I normally don’t deal with the King James version, but since I’m going to be quoting extensively I don’t want to run into a copyright issue!
1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
In other words – don’t worry … God’s going to take care of business. In keeping with Jesus saying “Bless those that curse you,” though, I don’t think that we should be praying “against” people who are working against us. However, if and when God decides to deal with an issue, that is entirely up to Him. I know from personal experience that when someone’s in need of being taken down a peg or two, He will do that.
On a related note, God *will* bring about true justice to the real workers of iniquity one day… they will indeed be cut down like the grass and wither as the green herb.
3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
Trust in the Lord / and do GOOD…. which is what I have endeavored to do. Like any sinner, I’ve not always gotten there – but per Colossians 2:6, 7 I sure try:
As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. (New King James Version).
*Commit* – that’s what I’m doing, now more than ever, every last little thing, even what would be “minor” things… I’m committing them to Him. I trust that God will expose the Truth, He will expose lies, and He will bring about judgment.
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.
“Vengeance is Mine” – not mine. I don’t even begin to need to be angry about anything… the evil will be cut off, but if I simply wait upon the Lord, He will bless me.
10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. 11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
AGAIN God says, “I will take care of business on behalf of those who obey my Word.”
12 The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
Emphasis mine. This should be a lesson to those who strive … even against those who they feel are “unjust” … that plotting and gnashing against God’s children “ain’t the way to go.” Perhaps even based upon this passage, it makes one wicked.
13 The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
God knows that all of that striving is senseless.
14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation. 15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
I believe that what this is saying is that people like this will bring about their own destruction.
16 A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. 17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous. 18 The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. 19 They shall not be ashamed in the
evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. 20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away. 21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth. 22 For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.
All I can think of to respond to this with is Matthew 25:31 and following – the sheep and the goats.
23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
This is reassuring – that God will guide me. I do delight in His way! 🙂
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
I take comfort in this – that my friend, though he currently be wandering far from God’s word, will not be utterly cast down. All he needs to do is repent. He is just a breath away from Jesus. Grace means that we can return from even the farthest, darkest nastiest point. I’m a big fan of pointing people to Manasseh (2 Chronicles 33). He was about the nastiest, snarkiest, unholiest king that Israel had – he literally broke every commandment, and then made up a few rules just so he could break those, too – God brought him very, very low to teach him a lesson. When he came to God and humbly repented, God did an astonishing thing: He restored Manasseh’s kingdom to him.
I’m also reminded of Moses, who had a job to do – and ended up off with the in-laws for 40 years instead of dealing with Pharaoh. Was Moses utterly cast down? Was God’s prophecy wrong? No, God upheld him. Praise God that He carries us through the storms and sins of life – even over years.
25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. 26 He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.
Indeed we serve a merciful God! And indeed a message that should not be neglected by anyone.
27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.
Psalm 23:6 says, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
God makes a very big deal out of us dwelling in Him, also abiding in Him (see Psalm 91, John 15) – He sure doesn’t do it for nothing! I’m convinced that this is a vitally important practice of trust.
28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. 29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.
More of God taking care of business on behalf of His children.
30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. 31 The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
Well I don’t know if I’m talking of wisdom this morning but now that I’ve spent some hours in prayer, I know that He is speaking wisdom through me.
32 The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.
I’ve certainly seen this…
33 The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.
And I certainly know that. 🙂
34 Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it. 35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. 36 Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found. 37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. 38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
I keep reminding myself:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12, NKJV)
“The wicked” is not a flesh and blood human being – for all that flesh and blood manifests its actions and is influenced by it.
39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. 40 And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.
“God is our refuge and strength“, says Psalm 46, “a very present help in time of trouble.” Can anyone say, “Psalm 91?” 🙂 Or how about Psalm 18: The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies!
I pray, Lord, forgiveness (as I do forgive) and restoration (as I offer restoration fully).