Welcome to His Encouragement Thursday (I know, it’s a Tuesday. Just go with it this week. LOL)! I don’t know about you, but Thursdays are my struggle day of the week. By Thursday, I have already been working hard at school and at home, and I just wish it would hurry up and be Friday already. LOL! I definitely need a little extra Jesus time on Thursdays.
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.Psalm 37: 3-4 (ESV)
This week I am continuing my series on Psalm 37. I hope it fills you with as much peace as it has me!
According to Jewish rabbis (who know Hebrew very well), the correct translation of verse 3 is as follows: “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and be nourished by faith” (Tehilim 37:3, Chabad.org). I like this translation better as it makes more sense than the ESV translation. I mean, honestly, how do I befriend faith? I don’t even know what that means. But I do know what it means to be nourished!
Trust in Yahweh. This means that we 100% put our entire trust in God. We don’t do something for God and then worry that the thing we just did is going to hurt us in some way later. For example, I tithe each month 10% of my paycheck. I would say a good 99% of the time I tithe with no worries. I trust that God knows how much my family needs that month so I give happily my 10% back to Him and then don’t really think about money for the rest of the month. Everything on this earth is God’s already, so why stress about it? But, if I’m honest, there have been months where I thought to myself, “You know, you could really use that tithe for something else. It’s just one month. God won’t care if you spend the tithe money on that extra bill that came in this month.” But this is foolish thinking. This is me trusting my paycheck and not God. God already knows what I will need before I need it and will provide generously in His perfect timing. I need to be steadfast in Him because steadfastness proves I trust Him.
The second part of verse 3 is awesome: “dwell in the land and be nourished by faith.” Unfortunately at this time, I live in Southern California and not Israel, but I can still be nourished by faith. When I steadfastly trust in God He nourishes me daily. Not only does He attend to my physical needs, but by sharing His Word with me, God feeds me spiritually and emotionally. Because I keep coming back to Him and His Word faithfully, God is faithful to me through His blessings, protections, and provisions.
Verse 4 of Psalm 37 is one of the most famous verses in the entire Bible. Everyone knows this verse. But do we DO this verse? Do we delight in God? What is delight anyway?
To delight in someone or something means that we take pleasure in him/her or it. So, do we take pleasure in God? Do we find joy and love in our relationships with Him? When we Bible study is it time we look forward to or is it just another check mark on our daily to-do list? When we sit in church are we singing and praising God with our whole hearts or counting down the minutes until we get to leave?
The last idea discussed in verse 4 is that when we delight in God, He gives us our hearts’ desires. The thing about this is we must be on the same page as God. This verse does not mean that I can delight in Him for a minute and then He will give me opportunity to indulge in sinful pleasures. No, no, no! When we delight in God, truly delight, then we are in right relationship with Him. When we are in right relationship with God He will give us the desires of our hearts because those desires are things He desires, too: love, friendship, compassion, mercy, blessings, protections, etc. This is a good reminder, even for me, to check our hearts. Are they in right relationship with God? Do they delight in Him? Are we praying the right things? Or are our hearts being selfish and self-centered? Are our hearts seeking after things we desire rather than what God desires?
Dear reader, today I implore you to ponder the questions and ideas illuminated in this post truthfully. Right now could very well be the moment God is calling you to examine your heart in order to get right with Him. Examine now before it is too late!