Lectio Divina: Psalm 37:3

Irene Becker/Flickr

The entire 37th chapter of Psalms is a marvelous encouragement. It was written by David to reassure the godly of God’s providence and care amidst the sinful and prosperous who seemed to flourish. The admonishment is that the righteous should not worry, grow unconfident, or lose their stability and, in temptation, flip sides when they see the ease with which the scoffer may live.

A breath prayer I’ve prayed for years when I become overwhelmed is “Lord, don’t let me do anything rash.” That is, keep me from making decisions hastily and from acting out of anger or impulse that results in regrettable circumstance. Psalm 37:3 has been where I’ve gained much comfort, and I’d like to present a short Lectio Divina on the verse. I pray it encourages you.

A Divine Reading of Psalm 37:3

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness” (NKJV)

Trust in the Lord – Put all of your confidence in God; rely totally on him; lean on him when your strength is failing. The godly trust God when times are good and when times are tough. God sustains our success and pleasure as much as he gives aid in trouble. Trust grows the more we know God intimately. Those who fail to develop a consistent relationship with God over their years will not have the confidence that he is present for them. They will also fail to understand how God is at work in their lives, especially when his plans are unclear. Trust helps us stand unmoved and not act impulsively until his guidance arrives.

and do good – Do what is pleasing and agreeable to the Lord. There is no greater statement of faith while waiting on God than to employ ourselves in what honors him. But just because it is good and honorable does not mean it is always easy. As Paul advised that we not grow weary in well-doing (Gal. 6:9), being consistent in goodwill may very well be the Spirit’s tool of discipline in us that grinds away at traits unbecoming of him, preparing us for more he wishes to give us.

dwell in the land – Lodge, camp out in the appointed place; abide in the revealed will of God for you. Don’t get caught up in what you see others doing, even those who are following God’s will in other ways. Do what you know to do. Be contented where God has placed you and stay put. This underscores the importance of gaining other crucial lessons, like discerning God’s voice, learning contentment, growing in spiritual discipline, and understanding the beauty and diversity of spiritual gifts.

and feed on his faithfulness – Seek after and delight in what is spiritually edifying. The Apostle Paul unfolds this in Galatians 5:22 when after listing the fruit of the Spirit, he appends, “Against such things there is no law”—or there is no limit to how much you may have of them. God himself is the only thing Scripture permits our indulgence and so prescriptive is this phrase.

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