Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. Psalm 37:1
READ: Psalm 37:1-9
1Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
2 For they shall soon 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.
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.
In today’s reading, the Lord instructs us three times not to fret (worry or be envious) over the prosperity of evildoers. This should indicate to us how important this issue is to His heart, and it should also establish the fact that the righteous can fall into temptation of aligning with evildoers because of their prosperity. We must not get carried away by the “success” of unbelievers, especially when they dangle their evil carrots at us so that we can join them in their unrighteous deeds. Even Asaph, a chief Levite, was faced with the dilemma. In Psalm 73:3-8, he confessed as follows:
“For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.”
He was in this state until God opened his heart to comprehend the final destiny of all unbelievers (Psalm 73:17-22). In like manner, so many children of God are becoming envious of sinners today. If you feel this way, God is asking me to tell you that your godliness is not in vain. He is taking account of your watchfulness in doing His will, and in due season, He will show the wicked world that you were right and they were wrong.
Beloved, it is a lie of the devil when people tell you that everyone is cooked and so you should join them in being corrupt. Just as He did in Elijah’s time, God has reserved in this generation an unimaginable number of His children who have made up their minds to follow Him wholly (1 Kings 19:14&18). The story was told of two soldiers during the reign of terror in the Soviet Union, who stormed the meeting place of some Christians and threatened to kill whoever confessed Jesus Christ. They also gave the opportunity of freedom to those who wanted to change their minds on their faith. Unfortunately, some of these Christians denied Christ and were allowed to go. Once they had left, the soldiers shut the door and revealed their true identities as children of God. They deliberately did what they did to weed out false brethren so that they could safely worship with true Christians. Today, ungodliness is in vogue because it seems to pay off. It is not true, beloved of God, especially when you consider what becomes of unbelievers at the end of their lives. I encourage you to stay on the path of holiness because whosoever endures to the end shall experience the ultimate in God’s salvation (Matthew 10:22).
Father, please help me to keep holding fast to the word of salvation till I see You in glory.
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE
1. O Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me,
My Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle
If Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway
If Thou wilt be my Guide.
2. Oh, let me feel Thee near me;
The world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle,
The tempting sounds I hear;
My foes are ever near me,
Around me and within;
But, Jesus, draw Thou nearer,
And shield my soul from sin.
3. Oh, let me hear Thee speaking,
In accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion,
The murmurs of self-will;
Oh, speak to reassure me,
To hasten, or control;
Oh, speak, and make me listen,
Thou Guardian of my soul.
4. O Jesus, Thou hast promised
To all who follow Thee
That where Thou art in glory
There shall Thy servant be;
And Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end;
Oh, give me grace to follow,
My Master and my Friend.
5. Oh, let me see Thy footmarks,
And in them plant mine own;
My hope to follow duly
Is in Thy strength alone.
Oh, guide me, call me, draw me,
Uphold me to the end;
And then to rest receive me,
My Savior and my Friend.