The Big Picture of Psalm 37

September 2, 2006

CONNECTING with my Lord

Notice that four of the six actions in Psalms 37:1-9 (trust, delight, commit, and be still) are clearly stated as having a direct connection to the LORD.  Pick one of the four and explain why that action must be centered/founded upon the LORD:


CONNECTING into my Life

Of the six actions listed in Psalm 37:1-8, which one do you typically struggle with the most and why?

 

What is one act of growth that you can make in this area?

 

Which one of the six do you see the most success with and why?

 

CONNECTING into my Church!
Psalm 37:1-9:  How will trusting the Lord in times of conflict impact the ministries of our church?


Prayer Time:  Pray for our church, ABF, families, individuals, to be grow in trusting God by doing good.

 


CONNECTING IT – GROUP DISCUSSION

In what conflict situations is it most difficult to trust God?  Why?


Think of a conflict situation in which you did not trust God and follow His ways.  What was the result? 


Think of a conflict situation in which you did trust God and follow His ways.  What was the result?


What characteristics of God encourage you trust Him and why?


CONNECTING to the Word

 Read Psalm 37:1-9.  This passage provides an insightful list of six actions to be lived.  What are each of the actions referring to and how does each one of them relate to trusting God in situations?

1. “Do not fret…”
• What is this (“do not fret”) and what does it mean?


• How is this (“do not fret”) related to trusting God?

 

2. “Trust…”
• What is this referring to and what does it mean?


• How does cultivating faithfulness help me trust God in conflict?


3. “Delight…”
• What is this referring to and what does it mean?


• How does this relate to my trusting God in conflict?

4. “Commit…”
• What is this referring to and what does it mean?


• How does this relate to my trusting God in conflict?

 

5. “Rest…”
• What is this referring to and what does it mean?


• How does this relate to my trusting God in conflict?

6. “Cease…”
• What is this referring to and what does it mean?


• How does this relate to my trusting God in conflict?


CONNECTING with my Lord

Notice that four of the six actions in Psalms 37:1-9 (trust, delight, commit, and be still) are clearly stated as having a direct connection to the LORD.  Pick one of the four and explain why that action must be centered/founded upon the LORD:

 


CONNECTING into my Life

Of the six actions listed in Psalm 37:1-8, which one do you typically struggle with the most and why?

What is one act of growth that you can make in this area?

Which one of the six do you see the most success with and why?

 

CONNECTING into my Church!
Psalm 37:1-9:  How will trusting the Lord in times of conflict impact the ministries of our church?

 


Prayer Time:  Pray for our church, ABF, families, individuals, to be grow in trusting God by doing good.

 


CONNECTING IT – GROUP DISCUSSION

In what conflict situations is it most difficult to trust God?  Why?


Think of a conflict situation in which you did not trust God and follow His ways.  What was the result? 


Think of a conflict situation in which you did trust God and follow His ways.  What was the result?


What characteristics of God encourage you trust Him and why?


CONNECTING to the Word

Read Psalm 37:1-9.  This passage provides an insightful list of six actions to be lived.  What are each of the actions referring to and how does each one of them relate to trusting God in situations?

1. “Do not fret…”
• What is this (“do not fret”) and what does it mean?

“to burn, to get heated up.”  David’s message was to cool down and keep cool.  To envy the wicked leads to fretting and fretting leads to anger (v8).

• How is this (“do not fret”) related to trusting God?

People who “fret” clamor for control over the people and circumstances in their lives.  They seek to usurp God’s position and creates angst within themselves.

2. “Trust…”
• What is this referring to and what does it mean?

A fretful heart is not a trusting heart because it lacks joy and peace (Rom 15:13).  Faith and works go together, so we should also do good as we wait on the Lord.

• How does cultivating faithfulness help me trust God in conflict?

Those who practice doing good in times of blessing will more quickly do the same in times of conflict.

3. “Delight…”
• What is this referring to and what does it mean?

The word “delight” comes from a root that means “to be brought up in luxury, to be pampered.”  It speaks of the abundance of blessings we have in the Lord.  To enjoy the blessings and ignore the Blesser is to practice idolatry. 

• How does this relate to my trusting God in conflict?

