Psalm 37 Part I

Question:  Psalms 37, an analysis with the significance, meaning, and
expounded explanation.

This kind of “asking, seeking, and knocking” after more Bible demands an
answer as adequate as the question; but it just so happens that with the
ASPI and the “Magic Outline of the Bible” we at SunGrist are ready; and so
can you be ready if you will utilize these Bible study tools.
Psalm 37 will be in two Parts, Part 1 now is  more of an analytical analysis
{it is really called “exegesis” in the science of Biblical interpretation}, and
Part 2 expands further either side of Psalms 37, in the Magic Outline {see
www.biblecombibleman/
MagicPage.html} all the surrounding quotes that
are part of “Wisdom of God”  One can make it through the first half with
good exegesis {the reading out of Bible meaning as contrasted to the
reading in of meaning, but as you get into 37:23-24 and encounter such
words as “salvation” and “righteousness”, there is often criticism of reading
too much New Testament into the Old Testament}, not so with the second
half, for it like many other surprises in the Bible has much fuller meaning
than a quick reading without consideration of the quotes around the
chapter.  {If this is hard to understand then look at all the NT quotes, with
proper explanation, in the sub-topic of ‘Wisdom of God’.”
WARNING of what to expect:  in 37:39, “...the salvation of the righteous is
from the LORD”; and further the wisdom of God shows up in the
marvelous plan of salvation He provided through the life, death,
resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, also His wisdom
shows, after years of failures and giant shortcomings on the part of His
original people, to create a citizenship of new people {Gentiles and Jews}
with righteousness by faith and righteousness by way of a new heart and
mind from Him through the Holy Spirit.  {Sorry, there is no shorter way to
say it and be faithful to both God and the Bible.  And never forget these
things are in the Bible as reflections of the very nature and character of
God the Father.}

11-1:  First, what place does Psalm 37 have in the total structure and
layout of the Bible.
 

NOTE:  As you look at volume 1 of the LCC commentaries or the web
page on the Magic Outline, you will be pleasantly surprised to know
that even as Psalms is considered to be half way in the Bible, so
Psalms and Psalm 37 are located in the sixth of the 12 major subjects
of the Bible.  {This would be a good time to briefly review those 12
major subjects matters of the Bible; because since Topic #6 is on the
“Wisdom of God”, you will want to go both ways from Psalms to see
more generally what the wisdom of God is all about:  (1)  The Living
God of the Living, (2) Righteousness of God and Man, (3) Consistency
of the Bible {composite witness of the Bible}, (4) God, Man, and the
Son of Man, (5) The Resurrection of the Messiah, (6) Wisdom from
God, (7) The Gospel, (8) Listening More Important than Sacrifice, (9)
What Happened to the Jews as the Chosen People, (10) The Salvation
of God, (11) The New King of the New Israel, and (12) The Living God
wants Others to Live.  You see you an start at six, “The Wisdom of
God” and go both ways from there to see examples of the wisdom of
God like in salvation, in the resurrection, and like living.

1.  You see this is just a good start on keeping the 37th chapter of Psalms,
like with any chapter or verse in the Bible, in the total context; and that is at
the very heart of the ASPI, for
Authorized Semi-Public Interpretation of the
Bible--

“...knowing this first, that no scripture is of any private interpretation,
for prophesy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God
spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”  (II Peter 1:20,21)

