Tag Archive: psalm 37


‘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.’ [vs. 7]

this brings to mind the more well known psalm 46.10 line of ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’

i use this verse a lot when writing welcome letters to people coming to visit the Simple Way as i think that sometimes the best thing for a lot of people is to be still [from the busyness and business of their daily lives and stresses and ministries and relationships] and to stop. and then to know [like really be aware of and believe and trust and acknowledge] that He is God.

i read once that there are two rules to life:

[1] there is only one God
[2] it is not you!

that can be a refreshing, freeing thought. as much as i like to think i hold the universe in the balance and that if i don’t do this thing or make that thing happen then who else possibly could or will?

there is a God. He is bigGER.

and because doing this is more important than writing about it, i am going to grab my cup of brewed coffee right now and actually interrupt the writing of this blog to go and do likewise [but don’t worry, if you keep reading it will seem like i never left]

ah.

it is a good thing to be able to distinguish between ‘be still and ask’ or ‘be still and try and think of a solution to the problem i am facing’ to simple ‘be still and know’ – i don’t take enough time to do that, but each time i do, it is so, so powerful

STOP RIGHT NOW. give yourself a minute. just focus on those words, close your eyes and be still and KNOW that He. Is. God.

it was on a top bunk bed in the YWAM base in a town called Chigamula outside Blantyre in Malawi in 2000 when i was on my outreach for the DTS course i had done that i went to bed wrestling with my faith and whether i really believed the stuff i had for my whole life – it was a moment of truth moment – followed by being awakened by people coming into the room at a crazy hour in the morning and news of two groups of people ascending the hill towards the base and the idea that i was about to be savagely hacked to pieces and this was it – what do you believe? – that my conclusion came really as a summing up of those words – i know that i know [that’s really all i had left]

and i haven’t looked back. clearly the near-death experience [in my head, at least] ended well, but what came out of it was knowing what i absolutely believe and just really KNOW.

it is important to keep returning to that place of being still and just soaking in the knowing of His Godness.

because when that happens well, then the next part happens more naturally: ‘do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.’ it comes out of a place of, ‘i don’t need to fret – God has this’

and ‘God having this’ does not mean i won’t get hurt or it won’t be uncomfortable or even that i, or the people i love, will be kept from harm… it is partially an awareness of a bigger picture that involves both life here and life beyond, a God centered kingdom that is more about Him than me, but which i have been graciously invited to be a part of.

and then finally, one of the last verses of this psalm which is maybe just something to reflect on:
‘Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace.’ [vs. 37]

being a ‘man of peace’ means more than just not engaging in violence, but taking it to the whole new level of loving your enemies which Jesus both spoke about and lived out, and that has been possibly one of the biggest lessons or areas of growth that has happened in me since moving to this neighborhood altho it is definitely something we still wrestle with a lot in terms of what it looks like and how it plays out.

to head back to part i

oh David… David, David, David…

after many Psalms of “Crush the wicked!” and “The evildoers are gonna get it” he seems to have changed his strategy or approach to the more nonchalant one of “ah, it doesn’t matter, God will take care of it in time”

‘Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.’ [vs. 1-2]

it could almost be like he is talking to his earlier self as at one point he utters, ‘I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.’ [vs. 25]
it’s like he is saying, ‘I’ve seen how this ends and we win.’

but as you read the psalm it still seems like he has not yet had his moment of facing the mirror – Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who is the sinfulest one of all? [sounds more powerful in my head when i imagine it with the Charlize Theron elocution and accent] It is YOU, David! Seems like that one is still coming as he is still pretty amped that the wicked [as in “not me”] are gonna get it.

and then vs. 3 hits which is a great little gem: ‘Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.’

it’s like a ‘Love God, love people’ type summary of life – almost like a casual throwaway…oh, by the way, just trust God, do good things, be in the land and stay safe…

what really jumped out at me even from that line in the psalm was the word ‘dwell’ – i think i had a status a while back that went “be where you are” and that is exactly it. the word ‘dwell’ for me carries a depth, a commitment, an involvement, some strong intentionality – don’t just exist or reside or habitate but really dwell – dig your feet in and immerse yourself in the place where you are at.

and i am not saying move into a place and stay there for 80 years – what i am saying is that whenever you are in a place, be it for a visit or a season or a decent period of time, really BE there. invest in the place and the people [even if it is the shortest of visits] – we see that at the Hospitality House here at the Simple Way – a lot of people visit and have the experience and the conversation and the tour… but every now and then someone will tell me about the conversation they had with [insert local resident/friend of ours name] and it is a lot more exciting because even though that person was just passing through, they took an hour or a couple of hours to invest in one of the people we know, even in just hearing their story or sharing some of theirs. and it is a powerful, powerful thing.

many people exist, but a small amount of people really live. be a liver. wait, that doesn’t sound right. be a live’er. that’s better [marginally]

do you know the names of your neighbors? have you ever heard their story? invited them round for a meal? shared a batch of chocolate chip cookies with them?

maybe if you are doing this kind of dwelling in the land, safe pasture is a natural consequence because you have built up good relations with all those around you and so you have other people watching your back and cheering you on?

how about you make a conscious decision today to plan something creative within the next month that will increase your dwellingness in the context in which you find yourself today [whether it’s in a house or apartment or student res or boarding house corridor] and then come and share here how it went.

to be continued… [dun dun duuuuuuuuuuunnnn] but only if you click here.

[To return to the Intro page and be connected to any of the other Psalms i have walked through before now, click here]

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