness to those who follow him.

Notice good people, observe the righteous;
peaceful people have descendants,
but sinners are completely destroyed,
and their descendants are wiped out.
The Lord saves the righteous
and protects them in times of trouble.
He helps them and rescues them;
he saves them from the wicked,
because they go to him for protection.
(Psalm 37.37-40)

One of my favorite speakers often said, “I don’t pray, because I am good. I pray, because God is good.”

Through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, God has come looking for us. He has found us and transformed our lives. We are good, not by nature but by God’s grace.

We praise God for his grace that transforms us and protects us from ourselves. We praise him for the life that we have.

May We Pray for You?

If you have a prayer request, please email me at bsprad49@gmail.com or private message me on Facebook. I will pray for you and ask the prayer team at Maywood Baptist Church to pray for you as well.

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