As I memorize and meditate on Psalm 37, I’m considering how God lays out His job and mine. This week I’ve been working on verses 5 through 9:
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
For the evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.
Here are my responsibilities:
- commit my way to the LORD
- trust in Him
- Be still before the LORD
- wait patiently for him
- fret not
- refrain from anger
- forsake wrath
- fret not (again!)
And God’s responsibilities:
- He will act.
- He will bring forth my righteousness and justice
- He will give justice to evildoers
- He will give an inheritance to those who wait
Of course I know that I can carry out my responsibilities only by His gracious enabling, so He’s actually very involved in both lists. It helps me to list these out, though, because too often I think I mix up my business and God’s in my mind. He is reminding me to tend to my part and leave Him to His. And as I look at the list, there’s plenty to keep me occupied and out of His business.
Over the past year or so in some painful trials, I’ve been learning to wait. It’s a hard lesson. It’s not my default position, either, so I still need help with my unbelief. And there is some anger that keeps cropping up that I’ve got to refrain from and forsake. Why? Because God’s going to take care of the injustices. He’s promised. And if I can’t put away the anger, it shows that I don’t really trust God to do that. Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!
Something else I noticed in this part of the psalm is that I’m to be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. I’m not to endure a trial by distracting myself with the cares of this world. I’m to wait for him, not only for deliverance or relief from suffering. And as I wait, I’m to be still before the Lord. He’s promised an inheritance to those who wait. Matthew Henry says:
God provides plentifully and well, not only for his working servants, but for his waiting servants. They have that which is better than wealth, peace of mind, peace with God, and then peace in God; that peace which the world cannot give, and which the world cannot have.
That’s His business. And He’s reminding me to mind mine.