To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord.
36 Transgression speaks [like an oracle] to the wicked (godless) [deep] within his heart; There is no fear (dread) of God before his eyes. 2 For he flatters and deceives himself in his own eyes Thinking that his sinfulness will not be discovered and hated [by God]. 3 The words of his mouth are wicked and deceitful; He has ceased to be wise and to do good. 4 He plans wrongdoing on his bed; He sets himself on a path that is not good; He does not reject or despise evil.
5 Your lovingkindness and graciousness, O Lord, extend to the skies, Your faithfulness [reaches] to the clouds. 6 Your righteousness is like the mountains of God, Your judgments are like the great deep. O Lord, You preserve man and beast. 7 How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! The children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. 8 They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; And You allow them to drink from the river of Your delights. 9 For with You is the fountain of life [the fountain of life-giving water]; In Your light we see light.
10 O continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You, And Your righteousness (salvation) to the upright in heart. 11 Do not let the foot of the proud [person] overtake me, And do not let the hand of the wicked drive me away. 12 There those who [are perverse and] do evil have fallen; They have been thrust down and cannot rise.
Security of Those Who Trust in the Lord, and Insecurity of the Wicked.
A Psalm of David.
37 [a]Do not worry because of evildoers, Nor be envious toward wrongdoers; 2 For they will wither quickly like the grass, And fade like the green herb. 3 Trust [rely on and have confidence] in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and feed [securely] on His faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself in the Lord, And He will give you the desires and petitions of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord; Trust in Him also and He will do it. 6 He will make your righteousness [your pursuit of right standing with God] like the light, And your judgment like [the shining of] the noonday [sun].
7 Be still before the Lord; wait patiently for Him and entrust yourself to Him; Do not fret (whine, agonize) because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. 8 Cease from anger and abandon wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evil. 9 For those who do evil will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land. 10 For yet a little while and the wicked one will be gone [forever]; Though you look carefully where he used to be, he will not be [found]. 11 But the humble will [at last] inherit the land And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity and peace.
12 The wicked plots against the righteous And gnashes at him with his teeth. 13 The Lord laughs at him [the wicked one—the one who oppresses the righteous], For He sees that his day [of defeat] is coming. 14 The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow To cast down the afflicted and the needy, To slaughter those who are upright in conduct [those with personal integrity and godly character]. 15 The sword [of the ungodly] will enter their own heart, And their bow will be broken.
16 Better is the little of the righteous [who seek the will of God] Than the abundance (riches) of many wicked (godless). 17 For the arms of the wicked will be broken, But the Lord upholds and sustains the righteous [who seek Him]. 18 The Lord knows the days of the blameless, And their inheritance will continue forever. 19 They will not be [b]ashamed in the time of evil, And in the days of famine they will have plenty and be satisfied. 20 But the wicked (ungodly) will perish, And the enemies of the Lord will be like the [c]glory of the pastures and like the fat of lambs [that is consumed in smoke], They vanish—like smoke they vanish away. 21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and kind and gives. 22 For those blessed by God will [at last] inherit the land, But those cursed by Him will be cut off.
23 The steps of a [good and righteous] man are directed and established by the Lord, And He delights in his way [and blesses his path]. 24 When he falls, he will not be hurled down, Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand and sustains him. 25 I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous (those in right standing with God) abandoned Or his descendants pleading for bread. 26 All day long he is gracious and lends, And his descendants are a blessing.
27 Depart from evil and do good; And you will dwell [securely in the land] forever. 28 For the Lord delights in justice And does not abandon His saints (faithful ones); They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will [in time] be cut off. 29 The righteous will inherit the land And live in it forever. 30 The mouth of the righteous proclaims wisdom, And his tongue speaks justice and truth. 31 The law of his God is in his heart; Not one of his steps will slip. 32 The wicked lies in wait for the righteous And seeks to kill him. 33 The Lord will not leave him in his hand Or let him be condemned when he is judged. 34 Wait for and expect the Lord and keep His way, And He will exalt you to inherit the land; [In the end] when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
35 I have seen a wicked, violent man [with great power] Spreading and flaunting himself like a cedar in its native soil, 36 Yet he passed away, and lo, he was no more; I sought him, but he could not be found. 37 Mark the blameless man [who is spiritually complete], and behold the upright [who walks in moral integrity]; There is a [good] future for the man of peace [because a life of honor blesses one’s descendants]. 38 As for transgressors, they will be completely destroyed; The future of the wicked will be cut off. 39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their refuge and stronghold in the time of trouble. 40 The Lord helps them and rescues them; He rescues them from the wicked and saves them, Because they take refuge in Him.
