Psalm 37 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Psalm 37)

Verse 1

[1] Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

Fret not — Because they prosper in their wicked enterprizes.

Verse 5

[5] Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Commit — All thy cares and business, and necessities, commend to God by fervent prayer.

Verse 6

[6] And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

Judgment — It shall be as visible to men, as the light of the sun, at noon-day.

Verse 7

[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.

Rest — Do not repine at his dealings, but quietly submit to his will, and wait for his help.

Verse 8

[8] Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

Fret not — Either against the sinner for his success; or against God.

Do evil — If grief arise in thee, take care that it do not transport thee to sin.

Verse 9

[9] For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

The earth — This for the most part was literally fulfilled in that state of the church.

Verse 10

[10] For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.

Not be — He shall be dead and gone.

Diligently — Industriously seeking him.

His place — His place and estate, and glory.

Verse 11

[11] But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

But — Those who patiently bear God's afflicting hand, and meekly pass by injuries.

Peace — Partly of outward peace and prosperity, which God in his due time will give them: but principally of inward peace, in the sense of God's favour and the assurance of endless happiness.

Verse 13

[13] The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.

His day — The day appointed by God for his punishment or destruction.

Verse 18

[18] The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.

Knoweth — Observes with care and affection.

The days — All things which befal them, their dangers and fears, and suffering.

For ever — To them and their seed for ever: and when they die their inheritance is not lost, but exchanged for one infinitely better.

Verse 20

[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.

Fat — Which in an instant melts before the fire.

Verse 23

[23] The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

Established — So that he shall not fall into mischief.

Verse 24

[24] Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

Fall — Into trouble.

Verse 25

[25] I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

Forsaken — These temporal promises, were more express to the Jews in the times of the Old Testament, than to Christians.

Verse 26

[26] He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.

Blessed — Not only with spiritual, but with temporal blessings.

Verse 27

[27] Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.

Dwell — Thou shalt dwell in the land, and afterwards in heaven.

Verse 30

[30] The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.

The mouth — Having shewed, God's singular care over the righteous, he proceeds to give a character of them.

Judgment — Of God's judgment, word or law.

Verse 31

[31] The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

Heart — His thoughts, meditations and affections are fixed upon it.

Slide — Slide, or swerve, from the rule, from God's law.

Verse 35

[35] I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.

Bay-tree — Which is continually green and flourishing even in winter.

Verse 36

[36] Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.

Yet — He was gone in an instant.

But — There was no monument or remainder of him left.

Verse 37

[37] Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

Peace — Though he may meet with troubles in his way, yet all shall end well.

Verse 38

[38] But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.

Together — All without exception.