Read Psalm 37:1-9
The more I hear about the state of our world, the more I’m thankful that I trust in a just God, the lover of justice. It’s very difficult to hear about harsh realities from all over the world — and even right here in our own neighborhoods. The injustices in this world seem so immense. We often have a difficult time imagining what we could even do to alleviate the smallest oppressive act.
In Psalm 37, we begin to see God’s roadmap for us in this time of oppression, injustice, and hate. We’re exhorted to stop fretting and to stop being jealous of those doing wrong. “Fret” is an old word, likely originating in the 14th century. The verb form in English originally took on the meaning, “to devour, feed upon, or consume.” This is the perfect word for our times, and it appears three times in this passage! Isn’t it ironic that fretting and jealousy end up consuming us – both our time and our mind?
The godly advice from David continues. He says, “Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever” (Psalm 37:27). We’re urged to trust in God, dwelling with intimate faith. God is to be our delight, and to him we are to commit ourselves. We are to be still and wait patiently for God. We are to steer clear of anger and wrath. David says those doing evil won’t inherit the land — a blessing promised by God. Some pretty good advice, I think. In the end, we realize that God is going to act. He’ll deliver. And, as physical inhabitants of the Kingdom of God on Earth, we’ll be agents of God’s just work.
As the time of year approaches when we celebrate the coming of the King of Peace, let’s remember the way of life God has taught us through Jesus: to love God with our entire being, and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. This fallen and broken creation will always be swirling with injustice and evil. It won’t stop until Jesus returns. Yet in this season and all others, may we proclaim the liberty we find in Christ to all who will listen!
Reflection and Response
Did you know that the most repeated phrase in all of Scripture is “Do not be afraid?” When do you tend to be afraid? Today, admit your fears in regard to the injustice of this world. Know that, when you call fear out, it loses power because Jesus comes to silence our fears. And one day, he will come again to make things completely right. Allow him to silence your fears by bring them before him today.
By Rich Obrecht