Quick exegesis of II Peter 1:20,21 to see the Biblical basis of the ASPI
before using it in the interpretation of Psalm 37.  After all,
INTERPRETATION is what we are after as embodied in the search
question on Psalm 37 that we are seeking to answer.  
(1) While Satan and sceptics try the trick when Bible gets too close to them
of claiming what they heard is just one interpretation of many possible
interpretations, the truth of the Bible about the Bible is there is one
interpretation, or meaning, there that was put there by the Holy Spirit of
God through “holy men”, the Prophets and Apostles”, and it is our job to do
every thing possible to find that one meaning and message.  {We do best
when we try hard, meet the conditions of the Bible for understanding, and
comprehend in a practical way that the Bible is self-interpretative based on
the ASPI and Old Testament quotes explained in the New Testament,}
(2) A non-private interpretation is a public interpretation, common to all
Christians {it takes a real Christian to understand the one interpretation}--
that is the “P” of ASPI; however it is “SP”, or semi-public in that a person
must be born again to fully begin to fully comprehend Bible Scripture, and
furthermore even a real Christian must have “illumination” from the original
author of the Bible, God the Holy Spirit, in order to get very far in Bible
understanding of the one meaning.  
(3) As “holy” through Christ and the Spirit of Christ as a certain number of
approximately 16 Writing Prophets and 12 Apostles were, their “prophesy”
did not come by their own will, by the will of the Jewish people even though
they made their real contribution as custodians of the Word of God, or by
the will of the community around them--most often the real holy men were
counter-cultural.  
(4) God the Holy Spirit is the source of original “inspiration”--the reading
into the Scripture the real meaning-- and “illumination”--providing help to
Christians in the reading out of the original meaning.
2.  We must get closer to, and into Psalm 37, but before that and briefly
what part does Psalm 37 and the book of Psalms play in the “Wisdom of
God”.  {Perhaps if you have any Bible training, you already know that
books like Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes are called the wisdom
literature by Bible scholars.}
a.  Look back at the Magic Outline {the magic of God through the Holy
Spirit, and may God pardon an allusion to holy magic which is done to get
across to you this marvelous internal structure of the Scriptures God has
provided in order to maximize human understanding}, and you will see that
the sub-topic {Wisdom of God is the sixth major topic} is:

                               
“Ecclesiastes
III.  Making life’s decision in terms of the terminal One Day of the
LORD.
1.  After tribulation the sun and moon will be darkened, the stars will
fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken.  
(Ecclesiastes 12:1-3 and Mark 13:24}
                           Psalms 37-140
2.  After the terminal one Day of the LORD and Lord, the “meek will
inherit the earth”, according to Jesus on the new earth.  {Psalm 37:
11 and Matthew 5:5}
3.  For the new earth, God is creating new citizens of one body, the
body of Christ, {which by the way members of which are written in
heaven and in “the church of the firstborn}; and at the same time, at
the crucifixion of Christ all the rules, regulations, and burnt
offerings, etc of the Old Testament were done away with.  {Psalm 40:
6-8 and Hebrews 10:5}
4.  The unwise eat bread at the table of Christ while they lift up their
heel against Him.  (Psalm 41:9 and John 13:18)”

b.  Now, here is our foothold of proper interpretation in the total context of
the Bible with a quote by Jesus Himself as recorded in Matthew 5:5 and
quoted from Psalm 37:11 in the Old Testament.

11-2:  What a source for understanding of the meek on the new earth,
from Jesus and from Psalm 37:11; and WHAT a foothold for
understanding.

1.  You know, hopefully about the “beatitudes”--the 9 “blesseds” (or
eternally happys) from Jesus Himself and enumerated in the Sermon on
the Mount as recorded in Matthew 5.  You should realize, if you don’t
already, that each one of those has an equivalent in the Psalm 37 chapter.  
In fact much of that chapter is quoted directly by Jesus, more in
paraphrase format, in His teachings of the Sermon on the Mount.  Even as
Charles Allen in his book on the “Patterns of Thinking of God” would say
about the 9 Beatitudes from Jesus, that it is characteristics of kingdom
members {the new citizens being prepared for the full kingdom on the new
earth}, even so the meek here on earth find their fulfillment of happiness
only in the new earth after the Second Coming of Christ.
2.  The beginning now but eternal characteristics of life after death, for both
the wicked and the good figs {we can borrow good figs and bad figs to
separate the real people of God from the pretenders as in Jeremiah} can
be visualized in verses immediately around 37:11.
a.  Verses in front of Psalm 37:11.

