Do not fret because of evil men 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. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:1-4 NIV
Psalm 37 was written by David and has been a favorite of mine since I was a teenager. It instructs us in Godly wisdom similarly to Psalm 1, 34, 73, 91, and 119. I see two dominant themes in this Psalm. The first one is the contrast between the righteous and the wicked. Another theme is — commands given to us by God describing Godly living and the promises of how God will respond if we obey His commands.
One way to see these themes clearly would be to make some charts. Put “the wicked” on one side and “the righteous” on the other. Then go through each verse and add words or phrases on each side of the chart to compare and contrast them. Did you notice that the wicked plot and scheme, default on debts, use raw power to gain advantage, and seem to flourish? But did you notice the ultimate end of the wicked?
Label another chart with “God’s commands” on one side and “God’s promises” on the other. Go through each verse and put words or phrases on each side that are commands or promises. Do you notice what kinds of commands are given to us in order for us to act righteously, to display righteousness? Some are positive commands – things for us to do, or to think. Others are actions we are not to take, things for us to not focus on with our thinking.
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. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret–it leads only to evil. Psalm 37:5-8 NIV
Perhaps you see other themes in this Psalm. Are there words or phrases in this Psalm that stick out to you as you read it and study it? Make note of those words and phrases, listen to them, to their intent, to what God is calling you to do or not do, to say or not to say. One that gives me strength, comfort and hope is this,
The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him. Psalm 37:39-40 NIV