Staying in Psalm 37 today, you can see the progression of these verses. David, the writer of this Psalm, has followed the Lord all his life, and by experience can vouch that God is his helper and will never leave or forsake those who believe in Him. In turn, because such mercy and favor has been shown to him, he is then obligated to show the same mercy to others. In Leviticus 25:35, the Lord was very clear about this, “Helping your countrymen if they become poor so they may remain among you.” The Hebrew word for “helping” describes supporting, strengthening, encouraging, and repairing those around us that are lacking to maintain a strong community…but also because we have been graciously blessed first.
“It is God Who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” (Psalm 18:32) Yes, it’s only by God’s grace, His unearned and unmerited favor, that we are able to make it through trials and suffering. For this verse shows that it is God, not us, that accomplishes this for Believers…to prepare, repair, and perfect us during and after troubling times for His glory.
Another translation states, “but the way of the transgressor will not endure, like barren dry soil.” (Amplified Version) We will never find favor with God and for that matter, in any work place, when we’re in it only for ourselves. For when your work ethic is deceptive, and fraudulent…sooner or later you’re gonna get caught! But when we approach anything we do with cautious wisdom and good common sense…all happiness and success will be ours…for we will not only have God’s favor, but man’s.
Eliphaz was one of Job’s three friends that had come to comfort him after the devastating loss of his children and all his livestock. In this Scripture he is telling Job trouble is part of life. When everything is going along smoothly in our lives…Life is good. We’re happy, healthy, and prone to take God for granted. But when trouble hits…when we’re stricken with illness, or touched by loss…we change. We become frustrated and weary when illness strikes. We become bewildered and fearful of our lack of control during times of loss. It’s our attitude that changes…not God. For God remains the same…whether in good times or in bad. He’s right there beside you…offering comfort and hope no matter what you’re going through today.
Earlier in this chapter Paul asks the question, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8:35) His answer here is – no one or thing can possibly come between us and Jesus. No rule or force of man…no point in time…no act of good or evil can ever cut the tie we have with our Lord. The bottom line is, there is nothing in creation that can keep us apart from God…for the entirety of creation is under His authority.
You have found favor in the eyes of God. He will be your everlasting light, (Isaiah 60:19) and your shield, your very great reward. (Genesis 15:1) Walk before Him with all integrity, sincerity, and honesty and He will not hold back any good gift from you.
I can still remember one of my Nursing Supervisors in college. She would stand outside the patient’s room with you asking a million questions about the procedure you were about to carry out. Did you have everything you needed and were you well versed in what you were about to do. But right before you both walked into the room she’d say, “I will only stop you if you are potentially going to hurt the patient.” It was always said in a quiet, soft voice, but boy did it pack a wallop! Luckily, she never said a word during any of my procedures, and I gained a wealth of knowledge from that uncompromising woman. The Lord is the same way, His discipline is to educate us, not hurt us. It’s only when we reject and turn away from His correction that we suffer.
We think we know what we want…but in our short-sightedness are we really asking for a stone from the Lord…when He wants to give us a loaf of bread? We naively think we know what’s best for us…when we really don’t have a clue. We have a good, good Father that wants to give us only the very best…so ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in your petitions before the Lord…and pray God’s Will into your life, not yours.