“But evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait upon the LORD,
they shall inherit the earth.  For yet a little while and the wicked shall
be no more {“a little while because of the thinking of God that “one
day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day”}.  
Indeed you shall look carefully for his place, but it shall be no more .  
{One of the many clues that this bespeaks of eternity is that we know
the wicked, and many wicked, are still with us after thousands of
years.}  But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight
themselves in the abundance of peace.”   (Psalm 37:9-11)

NOTE:  For the eternal perspective of the “forever kingdom” from both
Jesus and Psalms, this passage above should be compared with what the
Ascended Christ made clear to the Apostle John on the isle of Patmos.

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and
the first earth had passed away.  Also there was no more sea.  Then I,
John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven
from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a
loud voice from heaven saying,’Behold the tabernacle of God is with
men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.  God
Himself will be with them, and be their God.”  (Revelation 21:1-3)

NOTE:  Right now real Christians should consider shouting “hallelujah”!  
The New Jerusalem comes down fully equipped with God the Father, God
the Son, the Father’s house of many mansions to house the Apostles that
will run the new earth and the few Jews that believed.  The rest of us
spread out in all the nations of new citizens of the new earth will come at
least once a year to worship at the New Jerusalem.

b.  Verses behind Psalm 37:11, what is happening now to new citizens of
the new kingdom as contrasted to on the new earth.

“But the meek shall inherit the earth {the new earth}, and shall delight
themselves in the abundance of peace {an outstanding characteristic
of this new earth under the new heaven of Revelation above, is peace
and security}.  The wicked plots against the just {in this life}, and
gnashes at him with his teeth.  The LORD laughs at him {the proud
and well to do wicked have their day coming, and the Bible
consistently, Old and New Testaments refers to this as the Day of the
LORD and Lord}, for He sees that his DAY is coming.”  (Psalm 37:11-
13}

c.  More of what the wicked have done throughout history and are doing
right now to the poor and humble.  {Actually the wicked trouble their
opposites, the (1) poor, (2) needy, and (3) those of upright conduct.}

“The wicked have drawn the sword and have bent their bow, cast
down the poor and needy, to slay those that are of upright conduct.”

NOTE:  Look at the famous beatitudes here in Psalm 37 and from Jesus
with a fuller explanation.  They indicate happiness as just the opposite of
what the world and worldly, even victims of the false gospel of prosperity,
think.  Well look at the happy in Matthew 5, just the opposite of what the
religious thought in that day of most of today also.  The happy or blessed,
according to Jesus, are:  the poor, the mourners, the meek, those that
hunger, the merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, the persecuted for the
sake of righteousness, and those that are reviled and have all manner of
evil spoken against for the name of Christ.

Now, there is another aspect to the beatitudes from Matthew 5 and Psalm
37 which we will come to shortly, but should be mentioned now.  Jesus is
turning around the whole normal thought patterns of the world, then and
now, in that hunger for example relates primarily to a hungering after
righteousness, and another example is while the world thinks of the “pure in
heart” as more an ice burg to be avoided, Jesus and God look at it through
the Spirit and the inner new birth, as a criterion for eternal happiness is that
it is one of the keys to entrance into the forever kingdom of the new earth!
d.  What is the eternal fate of the proud and wicked.  You might think of
them easily, from Jesus in the sermon on the mount as the opposites of
the characteristics of kingdom members, those that will be eternally happy.  
What is the opposite of poor, mourning, meek, hungry, merciful, pure in
heart, peacemakers, the persecuted and reviled for the name of Christ.  
Most of it is obvious because we live with them and surrounded by them.  
The opposites of forever kingdom members are:  the well-to-do and
comfortable, the revilers, the comfortable in this world, the unmerciful that
see only justice for their own, the corrupt of heart not born again by God’s
mercy and inward power, the warmongers, and those that despise the
good.
e.  Above is what the proud and wicked do in this life, but what about their
fate during the forever kingdom on the new earth.

