On Psalm 37—Part 4

(Ps 37:32) The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.

(1Pt 5:8) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

The righteous can (and will) resist him, as mentioned in the following passage.

(1Co 10:13) There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Above, the Greek word translated "temptation" means also "trial". The Lord will not leave the righteous in the hand of the enemy.

(Ps 37:33) The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.

The fact that the LORD will not leave him is also stated in Heb 13:5: " ... he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee". Now, the verse also states that "The LORD will not ... condemn him when he is judged". There will be a time when the believer will have to give an account to God (Ro 14:11-12). However, "then shall each one have praise of God" (1Co 4:5)MKJV. Therefore, it seems more appropriate to associate the judgment mentioned in Ps 37:33 with the occasions in which the Lord considers (publicly in heaven) the situation of faithful people on earth and gives a sentence. For instance, in several psalms we read the request "Judge me!" (Ps 7:8, 26:1, 35:24, 43:1, 54:1). Thus, when the Lord answers the prayer request and judges him, he does not condemn him, but rather helps him.

(Ps 37:34) 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.

The resurrection of the righteous takes place before the return of the Lord. Thus, they will be in their glorified bodies "when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2Th 1:7-8). They will see also the great judgment following the millennium (Rev 20:11-15).

(Ps 37:35)MKJV I have seen the wicked ruthless, and spreading himself like a luxuriant native tree.

Common translations interpret Ps 37:35 as including a comparison of the wicked to a tree, though the word for "tree" is missing in Hebrew. This results in translations that are not very close to the original text. For a closer translation of this verse, the following remarks could be made. In all other passages in which the Hebrew word for "native" appears, it refers to people. The word describes those who are not foreigners. The word for "luxuriant" is typically used of trees, but sometimes also of people, such as in Ps 92:14 (92:15). The word translated "spreading himself" comes from a verb meaning "to be bare, to uncover, to pour out, ... ". The word for "ruthless" has also the meanings "awe-inspiring, terrifying, mighty". We can conclude that the verse mentions wicked people who have much power and prosper, who feeling at home in their land, do not hide their wickedness, but expose it for all to see.

(Ps 37:36) Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.
(Ps 37:37) Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

The last part of verse 37 can be translated "for there is a future for the man of peace".

(Ps 37:38) But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.

The word for "end" is the same as in verse 37. It means also "future" and "posterity". Now, in the context of verse 38, the posterity of the wicked would refer to those who follow in their wicked ways.

(Ps 37:39) But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
(Ps 37:40) And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

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