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Psalm 37: In Verse

Updated on June 15, 2011
Farmland in Cuba,  Copyright: Gerry Vandermaesen
Farmland in Cuba, Copyright: Gerry Vandermaesen

Psalm 37: The First Part in Verse

(Just the first part, the first quarter, of the Psalm, the most memorable portion of this great psalm of David, has been put into verse.)

Fret not because of evildoers,
Envy not the workers of iniquity,
For they will wither away like the green herb
And soon meet with dreadful calamity.

Believe in the Lord, seek His grace to obey,
Dwell in His presence, go not astray;
Do what is good, shun what is evil;
Feed on the Word to resist the Devil.

Delight in the Lord, and He will give
The desires of your heart; and you will live
Rejoicing in His love and faithfulness,
For the Lord is good and He will bless

Every child of His who will earnestly pray
And to Him will humbly commit his way.
When the Lord speaks (His voice you have heard),
He will bring to pass His unfailing word.

The wicked may prosper a day and a night,
But the Lord in due course will prove you are right;
So rest in the Lord and patiently wait,
For transgressors and sinners the Lord will extirpate.

God’s judgment will fall on degenerate man,
But he who waits for the Lord will possess the land.
The proud and the perverse will sink into the pit,
But the meek will all blessings on earth inherit.

©Tom Prato/Tan Pratonix

Further Information on Psalm 37

1. This psalm is an acrostic poem, the stanzas of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

2. Each of the five books of Psalms end with a doxology.
The divisions are as follows:
Book I: Psalms 1-41. This corresponds with the first book of Moses, i.e. Genesis.
Book II: Psalms 42-72. This corresponds with the second book of Moses, i.e. Exodus.
Book III: Psalms 73-89. Corresponds with the third book of Moses, i.e. Leviticus.
Book IV: Psalms 90-106. Corresponds with the fourth book of Moses, i.e. Numbers.
Book V: Psalms 107-150. This corresponds with the fifth and last book of Moses, i.e. Deuteronomy.

3.  This is what the great expositor and preacher of the Victorian period in England, Charles Spurgeon, had to say about this Psalm:

"The great riddle of the prosperity of the wicked and the affliction of the righteous, which has perplexed so many, is here dealt with in the light of the future; and fretfulness and repining are most impressively forbidden. It is a Psalm in which the Lord hushes most sweetly the too common repinings of his people, and calms their minds as to his present dealings with his own chosen flock, and the wolves by whom they are surrounded. It contains eight great precepts, is twice illustrated by autobiographical statements, and abounds in remarkable contrasts."

4.  Here is Spurgeon's exposition of the first verse: 'Fret not...'

Verse 1. The Psalm opens with the first precept. It is alas! too common for believers in their hours of adversity to think themselves harshly dealt with when they see persons utterly destitute of religion and honesty, rejoicing in abundant prosperity. Much needed is the command, Fret not thyself because of evildoers. To fret is to worry, to have the heartburn, to fume, to become vexed. Nature is very apt to kindle a fire of jealousy when it sees lawbreakers riding on horses, and obedient subjects walking in the mire: it is a lesson learned only in the school of grace, when one comes to view the most paradoxical providences with the devout complacency of one who is sure that the Lord is righteous in all his acts. It seems hard to carnal judgments that the best meat should go to the dogs, while loving children pine for want of it. Neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. The same advice under another shape. When one is poor, despised, and in deep trial, our old Adam naturally becomes envious of the rich and great; and when we are conscious that we have been more righteous than they, the devil is sure to be at hand with blasphemous reasonings. Stormy weather may curdle even the cream of humanity. Evil men instead of being envied, are to be viewed with horror and aversion; yet their loaded tables, and gilded trappings, are too apt to fascinate our poor half opened eyes. Who envies the fat bullock the ribbons and garlands which decorate him as he is led to the shambles? Yet the case is a parallel one; for ungodly rich men are but as beasts fattened for the slaughter.

I put up this extract so that you may be encouraged to read Spurgeon's expositions on the Psalms. The expositions are all compiled together in 'The Treasury of David'.

5.  "This Psalm very much reminds one in its construction of the sententious and pithy conciseness of the Book of Proverbs. It does not contain any prayer, nor any direct allusion to David's own circumstances of persecution or distress. It is rather the utterance of sound practical wisdom and godliness from the lips of experience and age, such as we might suppose an elder of the church, or a father of a family, to let fall as he sat with his household gathered around him, and listening to his earnest and affectionate admonitions."  Barton Bouchier.


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    • Troy C. profile image

      Troy Wilkerson 7 years ago from Norfolk, VA

      Thanks for the remembrance,

      God Bless, Troy C.

    • Joy56 profile image

      Joy56 7 years ago

      wow i so enjoyed the translation of those passages, i do love to learn as much as possible about the bible. Psalms is one of my favourite books, it is so calming.

    • Pratonix profile image

      Pratonix 7 years ago from Asia

      Thank you for appreciating, prayerains. Blessings to you, too.~

      And thank you, Susan, too. Though you are not a Hubber!

    • prayerains profile image

      prayerains 7 years ago

      Lovely picture and poem. Psalms is one of my favorite books of the Bible. Thank you for sharing. God Bless

    • profile image

      Susan  7 years ago

      I absolutely love Psalms maybe because I am a singer and I find the verses flow and resonate with my soul. Thank you so much Roland for giving me a deeper appreciation and more indepth knowledge of Psalm 37. God Bless

    • Pratonix profile image

      Pratonix 7 years ago from Asia

      Thank you, heart4!

    • heart4theword profile image

      heart4theword 7 years ago from hub

      Great words:) The further information was helpful too:) Keep on writing!