1 Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong.
(The Lord told us so in His Sermon on the Mount! “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear.” (Mt 6:25) God the Father will take care of our basic needs.)
2 For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
3 Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
(“You will have many trials and sorrows, but take heart: I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) We have challenges, yes. But ride on His coattails, and we can overcome those challenges!)
4 Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires.
5 Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust Him, and He will help you.
(Don’t just “do God” on Sunday mornings. Do everything for God – brushing your teeth, driving your car, doing your job, interact with others – because we are ALWAYS Children of God!
6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
(Through the work of Christ on the Cross, we have innocence that should “radiate like the dawn”! If people around you can’t tell you’re Christian through your everyday actions, you’re not much of a Christian!)
7 Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for Him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.
(This is one of my difficulties. BEING PATIENT. God works on a LOOOOONG time scale – I don’t. I only have a few decades total to get my portion of His Work done, so I’m antsy. But He is notorious for taking exactly as much time as is necessary to do the job right – He’s never late, but He’s always right on time.)
8 Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm.
(There are many ways to “turn from your rage”. The most effective is to give your complaints to the Holy Spirit to digest and remove from your shoulders.)
9 For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the LORD will possess the land.
10 Soon the wicked will disappear. Though you look for them, they will be gone.
11 The lowly will possess the land and will live in peace and prosperity.
12 The wicked plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance.
13 But the Lord just laughs, for He sees their day of judgment coming.
(This is very much like the myth that God and the Devil are anything close to equals. Satan is simply a created being, an angel who fell from grace. You don’t think God can handle one fallen angel? Similarly, the “Lord just laughs” when Satan thinks he has you cornered. He can rescue you from any predicament.)
14 The wicked draw their swords and string their bows to kill the poor and the oppressed, to slaughter those who do right.
15 But their swords will stab their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.
16 It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and rich.
(“You cannot serve God and Mammon” (Matthew 6:24) – you cannot follow God’s commands and be focused on making money above all else. That doesn’t mean you can’t be godly and rich! But be cautious on how your riches come about!)
17 For the strength of the wicked will be shattered, but the LORD takes care of the godly.
18 Day by day the LORD takes care of the innocent, and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever.
(THIS is the two-fold glory that is promised all Christians – not only are we blessed with the Holy Spirit within us while we’re on earth, but we have the assurance of Heaven when we’re done here!)
19 They will not be disgraced in hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough.
20 But the wicked will die. The LORD’s enemies are like flowers in a field — they will disappear like smoke.
21 The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers.
22 Those the LORD blesses will possess the land, but those He curses will die.
23 The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.
24 Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.
(The Lord will test you. He will challenge you in order to help refine you as you grow to be more and more like Christ. And He will chasten you when you err. But God will not let you fall – and by “fall”, he means “fall from grace”. You are assured of Heaven regardless of your success or failure in your difficulties.)
25 Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.
26 The godly always give generous loans to others, and their children are a blessing.
(This is an interesting point. To generalize, the godly share what they have with those who need, regardless of what the godly have or don’t have.)
27 Turn from evil and do good, and you will live in the land forever.
28 For the LORD loves justice, and He will never abandon the godly. He will keep them safe forever, but the children of the wicked will die.
29 The godly will possess the land and will live there forever.
30 The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong.
(If you read and understand the Bible, and most importantly you carry the Spirit within you as well, you’ll have godly advice to give your companions as they need.)
31 They have made God’s law their own, so they will never slip from his path.
32 The wicked wait in ambush for the godly, looking for an excuse to kill them.
33 But the LORD will not let the wicked succeed or let the godly be condemned when they are put on trial.
34 Put your hope in the LORD. Travel steadily along his path. He will honor you by giving you the land. You will see the wicked destroyed.
35 I have seen wicked and ruthless people flourishing like a tree in its native soil.
36 But when I looked again, they were gone! Though I searched for them, I could not find them!
37 Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.
38 But the rebellious will be destroyed; they have no future.
39 The LORD rescues the godly; He is their fortress in times of trouble.
40 The LORD helps them, rescuing them from the wicked. He saves them, and they find shelter in Him.
Live your life in God’s counsel; live by His Scriptural Word, and you will succeed. Follow the psalmist’s advice in Psalm 37, and see if it doesn’t help you live a good life, one which leads to Heaven when the time comes.