Psalm 37

A sermon, a testimony, of wickness vs righteousness, by David.

Apparently it was an alphabet song, so each short stanza starts with a different letter in the original language. It’s easy to imagine even from the translation, there’s a bunch of two line verses which form matched pairs.

It’s in three rough sections:

A bunch of proverb type observations about the blessings you get by being righteous, then a similar bunch about the futility of grabbing the opportunistic advantages of evil.

Then a third section with a more preachy attitude, comparing the two, urging the audience to be righteous. There’s often a ‘but’ structure, as in ‘the wicked seem like they are succeeding, but they won’t in the long run’.

It’s wrapped in advice not to fret, at the start and returning to finish. So the context is worrying that believing in God’s law isn’t working. It’s an optimism song, the poetic equivalent of one of those ‘keep calm and carry on’ posters from world War Two.

The Psalms I’ve been reading seem to be grouped, in the last 7 we’ve had 4 praising God, from a time of comfort or more desperate times, then 3 now about persevering, the daily choices to be godly.

Looking back on life and seeing God’s greatness and saving power, and living in the present and reminding yourself to make good choices. Gaining confidence for the future.

It’s simply the Christian life in songs. Though it’s not simple, and you need at least 150 of them to keep singing yourself out of temptation.

Saw first hand the drought, the effects were everywhere as we came down inland back to Sydney on our driving weekend. I’ve had some context at work with the pastors and chaplains trying to give spiritual and physical relief. Intervening at the brink of suicide. It’s not simple.

I’m tempted to feel ‘seen one Psalm, seen ’em all’ but the temptation to despair or apathy is a visceral daily struggle. It doesn’t come naturally. We need constant reminders to praise and trust God.

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