Wait for the LORD and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land
1 Help, LORD, for the godly are no
the faithful have vanished from among men.
2 Everyone lies to his neighbor;
their flattering lips speak with deception.
3 May the LORD cut off all flattering
and every boastful tongue
4 that says, "We will triumph
with our tongues;
we own our lips—who is our master?"
5 "Because of the oppression of
and the groaning of the needy,
I will now arise," says the LORD.
"I will protect them from those who malign them."
6 And the words of the LORD are
like silver refined in a furnace of clay,
purified seven times.
7 O LORD, you will keep us safe
and protect us from such people forever.
8 The wicked freely strut about
when what is vile is honored among men.
It is supposed that David penned this psalm in Saul’s reign, when there was a general decay of honesty and piety both in court and country, which he here complains of to God, and very feelingly, for he himself suffered by the treachery of his false friends and the insolence of his sworn enemies.
This psalm furnishes us with good thoughts for bad times. Ask anyone what it is in their account that makes the times bad, and they will tell you, Scarcity of money, decay of trade, and the desolations of war, make the times bad. But the scripture lays the badness of the times upon causes of another nature – a general decay of piety and honesty among men. (See 1): When the godly man ceases and the faithful fail.
They are here said to cease and fail, either by death or by desertion, or by both. Those that were godly and faithful were taken away, and those that were left had sadly degenerated and were not what they had been; so that there were few or no good people left.
This is the devil’s image complete, a complication of malice and falsehood. The times are bad indeed when there is no such thing as sincerity to be met with, when an honest man knows not whom to believe nor whom to trust, nor dares put confidence in a friend.
When the poor and needy are oppressed, and abused, then the times are very bad. This is implied in verse 5 where God himself takes notice of the oppression of the poor and the sighing of the needy; they are oppressed because they are poor, have all manner of wrong done them merely because they are not in a capacity to right themselves. Being thus oppressed, they dare not speak for themselves, lest their defense should be made their offence.
When wickedness abounds, and is allows under the protection and countenance of those in authority, then the times are very bad, v. 8. When the vilest men are exalted to places of trust and power who, instead of putting the laws in execution against vice and injustice and punishing the wicked according to their merits, patronize and protect them, give them countenance, and support their reputation by their own example, then the wicked walk on every side.
When godly faithful people cease and fail it is time to cry, Help, Lord! The abounding of iniquity threatens a deluge. "Help, Lord, help the virtuous; few seek to hold fast their integrity, and to stand in the gap; help to save thy own interest in the world from sinking.
David says "Help, Lord,’’ and God says "I will, here I am.
Although this psalm was written 3000 years ago, you can’t help but notice how all of this is true today. Has society returned to this state? Has history repeated itself? Or has it been this way all along, but you’ve never had a biblical answer to the situation until now?
In praying over this psalm, we must thank God that things are not worse than they are, but pray and hope that they will be better in God’s due time.
1 Do not fret because of evil men
or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For evil men will be cut off,
but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.
10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy great peace.
12 The wicked plot against the righteous
and gnash their teeth at them;
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows their day is coming.
14 The wicked draw the sword
and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose ways are upright.
15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.
16 Better the little that the righteous have
than the wealth of many wicked;
17 for the power of the wicked will be broken,
but the LORD upholds the righteous.
18 The days of the blameless are known to the LORD,
and their inheritance will endure forever.
19 In times of disaster they will not wither;
in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.
20 But the wicked will perish:
The LORD's enemies will be like the beauty of the fields,
they will vanish—vanish like smoke.
21 The wicked borrow and do not repay,
but the righteous give generously;
22 those the LORD blesses will inherit the land,
but those he curses will be cut off.
23 If the LORD delights in a man's way,
he makes his steps firm;
24 though he stumble, he will not
for the LORD upholds him with his hand.
25 I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
26 They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be blessed.
27 Turn from evil and do good;
then you will dwell in the land forever.
28 For the LORD loves the just
and will not forsake his faithful ones.
They will be protected forever,
but the offspring 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 man utters wisdom,
and his tongue speaks what is just.
31 The law of his God is in his heart;
his feet do not slip.
32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous,
seeking their very lives;
33 but the LORD will not leave them in their power
or let them be condemned when brought to trial.
