Daily D – Psalm 37:23-24
Psalm 37:23, 24
The LORD makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him;
though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the LORD upholds him with his hand.
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ps 37:23–24.
Stalwart walks in step with GOD;
his path blazed by GOD, he’s happy.
If he stumbles, he’s not down for long;
GOD has a grip on his hand.
Most everyone has heard Psalm 37:4 quoted at one time or another. It is often excised from its context and used to declare how God will give us what we want. Of course, this is nearly the opposite of what this text actually says.
Look at how the psalm begins. Verse 1 in the New American Standard Bible says, “Do not get upset because of evildoers, Do not be envious of wrongdoers.” The Christian Standard Bible says, “Do not be agitated by evildoers; do not envy those who do wrong.”
The New Living Translation says, “Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong.” The Message says, “Don’t bother your head with braggarts or wish you could succeed like the wicked.” The New International Version says, “Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong.” Notice how the word fret comes up again and again. We see it in verse 7. It shows up again in verse 8.
Maybe our Father in heaven does not want us to live with anxiety as a regular guest star in our homes, work, and relationships.
How can we avoid anxiety? How can we overcome a sense of overwhelm? Take a look at verses 3-9. There are several commands here. Ponder the bold text below.
Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight 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 righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the LORD
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people 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 those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ps 37:3–9.
What do you notice? Here’s a thought or two:
- Anxiety melts away when we acknowledge God is in charge.
- Worries disappear when we trust God.
This is a good psalm to pin, to return to regularly, to commit to memory. This is a good psalm to read aloud. This is a good psalm to hear read aloud by your Bible app.
What is God saying to you today through this psalm?
- Which of the commands in this psalm is most meaningful to you?
- How will you take delight in your relationship with God today?
I will delight myself in God who holds my hand and catches me when I stumble.
Our Father, thank you that anxiety and irritation do not have to rule my day. You are in charge of my life. I delight in knowing and experiencing you. I trust you will hold me, protect me, defend me, empower me, and shine through my life to others. I trust you. Amen.
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Ezra 8:31, 32 On the twelfth day of the first month we set out from the Ahava Canal to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and he protected us from enemies and bandits along the way. So we arrived in Jerusalem, where we rested three days.
Esther 6:1, 2 That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.
Esther 4:14 “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”