Psalms 36-38

Today’s reading from Psalms is Psalms 36-38.

Today’s Psalms encourage us to look to the Lord not to those who do evil. There is a world of evildoers around us; sometimes they even target us as the victims of their evil. David, who experienced this more than most believers, reminded himself of the Lord’s love, his faithfulness, and his justice (36:5-7) when he was afraid of those who meant to do him harm.

The truth of the matter, though, is that we are not innocent of evil ourselves. The difference between the believer and the unbeliever is not the presence or absence of sin. The difference is whether you are trusting in the Lord or not. David acknowledged that we who love the Lord sometimes fail to follow him well; in 37:23-24 he wrote, “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”

Did sin get the better of you this week? Are you feeling threatened by the sinfulness of others or discouraged by your own failures? Look to the Lord and call on him to sustain your faith with his faithfulness. Stumbling is part of the life of faith and will be until God has completed perfecting us. But don’t lose heart! The Lord will sustain you and establish your steps if you love him and look to him in faith.

Numbers 3, Psalm 37, Song of Solomon 1, Hebrews 1

If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Numbers 3, Psalm 37, Song of Solomon 1, Hebrews 1. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Psalm 37.

There is so much sin in the world that it is easy either to fear what will happen to society when unrestrained, unrepentant sinners are in charge or to envy all the fun they seem to be having without any consequences. That’s where our song for today, Psalm 37, starts: Don’t worry about them, don’t envy them. Verse 2 tells us why: although they seem fresh and full of life at the moment, their vitality is an illusion that will quickly fade. 

In contrast to a world run by those who do evil, David encourages us to trust the Lord in verse 3 which is evidenced by “doing good.” It always takes faith to do what is right in the sight of God. There is always the chance that the proper moral choice you make will be unnoticed and will not result in blessing. To do the right thing when everyone else seems to get away with doing wrong takes faith that God will reward you and provide for you. That’s the benefit verses 3b-4 offer: when you trust in God by doing what is right, God will provide for you (v. 3b). When you make pleasing God the ambition of your life (v. 4a), God will give you what you desire (v. 4b). How can this promise be true? First of all, if the Lord truly is what we delight in, then the “desires of your heart” will be shaped by God. Instead of having a heart that desires materialism, or prideful recognition, or some other sinful thing, we will want God to be glorified, and God will gladly give us that reward. 

The rest of the Psalm continues to urge the reader to believe that sin will be met with justice and that righteousness will be rewarded. It is a message we often need to hear because sin seems like such a profitable way to live so often. Yet, in the long run of this life, the consequences of sin always catch up with the sinner; likewise, the dedication of a godly person’s life usually results in stability, tranquility, and joy. There are exceptions because the Sovereign Lord sometimes chooses to overrule these things for his purpose; but even in those cases, you have the peace of trusting in God to see you through as well as the promise of an eternal reward in heaven.

Whatever you’re dealing with—a decision between right and wrong, a conviction to come forward and speak out about something sinful you’ve seen, or a desire to confess something so that you can get back on the straight path—“trust in the Lord and do good” (v. 3a). God will provide and will bless accordingly.

Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.