Prayer in Time of Discipline.
A Psalm of David; to bring to remembrance.
38 O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your wrath, Nor discipline me in Your burning anger. 2 For Your arrows have sunk into me and penetrate deeply, And Your hand has pressed down on me and greatly disciplined me. 3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your indignation; There is no health in my bones because of my sin. 4 For my iniquities have gone over my head [like the waves of a flood]; As a heavy burden they weigh too much for me. 5 My wounds are loathsome and foul Because of my foolishness. 6 I am bent over and greatly bowed down; I go about mourning all day long. 7 For my sides are filled with burning, And there is no health in my flesh. 8 I am numb and greatly bruised [deadly cold and completely worn out]; I groan because of the disquiet and moaning of my heart.
9 Lord, all my desire is before You; And my sighing is not hidden from You. 10 My heart throbs violently, my strength fails me; And as for the light of my eyes, even that has also gone from me. 11 My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague; And my neighbors stand far away. 12 Those who seek my life lay snares for me, And those who seek to injure me threaten mischievous things and destruction; They devise treachery all the day long.
13 But I, like a deaf man, do not hear; I am like a mute man who does not open his mouth. 14 Yes, I am like a man who does not hear, In whose mouth are no arguments. 15 For in You, O Lord, I hope; You will answer, O Lord my God. 16 For I pray, “May they not rejoice over me, Who, when my foot slips, would boast against me.” 17 For I am ready to fall; My sorrow is continually before me. 18 For I do confess my guilt and iniquity; I am filled with anxiety because of my sin. 19 But my [numerous] enemies are vigorous and strong, And those who hate me without cause are many. 20 They repay evil for good, they attack and try to kill me, Because I follow what is good. 21 Do not abandon me, O Lord; O my God, do not be far from me. 22 Make haste to help me, O Lord, my Salvation.
The Vanity of Life.
To the Chief Musician; for Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.
39 I said, “I will guard my ways That I may not sin with my tongue; I will muzzle my mouth While the wicked are in my presence.” 2 I was mute and silent [before my enemies], I refrained even from good, And my [d]distress grew worse. 3 My heart was hot within me. While I was musing the fire burned; Then I spoke with my tongue: 4 “Lord, let me know my [life’s] end And [to appreciate] the extent of my days; Let me know how frail I am [how transient is my stay here]. 5 “Behold, You have made my days as [short as] hand widths, And my lifetime is as nothing in Your sight. Surely every man at his best is a mere breath [a wisp of smoke, a vapor that vanishes]!Selah. 6 “Surely every man walks around like a shadow [in a charade]; Surely they make an uproar for nothing; Each one builds up riches, not knowing who will receive them.
7 “And now, Lord, for what do I expectantly wait? My hope [my confident expectation] is in You. 8 “Save me from all my transgressions; Do not make me the scorn and reproach of the [self-righteous, arrogant] fool. 9 “I am mute, I do not open my mouth, Because it is You who has done it. 10 “Remove Your plague from me; I am wasting away because of the conflict and opposition of Your hand. 11 “With rebukes You discipline man for sin; You consume like a moth what is precious to him; Surely every man is a mere breath [a wisp of smoke, a vapor that vanishes]. Selah.
12 “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and listen to my cry; Do not be silent at my tears; For I am Your temporary guest, A sojourner like all my fathers. 13 “O look away from me, that I may smile and again know joy Before I depart and am no more.”
Psalm 37:1One of the longer psalms, Ps 37 also has the distinction of having every other verse (sometimes succeeding verses) begin with a letter of the Hebrew in alphabetical order. This technique served as a memory aid.
Psalm 37:19I.e. have their expectations in Your goodness be disappointed.
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