Don’t worry. God’s got you.
Bad folks die like grass in the sun
A psalm of David.1 Don’t worry one little bit about bad folks.
And for heaven’s sake, don’t envy them.
2 They’re going to wither like grass in the sun.
They’ll fade from green to black, dead as dirt.
3 Trust the LORD and do what’s right.
Live on the land. Plant your roots in trust.
4 Enjoy letting the LORD into your life.
He’ll give you what you want most.
5 Go all in with the LORD.
Trust him to do what he does best.
6 He’ll make goodness in you
Like the sunshine of morning,
And your devotion to justice
like the light of high noon.
Keep your cool7 Take it easy and wait for the LORD.
Don’t get worked up at the sight of crooks
Getting rich through evil schemes.
8 Don’t get mad and lose your temper.
Don’t obsess over this. It’ll only lead to trouble.
9 Bad people won’t get to stick around here.
But good folks who wait patiently for the LORD
Will stay put and inherit the land.
10 Wait and see. In a little while
The wicked won’t exist anymore.
You’ll look for them where they lived and played.
But you won’t find them anywhere.
11 Humble people will own the land
And they’ll enjoy living in peace.
12 Crooks scheme to scam honest folks,
Baring their teeth in snarls.
13 But the LORD just laughs
Because he sees what’s coming.
14 The wicked declared war on the sick and the poor.
They drew their swords and bent their bows
To slaughter the good and the godly.
15 But the bows will snap.
The swords will turn and bury themselves
In the hearts of the ones who drew them.
When poor is better than rich16 The paltry little that good folks have
Is an awful lot better than the wealth of the wicked.
17 The wicked won’t carry much
When their arms are broken.
The LORD will take care of good folks.
18 Day after day, the LORD watches the innocent.
What they’ll inherit from him will be theirs forever.
19 They won’t hang their heads in shame
When hard times come.
When famine hits,
They’ll have what they need to see it through.
20 But all of the bad folks will die.
The LORD’s enemies will disappear like springtime flowers.
They’ll fade away like smoke in the air.
21 Crooks borrow and don’t repay.
Good folks give and are kind as they give it.
22 God-blessed people will own the land.
God-condemned people will be shown the road.
23 When we walk the path the LORD gives us
He’s delighted to see that we’re doing it.
24 When we trip and fall,
We won’t fall flat on our face,
Because the LORD is holding our hand.
God doesn’t abandon good people25 I was young once. I’m old now. But in all the years I’ve lived,
I’ve never seen God abandon good people
Or their children begging for food.
26 These folks generously share what they have.
And their family delights the world.
27 Run from evil. Chase what’s good.
If you do, you’ll live forever.
28 The LORD is a big fan of justice.
So, he doesn’t abandon good people.
He has their back from now until forever.
But the wicked ones are on their own.
29 Good people will own the land.
They’ll live there forever.
30 When good people talk, wisdom speaks
As justice rolls off their tongues.
31 God’s teaching rules their hearts
And keeps their feet from slipping.
32 Bad people stalk good folks
And then try to kill them.
33 But the LORD won’t hand good people over to bad
Or condemn them as though they’re guilty.
34 Wait for the LORD’s timing
And do what’s right, too.
He’ll honor you when the land becomes yours.
And you’ll see the wicked when he sends them away.
Violence disappears35 I saw a violent man too strong to stop.
He was like a huge tree, immovable,
Firmly rooted in rich soil.
36 He disappeared—dead and gone.
I looked for him everywhere
But I couldn’t find him anywhere.
37 Keep your eye on honest folks.
Make note of the ones you can trust.
There’s a future for people of integrity.
38 But sinful people will be killed.
That’s all the future they’ll have.
39 When it’s time to save good people,
It’s the LORD who does the saving.
He’s where good folks get their strength
When trouble pays a visit.
40 The LORD comes to their rescue.
He saves them from the bad people
Because they put their trust in him
And count on him to protect them.
The subtitle wasn’t part of the original psalm. And the possible byline “of David,” isn’t necessarily a byline. The vague phrase could mean the song was written by David, about David, or was inspired by David. Almost half of the psalms are attributed to David in this way, 73 of 150. Ancient Jewish history tells of David playing a lyre and writing songs. For one, he wrote a song of mourning at the battlefield death of King Saul and his sons: “How have the mighty fallen!” (2 Samuel 1:19-27 New American Standard Bible). An ancient Jewish scroll from about the time of Jesus, discovered among the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, reports that David wrote 3,600 songs.
The original Hebrew word for “trust” can also mean truth, faith, or faithfulness.
If David wrote this last line and he meant God would never let good people suffer, he needed to get out of the palace more and he needed to read the book of Job, written to illustrate that sometimes good people suffer through no fault of their own. Many Jews seemed to believe that if people were successful, that was a sign God was pleased with them. As for people suffering, that was seen as deserved punishment sent from God. Jesus tried helping his disciples to stop thinking that way when they wanted to know why a man was born blind. They asked, “Is it because he did something wrong? Or did his parents sin?” (John 9:2). Neither, Jesus said. Some scholars say this final line in Psalm 37:25 reads like someone added it to the original. That’s partly because it adds a fifth, oddball line to the usual four lines.
The Hebrew word for “integrity” is shalom. It’s a sprawling word that means a wide variety of good things—much like the word “grace.” So, we have to look for context clues when we take a stab at understanding which idea the writer had in mind. Shalom can mean: wellbeing, peace of mind, good health, financial security, and safety. If it’s part of what makes life good, it’s part of shalom.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.