“Their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be
broken.”  (Psalm 37:15
)

NOTE:  Another way to say that since their ultimate accountability is to the
God of the eternal, they are both going “to reap what they sow” and they
are going to have eternally their part in the lake of fire and brimstone.  
Some people like to talk about how terrible hell is, a place of a soul without
God, but what comes next for the proud and wicked is far worse as they
are cast into the lake of fire and brimstone that burns forever.  {This is
another prediction from Jesus the Ascended Christ passed on in the book
of Revelation.}

“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released
from his prison and go out to deceive the nations which are in the four
corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to
battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.  They went up on the
breath of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the
beloved city.  And fire came down out of heaven from God and
devoured them.  The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake
of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are.  And
they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”  (Revelation
20:7-10)

11-3:  Let us simplify in conclusion, the ASPI version of Psalm 37 as
the parallel to Matthew 5 Beatitudes of the Old Testament, and as the
“God Determined Fate of the Wicked versus the Upright.”.  Oh, and
have faith in God; that is,  “Trust in the LORD and do good.” (Psalm
37:3)

NOTE:  It may look like “gloom and doom” where you are in that the good
suffer and the wicked are temporarily rewarded; but “if in this world only we
have hope, we are of all men most miserable.”

1.  So up front and now, let us look at all the words of comfort and reality
for the upright before we wrap up with the character and personalities of
the wicked, and their eternal destiny from Psalm 37.
(1).  “Do not fret {a habit of continuous worrying} because of evil doers,
nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.  For they shall soon be cut down
like the grass {mowed under}, and wither as the green herb.”  (37:1)
(2) “Trust in the LORD and do good.”  (37:2) Then the next 3-8 verses
elaborate on TRUST plus GOOD:  while you dwell in your land, feed on
{sort of like hunger and thrist after righteousness} on God’s faithfulness
and the faithfulness of His Word in the Bible; delight yourselves spiritually
in God to the extent that what your heart desires has been put there by
God, and “He will give you the desires of that heart”; make a commitment
to God, trust Him and like in Proverbs 3:5,6        , and out of the desire and
prayer of a sanctified heart and life, God will bring it to pass; your justice
and rightness will ultimately shine through if not in this life then in the next;
relax in God and wait with patience for Him without fretting about those
who are prospering, stop anger and wrath, it only harms self.
2.  Now for those committed people of God that strive for good in these
enumerated manners, here and in the beatitudes of Matthew 5, there is an
opposing group of the wicked and evil doers, with behavior summarized
such that you will recognize them:  (1) evil doers and workers of iniquity (37:
1); those that “prosper in their way” (37: (2) those that scheme wickedly
then carry out their schemes (37:7); (3) those without eternal future on the
new earth (37:10) as there is a time when you remember no more the
former things and the place of status they once occupied; (4) they that plot
against the just and say “all manner of evil against the righteous” falsely (37:
12); (5) those that harm the poor, needy, and upright (14); (6) many riches;
(7) those perishing (vs 20), the enemies of God: (8) those that borrow
without repayment...

NOTE:  We just must pause at 37:21 to compare it to “those that inherit the
earth” in Matthew 5:3-12--

“But the righteous shows mercy and gives  For those blessed by Him
shall inherit the earth...”  (36:21)

Wow, the “blessed” of God is the beatitudes, and it is about those who will
inherit the new earth:  (1) In Matthew 5:3 the poor blessed will have this
kingdom of heaven; (2) In 5:5 the meek inherit the new earth; (3) In 5:8 only
the pure in heart will see God, and we already know where God will dwell
eternally among men; (4) Those persecuted in 5:10 will have the kingdom
of heaven; and (5) And in 5:11,12, it is God through Christ’s destiny for the
persecuted, and reviled, and all those spoken evil of unjustly to have “great
rewards in heaven”.

NOTE:  How fool hardly are those who look in such passages for a
millennium instead of the forever new earth as the clue for interpretation
besides ASPI is always words like "forever".  (See
"The Forever
Kingdom".}
April 2013 Psalm 37 by
Constituent Request
As always you can download this
Bible study in PDF.  Recall, only the
PDF copies have the footnotes.