Psalm 37: Benefit of Patience

How can we keep the wrongdoing of others from stirring anger in us?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 37:1 A song of David.
Don’t let the wrongdoing of others anger you, making you want to retaliate.
Don’t be envious of what those people have.
Romans 12:19 Fellow believers, don’t seek vengeance when people mistreat you. If needed, God will handle punishment better than you can, for he says in Scripture, Vengeance is mine, and I’ll see justice done.
King James
Psalm 37:1 <A Psalm of David.> Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Why is it wrong to covet what others have?

Author’s Thoughts
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Exodus 20:17 Do not desire your neighbor’s house, his wife, or his servants. Do not wish you had his animals or anything that he owns.
Psalm 37:1 A song of David.
Don’t let the wrongdoing of others anger you, making you want to retaliate.
Don’t be envious of what those people have.
King James
Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
Psalm 37:1 <A Psalm of David.> Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

What makes people think they don’t have to worry about God’s judgment?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:2 You don’t have to worry about God’s judgment. In that day, they will wither like grass during severe drought, scorched by the hot summer sun.
King James
Psalm 37:2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

What might stand in the way of our needs being met?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:3 Keep trusting God, doing what pleases him, and you will have lodging and enough to eat.
Matthew 6:33 Seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness, and he will give you everything you need.
Philippians 4:19 Out of his glorious resources in Christ Jesus, my God will take care of everything you need.
King James
Psalm 37:3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

When we want something different, how can we delight in what the Lord wants ?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:4 Delight in the Lord, for he can give you the desires of your heart when you want what he wants.
King James
Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

What challenges do we face in becoming the person God wants us to be? What determines our success or failure?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:5 If any addiction or heart’s desire is not what you feel it should be, keep deepening your pleasure in the Lord and he will help you change.
King James
Psalm 37:5 Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Why do people react differently when they see a person’s good deeds?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:6 Your good deeds will shine like the noonday sun, and people will see that you are right.
Matthew 5:16 In the same way, you should let your kindness shine before men so they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.”
Matthew 12:34 You pit of snakes. If you are evil, how can you say anything good? As the heart overflows, the mouth speaks.
King James
Psalm 37:6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

With all the evil we see around us, how can we be sure God is in control and be calm?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:7–8 Relax and be patient, knowing that God is in control. Don’t think he is unjust when people are allowed to prosper in their evil deeds for a while.
Calm yourself, and don’t let your blood boil. Don’t let the wrongdoing of others lead you to do wrong.
King James
Psalm 37:7–8 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

What would the world be like if there were no evil?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:9–10 Evildoers won’t be around forever, but those who trust the Lord will possess the land. Before long, the wicked will be gone, so where they are right now is not where they will be.
King James
Psalm 37:9–10 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.

What does it mean to be humble? Why is humility important?

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Psalm 37:11 Humble people will inherit the earth and enjoy total peace.
King James
Psalm 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

What keeps the wicked from consuming the righteous?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:12 The wicked look for ways to take advantage of the righteous and would eat them up if they could.
2 Corinthians 4:8–9 Troubles press us from every direction, but we aren’t crushed. We may not know what to do, yet we’re confident that everything will work out. Enemies may attack us, but God stands with us. We may be knocked to the ground, but God will raise us up.
King James
Psalm 37:12 The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
2 Corinthians 4:8–9 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

What does it mean to have “the last laugh”? Why is that not funny?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:13 The Lord has the last laugh, because he knows where the wicked are headed.
King James
Psalm 37:13 The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.

Why do the the wicked wield their swords and aim their arrows? What are their chances of winning? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:14–15 They wield their swords and aim their arrows to kill the poor and afflicted who have done no wrong, but their own swords will pierce their hearts, and their bows will be broken.
King James
Psalm 37:14–15 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation. Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

How can a little be worth more than a lot?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:16 The little that one righteous man might have is worth more than the combined riches of all the wicked.
King James
Psalm 37:16 A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.

What must happen for the wicked to lose all their power?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:17 The wicked will lose all their power, but the Lord will strengthen the righteous.
King James
Psalm 37:17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the Lord upholdeth the righteous.

What kind of riches is eternal?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:18 God watches over those who do right, and the kind of riches they have will last forever.
Matthew 5:11–12 Blessed are the hated, those who are rejected, insulted, and falsely accused because of me. In their day of abuse, they will rejoice because their reward in Heaven is great. The ancient prophets were treated the same way.
Matthew 6:1 Be careful not to do your good deeds publicly so others will admire you. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in Heaven.
Matthew 19:21 If you want to be perfect, go and sell everything you own, and give the money to the poor. You will have treasure in Heaven and can follow me.
King James
Psalm 37:18 The Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.
Matthew 5:11–12 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Matthew 6:1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

When we have less than others, why should we not be embarrassed?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:19 In times of trouble, they don’t have to be embarrassed. When food is scarce, they will have enough.
King James
Psalm 37:19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

How much do we need before we have “enough”?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 37:19 In times of trouble, they don’t have to be embarrassed. When food is scarce, they will have enough.
King James
Psalm 37:19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

When should we expect the wicked to fail?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:20 The wicked won’t last for long. God’s enemies may enjoy abundant harvests, but all they have will soon go up in smoke.
King James
Psalm 37:20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.

