The steps of a man are established by the Lord
Psalm 37:12-29 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
The wicked plots against the righteous,
And gnashes at him with his teeth.
13 The Lord laughs at him,
For He sees that his day is coming.
14 The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow
To take down the afflicted and the needy,
To kill off 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 plenty.
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 eliminated.
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 down,
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 for bread.
26 All day long he is gracious and lends,
And his descendants are a blessing.
27 Turn from evil and do good,
So that you will dwell forever.
28 For the Lord loves justice
And does not abandon His godly ones;
They are protected forever,
But the descendants of the wicked will be eliminated.
29 The righteous will inherit the land
And dwell in it forever.
I want to remind you of what I said in the beginning of yesterday’s meditation: I think it is important, any time we read and meditate on the words of David, the psalmist, that we keep in mind what it says in Acts 13:22, He (God) raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.’ When we read the words of David, we get a glimpse into the heart of God.
In today’s text, the psalmist says: The wicked plots against the righteous, And gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him, For He sees that his day is coming. My first thought when I read this was, the Lord must be laughing quite a bit today. Surely we see plots against the righteous and against righteousness are increasing day by day. As Jesus said in Matthew 24:12: “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will become cold.” We see increasingly what God warns against in Isaiah 5:20: Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! In truth, God not only sees their day coming, but it has already come. Colossians 2:15 says: When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. In Isaiah 53:4-6, the prophet speaking years before Jesus was born, speaks in the past tense about the victory He won for us on the cross. However, it was our sicknesses that He Himself bore, And our pains that He carried; Yet we ourselves assumed that He had been afflicted, Struck down by God, and humiliated. But He was pierced for our offenses, He was crushed for our wrongdoings; The punishment for our well-being was laid upon Him, And by His wounds we are healed. All of us, like sheep, have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the wrongdoing of us all To fall on Him. No wonder the Lord laughs at evil, evil has eternally been defeated. Just as Jesus said on the cross: “It is finished!”
The psalmist says: The steps of a man are established by the Lord, And He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled down, Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand. I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging for bread. All day long he is gracious and lends, and his descendants are a blessing. Turn from evil and do good, So that you will dwell forever. For the Lord loves justice And does not abandon His godly ones; They are protected forever, But the descendants of the wicked will be eliminated. The righteous will inherit the land And dwell in it forever. Our inheritance is not a land as was promised to the Israelites. Instead, we have inherited a kingdom. That the psalmist says the righteous will dwell in it forever, is for us that we will dwell in the promises and the realities of the kingdom of heaven forever, both eternally when this life comes to an end, and also here and now on earth. Even righteousness which qualifies us for the promises is an inheritance. We are neither born righteous nor can we make ourselves righteous by our own actions. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says: He made Him who knew no sin to be sin in our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. That is what God has established for us, those are to be the steps we walk in. Romans 8:28-30 says: We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. The difficult things that we endure in this life may cause us to stumble at times, but we will not fall completely because God is holding our hands. It is important that God is holding our hand. If it were only that we held onto His hand we might let go when things got difficult. In Deuteronomy 31:6 God says: Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or in dread of them, for the LORD your God is the One who is going with you. He will not desert you or abandon you. In all the difficult times, we need to still love the Lord. As 1 John 4:19 says: We love, because He first loved us. As we walk with God holding our hand, we walk in His purpose for us. We are aligned with His will and conformed to the image of Christ, His Son. We are justified by Him and glorified in Him.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or trouble, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? In all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen. Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit. Amen