No less than six times in this Old Testament song do we find this little chorus line that those who seek to please God and do what is right will be provided for and enjoy a bright future in the world.
Mind you, David, who wrote this psalm had to wait for a bit.
As a loyal and upright young hero he was slandered, threatened, exiled and hunted for some years by a jealous King Saul. But in time, David was crowned King and all God had promised came to pass.
At times we are hugely frustrated when wickedness seems to prosper and ‘good’ people are treated like outcasts in their own neighbourhood.
‘Don’t fret because of evil men,’ writes David, and be careful not to sink to their level. Any who do wicked, twisted stuff will have to answer to God for it, and He has the correct measure of us all!
‘Trust in the Lord,’ the psalm continues, ‘and do good’.
I like that.
We can and should pray earnestly, seeking grace and forgiveness for ourselves and our people. We can and should use any influence we have to promote truth, justice and morality, controversial and genuinely difficult to practise as these often are.
Oh but how liberating then to be able to show some kindness, charitable generosity or no-strings hospitality just for the sheer joy of it!
‘Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
Do not fret – it leads only to evil.
For evil men will be cut off,
But those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.’ (Psalm 37 vs 8-9)