Home > Bible, Scripture > A second scripture, which is, one of the most misused scriptures in the Bible Psalms 37:4

A second scripture, which is, one of the most misused scriptures in the Bible Psalms 37:4

Psa 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

When I first became a Christian, I began attending a Pentecostal Church. Much emphasis was placed on the gifts of the Spirit. There was constant talk of looking for miracles or receiving something in the natural from God. I had one Pastor who claimed that you could walk in perfect health if you had enough faith in God and was obedient to the things of God. He portrayed himself to be one who was being blessed by God concerning perfect health. It was however ironic, that he wore glasses and took medication to regulate his thyroid, all the while claiming perfect health while using the verse above.

I was eventually recommended by the congregation to be placed into the office of elder and participated in teaching the congregation. After having taken a course in hermeneutics, I began to flesh out the meaning of the verses I worked through. This verse was one of those verses.

What I want to do in this post, is to show what it means to delight thyself in the Lord and what desires of the heart will be granted to those who actually have a delight for the things of God.

Many begin at the verse they are interpreting and expound on it from that point, however, I like to go back to the beginning of the chapter and work my way down to the verse in question. I will just give some passing comments as I work down to verse 4.

Psa 37:1 A Psalm of David. Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

This Psalm is a Psalm of instruction to the righteous to not ‘fret’ (Lit., incense not thyself: be not angry or indignant or discontented) against the wicked though they seem to prosper and live in peace. Asaph had fallen into discontent and envy of the wicked in his Psalm chapter 73. It wasn’t till he went into the sanctuary of God, that he understood their end Ps. 73:17. Howbeit, David understands the end of the wicked and therefore instructs his hearers and readers of this Psalm not to be discontent and envious of the wicked because ‘For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.vs. 2.

Psa 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Trust in the LORD…..David’s instruction is to trust in the Lord, not men, who are fading and perishing like the grass, nor in riches, which are uncertain things; but trust in the Lord who is everlasting strength and in whom holds everlasting riches for those who place their trust in him.…..and do good…..by keeping God’s commandments and walk in uprightness before him, specifically in doing good to others and in acts of beneficence to the poor…..so shalt thou dwell in the land,….this speaks to the land of Canaan, but points especially to that better country which Abraham sought by faith…. and verily thou shalt be fed…..or shall have the things which you need, as will be shown below.[1]

Psa 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

David who was a man after God’s own heart, delighted himself in the Lord, walking before him upright in all his ways. This is seen in Psalm 122 whereby David saith: I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.‘ Therefore, even though David was King and lived as Kings do, nevertheless David’s heart was towards the things of God and expresses it in the words found in Psalm 145: ‘I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.

Just as David delighted himself in the Lord, even so are we to do the same. Once we take the Lord and the things concerning him as our delight, then our minds and hearts change.

Many take ‘the desires of the heart‘ to be natural things or things with which we lust after. This is because their hearts and desires are turned earthward, instead of heavenward. Even so, the Word of Faith preachers have subverted hearts and minds by boasting of the riches of this world. They speak of their new Ferraris and the mansions in which they dwell as blessings which God has granted because they have supposedly delighted in the things of the Lord and received the desires of their hearts.[2] They call on men to sow seed offerings in order to receive the things we need in this life.

However, Christ tells us in Mat 6:31-34Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.

And Paul reiterates this by telling us in Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

As we begin to seek Christ and the things of his kingdom our hearts change. They turn from earthly things to heavenly things. Our hearts become fixed on the things which please the Lord. Our desires move towards the things which concern Christ and his kingdom. We begin to delight in the salvation of souls. We begin to delight in prayer for the sick, feeble, and weak. We begin to desire the attendance of Church, the hearing of the Words of God, and the singing of hymns to his glory. Our hearts become saturated with wanting his ways and desires to be our ways and desires and our old ways and desires are discarded.

Therefore, this Psalm is not speaking of desires for earthly things per se, but is speaking of desires which stem from a delighting of oneself in the Lord. Does this exclude desiring things that are of this earthly sphere? No. However, even those things which we desire in the flesh will be things that glorify God and that benefit us as we live this life. Charles Spurgeon offers a great comment on desiring things in the natural realm:

When a man’s delight is in God, then his desires are of such a sort that God may be

glorified in the granting of them, and the man himself profited by the receiving of them.[3]

Tell me what you think in the comment section below.

Footnotes:

[1] John Gill- Commentary on Psalms 37:3, with a few thoughts of mine added therein

[2] These Word of Faith ministers are not given these things because they have delighted themselves in the things of the Lord, but on the contrary, they are giving these extravagant things in the flesh as a judgment on them. They shall be a curse to them. For if you are covetous, then God will usually heap riches on you, so that your judgment will be more severe.

[3] Charles H. Spurgeon- ‘Sunshine in the Heart,’ A Sermon on Psalm 37:4, delivered on Sunday morning, June 15th, 1862

  1. May 15, 2020 at 4:05 am

    Good response

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