34 Wait for the LORD
and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land;
when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man
flourishing like a green tree in its native soil,
36 but he soon passed away and was no more;
though I looked for him, he could not be found.
37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright;
there is a future for the man of peace.
38 But all sinners will be destroyed;
the future of the wicked will be cut off.
39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD;
he is their stronghold 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.
This psalm is a "Maschil—a teaching psalm.
Do you see how the message here is much the same as the previous psalm that we read, and also that it is just as relevant today as it was in its own time?
God forbids us to fret at the prosperity of the wicked in their wicked ways. He gives very good reasons why we should not fret at it.
In reading this psalm we must teach and admonish one another rightly to understand the providence of God and to accommodate ourselves to it, at all times carefully to do our duty and then patiently to leave the event with God and to believe that, how black things may look for the present, it shall be "well with those that fear God, that fear before him.’’
The instructions here given are very plain; much need not be said for the exposition of them, but there is a great deal to be done for the reducing of them to practice, and there they will look best.
When we look abroad we see the world full of evil-doers and workers of iniquity, that flourish and prosper, that have what they will and do what they will, that live in ease and pomp themselves and have power in their hands to do mischief to those about them. So it was in David’s time; and therefore, if it is so still, let us not marvel at the matter, as though it were some new or strange thing. When we look within we find ourselves tempted to fret at this, and to be envious against these scandals and burdens. We are apt to fret at God, as if he were unkind to the world and unkind to his church in permitting such men to live, and prosper, and prevail, as they do. We are tempted to think them the only happy people, and to incline to imitate them, and to join ourselves with them, that we may share in their gains, and this is that which we are warned against: Fret not thyself, neither be thou envious. Fretfulness and envy are sins that are their own punishments.
It is required that we trust in the Lord and do good, that we confide in God and conform to him. The life of religion lies much in a believing reliance on God, his favor, his providence, his promise, his grace, and a diligent care to serve him and our generation, according to his will.
We must make God our heart’s delight and then we shall have our heart’s desire (v. 4). What is the desire of the heart of a good man? It is this, to know, and love, and live to God, to please him and to be pleased in him.
Good people have no reason to envy the worldly prosperity of wicked people, nor to grieve or be uneasy at it, because the prosperity of the wicked will soon be at an end. Their attempts will be their destruction.
Because God orders his way according to his own will, therefore he delights in it; for, as he loves his own image upon us, so he is well pleased with what we do under his guidance.
The psalmist’s conclusion of this sermon (Verses 34-40) is that the duty here pressed upon us is still the same (v. 34): Wait on the Lord and keep his way.
Warren W. Wiersbe, an American pastor and a prolific writer of Christian literature, had a nice commentary on this psalm that I would like to share with you:
“This psalm shares the wisdom of an old man who had walked with the Lord. He had battled with evil men and knew the frustration of seeing the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer. As he reviewed the past, he gave some wise counsel to keep us from fretting against the Lord when things are not going the way we want them to go.”
“Trust in the Lord” (v. 3). If you walk by sight and not by faith, you will find it easy to fret. (See Ps. 73.) The wicked seem to be prospering, but they will not last (vv. 35–36). Believe what God says in His Word because that is where you find reality.
“Delight in the Lord” (4). Find all your joy and pleasure in His will. Make Him your delight, and your desires will be in His will. Living to please the Lord sets you free from fretting about what men are doing.
“Commit your way to the Lord” (5). When you trust Him and delight in Him, how could you do anything other than commit your way to Him? Let God guide your steps, choose your joys, protect your name, and bless your work.
“Rest in the Lord” (7). Restlessness is an evidence of unbelief. Faith rests in the Lord and enjoys “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.” God sometimes waits in answering prayer so that He might strengthen our patience.
“Wait on the Lord” (34). For what are you waiting? The inheritance God has for you. The wicked have only temporary pleasure on earth, but God’s people have eternal treasure in heaven. You will one day receive your inheritance, so be patient.
1Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,
2and he began to teach them saying:
3"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Our Savior here gives eight characters of blessed people, which represent to us the principal graces of a Christian.
None will find happiness in this world or the next, who do not seek it from Christ by the rule of his word. He taught them what evil to avoid, and what the good they should seek and abound in.
We enter the kingdom through the new birth, but we enjoy the kingdom by living for those things that please God the most.