Those who delight in God have a thankful spirit.  They will be quick to remember Him in times when selfishness comes easily.

4. “Commit…”
• What is this referring to and what does it mean?

The verb means “to roll off your burden.” 

• How does this relate to my trusting God in conflict?

God doesn’t take our burdens so that we can become irresponsible, but so we can serve Him better.

5. “Rest…”
• What is this referring to and what does it mean?

The verb means “be silent, be still.”  It describes calm surrender to the Lord. 

• How does this relate to my trusting God in conflict?

For us to get upset because of the evil schemes of the ungodly is to doubt the goodness and justice of God (v7, 12, 32)

6. “Cease…”
• What is this referring to and what does it mean?

The verb means to sink or relax.  It describes the loosening of one’

• How does this relate to my trusting God in conflict?

The Big Picture of Psalm 37:

Psalm 37 is written by David in his mature years (v25), and in it he discussed the age-old problem of why the righteous suffer while the wicked seem to prosper.  The word “wicked” is used some 14 times in the chapter.

The theological foundation for the chapter is the covenant God made with Israel (Lev. 26 and Deut. 27-30).  God owned the land, and if the nation obeyed Him, they could live in the land and enjoy its blessings.  But if Israel disobeyed the Lord, He would first chasten them in the land, but if they continued to revel, He would then take them out of the land.  But is seemed like the wicked were prospering and that God wasn’t doing anything about it (Jer. 12).  The righteous could fret over the problem, leave the land, or go on being faithful, trusting God to keep His Word.  Like a mature believer who had been through his own share of suffering, David too the long view of the situation and evaluated the immediate and the transient in term sof the ultimate and the eternal.  He encouraged Solomon and the people to believer God’s promises and wait on Him.

Warren Wiersbe breaks out the chapter in 4 parts encouraging assurances for God’s people who question how God is running the world:
1. v1-11: The Lord can be trusted
2. v12-20: The Lord understands your situation
3. v21-31: The Lord blesses His people
4. v32-40: The Lord judges the wicked

The Smaller Picture (v1-11):

David gives one negative instruction (do not fret) and four positives (trust in, delight in, commit way, and rest in).

Do not fret – The word means “to burn, to get heated up.”  David’s message was to cool down and keep cool.  To envy the wicked leads to fretting and fretting leads to anger (v8).  His argument is that the wicked are only temporary and will one day be gone (v9,22,28,34,38).  In the east vegetation is abundant during and immediately after the rainy seasons, but it quickly vanishes when the moisture is gone.

Trust in the Lord – A fretful heart is not a trusting heart because it lacks joy and peace (Rom 15:13).  Faith and works go together, so we should also do good as we wait on the Lord.  Some were tempted to leave the land because they saw God as not being faithful.  David urged them to stay and trust God (v27).  The promise in verse 3 is translated “enjoy safe pastures,” “feed on His faithfulness,” “enjoy security.”  Trusting the Lord is a key theme in this psalm.

Delight in the Lord – The word “delight” comes from a root that means “to be brought up in luxury, to be pampered.”  It speaks of the abundance of blessings we have in the Lord.  To enjoy the blessings and ignore the Blesser is to practice idolatry.  In Christ we have all of God’s blessings.

Commit your way to the Lord – The verb means “to roll of your burden.”  God doesn’t take our burdens so that we can become irresponsible, but so we can serve Him better.

Rest in the Lord – The verb means “be silent, be still.”  It describes calm surrender to the Lord.  Creative silence is a rare commodity today.  Most people cannot tolerate silence today.  But unless we learn to wait silently before God, we will never experience His peace.  For us to get upset because of the evil schemes of the ungodly is to doubt the goodness and justice of God (v7, 12, 32).  Meekness does not mean weakness—it means force under the control of faith.

Verses 1-9 are all about the “root” structure of a person—their thinking, their heart perspective.  We have the natural tendency to go after the people and situation that have wronged us, rather than seeing God in it.  Trust is seeing a sovereign God who controls all things for His purposes, and I/we need to learn and work to put into practice (trust) what we know is true.  1 Peter 1:6-7 tell us that trials expose our faith, our trust maturity.  If we are to biblical peacemakers in life, we must understand and then apply trust in God—biblical responses to conflict require it.