Meditation on Psalm 37

December 23, 2016

Psalm 37

Do not fret because of those who are evil
    or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
    like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
    the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.



Our age is marked by a hunger for fulfillment.

Walk into any bookstore – the shelves are lined with books that tout this method or that for achieving your dreams.  Turn on the radio or television and the airwaves are full of the testimony of so-called experts who claim they can tell you how to “break through” and “be all that you can be.”  And, of course, the Internet – think of the ten thousands of self-proclaimed “life coaches,” all with websites and videos, who, for a small fee, can help you on your way to achieving your true destiny.

But maybe what distinguishes our age is not so much the desire for fulfillment, but the organized and commercial and unrelenting exploitation of that desire.  Maybe men and women have always hungered for fulfillment, for achievement, for destiny.   That would certainly explain all the noise about it today.  The reason the hawkers are making money here is because these desires are fundamental and universal.  All of us want fulfillment.  All of us want to be justified – to think that our lives have had meaning; to know that we have chosen  the right way.  In fact, that very same hunger is addressed in this psalm, written well over three thousand years ago.

Nothing – no new book, video or life-changing course – can make any greater promise to the seeker of fulfillment than is made in this ancient psalm.  The promises here are staggering, they are complete, and they are perfect: safe enjoyment of life; the granting of desires of your heart; and complete vindication of one’s life.

Here in these few verses we have a complete philosophy of life; a complete manual for living and the grandest and most profound promises of personal and existential fulfillment.

The secret to life, so says the psalm, is surrender; it is trust.  Not in “the universe” or in any program or theory, but in God.  That is, the God of the Bible.  And when we read the Bible, we see that God has revealed Himself most fully in Jesus Christ, His son.

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