Psalm 37: 1 – 10
Do not fret because of those who are evil
3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
4 Take delight in the Lord,
7 Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
Someone sent me a link to James Corden in his role as host of US TV programme ‘Tonight’, in which he introduced his father who is a retired Bible salesman. The reason being to show how you carry a Bible so someone could give Trump a few lessons next time the National Guard are deployed with tear gas and rubber bullets to allow him to have a photo op! I am sure it was intended as a light-hearted filler but at the end of the piece his Dad suggested he read a passage especially for Trump and this was the Psalm he chose.
The Psalm was written at a time of social imbalance, some were very rich, the majority poor, the land was bountiful but owned by the rich who kept the bounty to themselves. The Psalmist was having no truck with the Victorian nonsense of the rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate, each in his own and proper place, but neither was he advocating open rebellion, violence and revolution.
Rather, he said keep your powder dry, do not fret, and don’t get vexed for that way leads to sin and evil deeds as bad as those being perpetrated against the poor. Instead the Psalmist said bide your time for it will surely come as God will not allow injustice to rule forever.
The waiting might seem unbearable especially if you are suffering, but as the saying goes this too shall pass. It does not mean the poor of Israel at that time should meekly accept the yoke put upon them anymore than people in whatever culture feel they are discriminated against and unjustly treated.
The Psalmist uses a word which means ‘to pamper’ oneself in the Lord’s blessings until such time as deliverance is at hand. By rising up in violent rebellion they would only encourage violent subjugation and even if successful they would replace one injustice with another.
Take stock, await the opportunity and when the time is right act with the full conviction of doing The Lord’s work.
I realise I am possibly making a big mistake squeezing what could, probably should, be a full blown Sermon into a few hundred words, but read the whole Psalm yourselves and consider its message especially in the light of recent events.
Lord God our loving Father, when we see injustice let us speak up for those who have no voice, let us take action for those who have no strength and may we bring hope to those who feel hopeless.
In your Mercy hear our prayer,