Read PSALM 37:1–13
In God’s Prayer Book: The Power and Pleasure of Praying the Psalms, Ben Patterson wrote about Psalm 37: “This psalm could be really irritating,” because when we think we have good reason to be upset, we don’t want to be told to calm down. “However, this psalm is a powerful tool against worry and rage in the face of evil. . . . [I]t insists on the same few basic ideas over and over again: God will bring about justice for his people in his own way.”
Injustice would seem to be a legitimate reason for anger and worry. But even in a good cause, sinful anger and worry are still sinful (v. 8). Fretting about such things is misplaced envy (v. 1). Whatever success or advantages the wicked seem to enjoy at the moment are an illusion. “They will soon wither” and “die away” (vv. 2, 9–10). They have “no future hope” (Prov. 24:19–20). They do not pose any real threat. In fact, God laughs at them, “for he knows their day is coming” (vv. 12–13).
Therefore, the central question remains one of faith: Do we trust God to provide? Will He right wrongs and accomplish justice? If the answer is yes, why do we persist in worrying? Instead of being anxious, we should trust and delight in the Lord (vv. 3–4). We should commit and submit our ways to Him (v. 5). We should “be still” in His presence and wait for Him to act (v. 7).
Godly waiting is patient, not passive— this is not an excuse for inaction. The point is that when we put our hope in the Lord rather than in ourselves (v. 9), He will vindicate and reward us (v. 6). Meekness, then, is about humble dependence on God. As Jesus also taught, “the meek will inherit the land” (v. 11; see Matt. 5:5).
APPLY THE WORD
Whatever you’re facing today, why not take a few extra minutes to “be still” before the Lord (v. 7)? “Being still” carries the ideas of patience, calmness, peace, faith, and reverence. Stop clamoring. Pause your thoughts. Turn off your smartphone. Remember that He is sovereign over all peoples and all of history. He invented justice!