Psalm 37: In Verse
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.