His Contracts Will Always Be Honored
You probably have heard or seen (or experienced) when legal contracts don’t go as expected. It seems like one party is always letting another party down in the promises they make. Perhaps you have been let down by someone else in a contract—or in a promise.
Unlike human contracts, God’s promises aren’t violated. God’s promises are always kept. But He requires our active participation in fulfilling His promises.
In Psalm 37, David lists five promises from God. God says that He will do something—if you do something first. Here’s what God asks of you, and what you can expect in return.
1. Trust in the Lord (verse 3)
Here David says God asks you to trust in Him. That means He wants you to boldly put your confidence in Him. That means that you are willing to look to God as your source. And that means that you are not putting your trust in yourself.
In addition to asking you in this verse to trust in Him, God also asks you to do good to others. In effect, He wants you to love the Lord and love your neighbor (Matthew 28:22:37-40; Mark 12:30-31).
As a result of doing what God asks you to do, He says you will be His friend. That’s the way God described Abraham (James 2:23). And look how God blessed Abraham: Abraham believed what God told him, and God credited it to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6).
If you make God the center of your world—instead of yourself—God promises you that it will go very well for you.
2. Delight yourself in the Lord (verse 4)
Here David says God asks you to delight yourself in Him. In effect, He wants you to be pliable in His hands. He wants you to delight in what He delights in.
But here’s what makes these contracts so amazing: in return, God will give you the desires of your heart. God will give you what you desire. But first, you have to want what God wants.
God made you the way you are. He knows exactly what makes you tick, and He knows exactly what will energize you. In fact, He knows you better than you know yourself. That’s why He wants your desires to be spent on what will really matter. And He doesn’t want you to squander your life and your energies on things that won’t really satisfy. Instead, He wants you to be fulfilled by what He knows will satisfy. God wants to give you what you want, but He wants you to want what you need.
3. Commit your way until the Lord (verse 5)
Here David says God wants you to commit your way unto Him. The Greek word for commit in that verse actually means “to roll.” So God wants you to give up how you roll, and in effect, who you roll with.
God also wants you to give the road ahead of you to Him. He wants you to let Him steer the course you take. And the Greek word for way actually means “a course of life.” So God wants you to yield in choosing the path you will take over the course of your life.
But here’s what you get in this trade: God says He will bring to pass the future you have yielded to Him—the way you have committed to Him. God knows that this way of life will be what you want to bring to pass, despite what you say you want. And God mercifully wants to give you exactly what He knows you need.
4. Rest in the Lord (verse 7)
Here David says God desires you to rest in Him. The Greek word for rest in this verse means not saying anything. So God wants you to be still, and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). This verse also says that you should wait patiently for Him. But waiting is not just a passive activity you do when you’re drumming your fingers incessantly on the table. Waiting and resting are active, and they require your full participation. They require you to engage your mind—and also your will—in submitting your desire to act to God’s will for you to wait.
But here’s what God offers you for your active resting and waiting: He says that you will inherit the earth. To people in Israel, land means something more than just a patch of ground. It means you will have a place reserved for you by God; you will be blessed with an inheritance that can be passed down from generation to generation.
5. Wait on the Lord (verse 34)
This verse functions like a summary of what David said throughout the psalm.
- David says here that God wants you to wait on Him. And this waiting involves the context of expecting—waiting for God with an expectant attitude—knowing that he will definitely come through.
- David also reiterates that God says to keep His way in this psalm because God wants you to choose His way as your course of life.
- David reiterates the earlier theme of inheriting the land. God wants you to have a hope and a future in Him (Jeremiah 29:11).
- David summarizes by saying that God will exalt you. If you are willing to humble yourself before God, then He will exalt you (Matthew 23:12; Luke 14:11; Luke 18:14; James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6).
If you are willing to wait on God, keep His way, submit yourself to God, and humble yourself before Him, then He will lift you up—and He will keep His promises.