The steps of a man are established by the Lord, And He delights in his way.
Psalm 37 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers. 2 For they will wither quickly like the grass And fade like the green herb. 3 Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. 6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday.
7 Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
8 Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. 9 For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land. 10 Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there. 11 But the humble will inherit the land And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.
12 The wicked plots against the righteous And gnashes at him with his teeth. 13 The Lord laughs at him, For He sees his day is coming. 14 The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow To cast down the afflicted and the needy, To slay those who are upright in conduct. 15 Their sword will enter their own heart, And their bows will be broken.
16 Better is the little of the righteous Than the abundance of many wicked. 17 For the arms of the wicked will be broken, But the Lord sustains the righteous. 18 The Lord knows the days of the blameless, And their inheritance will be forever. 19 They will not be ashamed in the time of evil, And in the days of famine they will have abundance. 20 But the wicked will perish; And the enemies of the Lord will be like the glory of the pastures, They vanish—like smoke they vanish away. 21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives. 22 For those blessed by Him will inherit the land, But those cursed by Him will be cut off.
23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord, And He delights in his way. 24 When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand. 25 I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread. 26 All day long he is gracious and lends, And his descendants are a blessing.
27 Depart from evil and do good, So you will abide forever. 28 For the Lord loves justice And does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever, But
the descendants of the wicked will be cut off. 29 The righteous will inherit the land And dwell in it forever. 30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, And his tongue speaks justice. 31 The law of his God
is in his heart;
His steps do not slip. 32 The wicked spies upon the righteous And seeks to kill him. 33 The Lord will not leave him in his hand Or let him be condemned when he is judged. 34 Wait for the Lord and keep His way, And He will exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
35 I have seen a wicked, violent man Spreading himself like a luxuriant tree in its native soil.
36 Then he passed away, and lo, he was no more; I sought for him, but he could not be found.
37 Mark the blameless man, and behold the upright; For the man of peace will have a posterity.
38 But transgressors will be altogether destroyed; The posterity of the wicked will be cut off.
39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
Because they take refuge in Him.
Verse 4 in today’s text, Psalm 37 says: Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. But did you know that it also says in verse 23: The steps of a man are established by the Lord, And He delights in his way. The Lord delights in us. He establishes our steps and delights as we walk in them. In Jeremiah 29:11, God says: I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. God’s plans are for good. He has established and ordained our steps and He delights when we walk in them. As we delight in Him and walk in the steps He ordained for us, we get our very heart’s desire; the good that the Lord has planned for us. Knowing that; isn’t it easier then to: Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness… Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him… Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him? It is one thing to trust, to rest and to wait patiently. These all come from knowing and believing God; His goodness and His greatness. We also though must do more than believe. There is an active part we play. Along with resting, we need to dwell, to live in the land of the Lord. We need to commit our way to Him. The Lord has established our steps, but we still need to commit to following them. There are many other ways we can choose. Some will look like they are easier. Some will appear to get us to our destination more quickly. Still others may seem like they hold more self satisfaction for us. But it is only the way the Lord has established which leads to His delight and to the true desire of our heart. That is the way we must commit to, the way we must be faithful to.
Speaking of faithfulness, we must cultivate faithfulness. How often have we heard or even ourselves prayed: Lord increase my faith? For faith to grow, we must cultivate it. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says: We walk by faith, not by sight. We cultivate faith by walking in the steps of the Lord even when it doesn’t necessarily look like the best or most desirable way. In truth, it’s not the size of our faith that matters. In Matthew 17:20 Jesus says: “Truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” It is not our faith that needs to grow. It is our faithfulness to walk in the steps of the Lord, our trusting in Him, our commitment to Him, that needs to be cultivated, to be nurtured and to grow. God is faithful. It is our faithfulness to Him which needs to be cultivated.
The psalmist lists some of the benefits we receive as we trust, delight, commit, rest, wait and dwell in the land. He says: He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday… evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land. Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity… the Lord sustains the righteous. The Lord knows the days of the blameless, And their inheritance will be forever. They will not be ashamed in the time of evil, And in the days of famine they will have abundance… When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand… the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength 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. I don’t know about you, but it sounds like a good deal to me.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit thank You that You have not only established my steps, but You delight when I walk in them. I will delight in You. I will commit to Your way. I will rest in You and wait for You. I will not run ahead, fall behind or choose another path, but rather I choose to walk with You. Hold my hand precious Lord, so that even if I stumble I will not fall. Thank You that You are faithful and that You patiently wait as I cultivate my faithfulness. Thank You that You not only show me and lead me on the way, but that You are the way, the truth and the life. Amen.
He delights in You. Listen