In regard to debts, what difference should we see between that attitudes of the righteous and unrighteous?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:21 The wicked take from others and don’t pay their debts, but the righteous are givers who forgive what is owed to them.
King James
Psalm 37:21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.

What “lands” might we possess because of God’s blessing?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:22 Those whom God blesses will possess the land, and those whom God curses will be destroyed.
Psalm 37:29 The land will belong to the righteous forever. 30 Their speech will be only that which is wise and just.
King James
Psalm 37:22 For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.
Psalm 37:29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.

In what ways does God direct people’s steps?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:23–24 The steps of righteous people are directed by the Lord, and they love to walk with him. They may stumble, but they won’t fall flat, because God will help them up.
Jonah 1:4 The Lord brought hurricane winds upon the Mediterranean Sea, so strong that the ship was on the verge of breaking apart.
John 16:13 But when the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own authority but will say only what he hears. He will reveal to you things to come.
Acts 23:11 That night, Jesus appeared, standing before Paul. “Don’t worry,” he said. “As you have told your story about me in Jerusalem, you will also testify in Rome.”
King James
Psalm 37:23–24 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.
Jonah 1:4 But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Acts 23:11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

Jesus described the eternal blessing of the beggar Lazarus, so there are obviously righteous people who beg. How can we say that doesn’t happen?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:25–26 When I was young, I hadn’t seen enough to dispel all doubt, but now that I am old, I can say I have never seen God forsake the righteous or their children begging food. They are always generous and kind, and their children will be a blessing.
Luke 16:19–24 “There was a rich man,” Jesus said, “who dressed in expensive clothes and lived in luxury. At the gate to his house lay a poor beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores. While Lazarus longed for a few leftover scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs licked his sores. One day, the beggar died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, but his soul was in torment. In the place of the dead, the rich man saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. He shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me. Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am suffering in these flames.'”
King James
Psalm 37:25–26 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.
Luke 16:19–24 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

What makes it difficult to focus on doing what is right?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:27 Focus on doing what’s right, forsaking all that’s wrong, and you will live forever.
King James
Psalm 37:27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.

What must we give up to be like God? How is that even possible?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:28 God loves the just and will never forsake those who seek to be like him. They will live forever, but the wicked will be no more, their children cut off.
King James
Psalm 37:28 For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

What makes the speech of the righteous different from the unrighteous?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:30 Their speech will be only that which is wise and just.
Luke 12:11–12 When you are arrested and stand before synagogue authorities, governors, and kings, do not worry about what to say. At the time you must speak, you will be given the right words to say.
King James
Psalm 37:30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.
Luke 12:11–12 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.

Why do some people doubt God’s guidance?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:31 God’s guidance is according to who he is, every step of instruction being absolutely right.
King James
Psalm 37:31 The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

Why do the wicked view righteous people as a threat?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:32 The wicked see the righteous and wish they were dead.
King James
Psalm 37:32 The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.

While caught in the hands of the wicked, what hope do the righteous have?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:33 The Lord will not leave the righteous in the hands of the wicked. At trial, the righteous will not be condemned.
King James
Psalm 37:33 The Lord will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.

How important is patience? Why is it sometimes difficult to be patient?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:34 Patiently wait for God’s direction. Follow his guidance, and you will possess the land and see the wicked destroyed.
Hebrews 10:36 We can be thankful for delays that bring patience, because endurance is essential for receiving God’s promise.
King James
Psalm 37:34 Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
Hebrews 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

If evil people are strong enough to rise in power, what brings them down?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:35–36 I have seen evil people rise in power, growing like a healthy tree in rich, well-watered soil, but they were soon gone. I looked but couldn’t find them anywhere.
King James
Psalm 37:35–36 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.

How do the futures of the blameless differ from the wrongdoers?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:37–38 Look at the blameless people, those who are always doing right, for they will be made whole. But the wrongdoers will be destroyed. They have no future, for they will be gone.
Romans 8:28 All those who love God and are working to fulfill his purpose should know that all things will work together for good.
King James
Psalm 37:37–38 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

When should we expect God’s victory to come? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:39–40 Righteous people enjoy the victory solely because the Lord is their deliverer. He is their strength in trying times. The Lord will rescue them, delivering them from the wicked, saving those who trust him.
King James
Psalm 37:39–40 But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.