Sunday, October 02, 2005

Psalm 37: A Comparative Study - Part Two

Welcome to part two of our comparative study of Psalm 37, you can find the first part here.

Psalm 37:6-10

6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.

6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.

9 For evil men will be cut off,
but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.

10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.

He will make your innocence as clear as the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

Be still in the presence of the LORD,
and wait patiently for him to act.
Don't worry about evil people who prosper
or fret about their wicked schemes.

Stop your anger!
Turn from your rage!
Do not envy others--
it only leads to harm.

For the wicked will be destroyed,
but those who trust in the LORD will possess the land.

In a little while, the wicked will disappear.
Though you look for them, they will be gone.

The Message
6 He'll validate your life in the clear light of day

and stamp you with approval at high noon.

7 Quiet down before GOD,

be prayerful before him.

Don't bother with those who climb the ladder,

who elbow their way to the top.

8 Bridle your anger, trash your wrath,

cool your pipes--it only makes things worse.

9 Before long the crooks will be bankrupt;

GOD-investors will soon own the store.

10 Before you know it, the wicked will have had it;

you'll stare at his once famous place and--nothing!

In verse 7 we see that the KJV tells us to find rest in the Lord, where as the NLT and NIV tell us to be still. The Message tells us to “quiet down.” So, here is the question: what is the difference? The KJV clearly tells us to find rest in the Lord, this is reiterated through out the Bible many times. To find rest one finds peace, one finds comfort in rest. This is a beautiful concept. We can rest assured that when we are in the Lord’s will we don’t have to worry about how the evil prospers in the world. The NIV and NLT tell us to be still and to not worry, but they don’t tell us to find rest. There is no clear promise of peace here. What exactly is meant by the phrase “be still”? The Message, again, is very vague and does not convey that we are to find peace in the Lord.

Verses eight through ten in the NIV and NLT very closely mirror the KJV. Again, The Message takes a more passive stance on God’s directive for us. “[C]ool your pipes-it only makes things worse” is a far cry from the KJV’s “fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.”

Here we see that the Lord will bring all things to light and we can rest easy in the Lord’s will. He will judge us, will clear the righteous and the evil will be condemned. We are to find rest in the Lord, to be patient. When we do this our souls are at peace. We are not to worry about those who prosper according to the world’s standards (we are in the world but not of it John 15:19) or succeed because of wickedness. We are to “cease from anger” and not to do any evil. “For evil doers shall be cut off” and those of us who put our trust in the Lord and wait for His timing will inherit the earth (the meek shall inherit the earth Matthew 5:5). Spurgeon said, “[w]hen bad men reached greatness, the judgments of God frequently sweep them away; their riches melt, their powers decay, their happiness turns to wretchedness...he shall be utterly blotted out, perhaps cut off by his own debauchery, or brought to a deathbed of penury by his own extravagance.”

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