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“O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8, ESV)
Wow! March went by fast! I’m going to apologize right now for the l-e-n-g-t-h of this last post. There’s so much to say as we wrap up our study together!
This lesson is going to take more than one 5-to-10-minute session to complete. Just keep going next week, or as long as it takes to finish up. But don’t skip this lesson. In this last day’s assignment, we’re going to focus on what we plan to do with what we’ve been learning.
On Thursday we summarized what we’ve been learning from each lesson. On Friday we paraphrased and personalized the psalm. Today we’re going to write down some goals.
But first we’re going to focus on the closing two verses of Psalm 37.
“But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD; he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them; he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.”
Assignment: Read Psalm 37:39-40.
- As you read, watch for the words save, salvation, deliver, rescue, and their synonyms Mark these words with a slanting red cross. I found four instances of these words in these two short verses.
- Open BlueLetterBible, go to Psalm 37:39-40 in KJV with the Strong’s numbers showing, and take a minute or two to glance at the meanings of these words.
- Also look at the definitions of strength, help, and trust.
- For the two words that are referring to a stronghold or refuge, I drew a castle-like shape around the word.
- Read Spurgeon’s comments on verse 39.
I love the closing verses of this psalm. “The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord.” Our deliverance from the wicked, and from our bondage to our own wicked hearts, is from the Lord. It’s grace all the way. These words that speak of salvation and deliverance are words of victory!
Psalm 37 is filled with repeated references to the wicked’s eventual destruction and God’s actions on behalf of the righteous. It’s interesting to note, however, that no other verse in the psalm contains any of the words we just marked. The psalmist leaves us resting in the truth that salvation in only from the Lord. Our only hope is in the salvation that He provides. We just need to trust Him, not ourselves.
Look at your text that you’ve been marking. Those last verses are full of red crosses.
Our true stronghold is at the cross. There sin was defeated for us. We’ve been rescued from it, and are only left to do battle with its influence, not its rule over us. Jesus triumphed over sin and death. We’ve been liberated — set free — because we trust Him. We take refuge in Him. Let’s remember this as we seek to live out what we have learned in Psalm 37, and as we worship our risen Lord with great joy on Resurrection Day!
Let’s wrap up our study by prayerfully setting some goals. How will we, empowered by Christ’s victory on the cross and enabled by the renewing power of the Holy Spirit, change as the result of our month-long study of Psalm 37?
Try to find a quiet (hah!) bit of time to pray and think about this. (Maybe Daddy or another friend could watch the kids while you slip away to a coffee shop — or hide out in the car — for a half hour. Otherwise, think hard and fast in the shower, or pray about this as you’re drifting off in bed at the close of the day. Keep a notepad handy!)
- Write down specific goals. Look back over your notes from the last two days. Read the psalm again. What actions will you take as a result of what you have learned? In what ways will you think differently?
- Are there evildoers in your life that you need to turn over to God? What will you do about that? Would it help to write down a prayer that you can go back to when you are tempted to not trust God, or can you read your personalized paraphrase of Psalm 37 at regular intervals? Do you need to stand face-to-face with someone who is deeply wronging you or those you love, and tell him that you are letting go of anger and trusting God with the situation?
- Do you need to be still more and fret less? Commit to that and ask God to help you. Work with the Holy Spirit in transforming your mind by memorizing this psalm and reciting it to yourself until it becomes part of the fabric of your thinking. Study God’s faithfulness as it is displayed throughout Scripture. Pray with someone about your need on a regular basis.
- Are you having a hard time trusting God? Sit down and record all the times God has already demonstrated His faithfulness and strength to you and your family. When has He failed you? Pray for faith, and stay in the Word, where we “feed on His faithfulness”.
- Do you need to more fully “commit your way” to the Lord? Write down the areas you are trying to hold on to. Pray and turn them over to the Lord. (You’re not in control anyway, so admit it and rest in Him.) Share this list with a friend, and give her permission to ask you how you’re doing or to gently steer you back when she sees you trying to take control again.
- What do you want to teach your children from this psalm? You can start with your own example of being still before the Lord and waiting patiently for Him. Write down specific truths or concepts that you want to help your children better understand and believe. If you didn’t take time to do the children’s assignments with your kids this past month, will you want to do those with them later?
- Reread Psalm 37 at least once a week. Or download it onto your iPhone or MP3 player and listen to it each week.
- Memorize the entire chapter. (It’s not as hard as it sounds, especially if you’ve been reading it all month.) Try using ScriptureTyper online or on your iPhone/iPad, or check out the Remember Me app for Androids. Go back and check out Day 20’s lesson for a few ideas to help you memorize. Look online for more.
- Share what you’ve learned with someone else. Share some new insights with a friend, tell your husband what you learned in the study, or show a friend or one of your children how to use this method of study.
- Take the methods you’ve learned and continue to use them to study another psalm. Use the list of lessons included in Day 28’s post to give you some ideas as you study other passages. Look for patterns and repeated words, do some word studies, make lists, and mark what you believe will help you grow to better understand the passage.
- If you didn’t join us for our Colossians 3 study back in November, go back and do those studies at Doorposts of Your House (links to all the lessons are included in the supplement to Day 27 of that study), or save time and order our new print or PDF versions. This study will give you more guidance in studying the Bible inductively, like we’ve done with Psalm 37.
- Be accountable. Share your goals with someone else. Ask her to hold you accountable. If you’re committing to daily Bible study, email or text her when you’ve finished your study each day.
- Finally, what can you do to right injustice? We’re not supposed to fret and fume over the injustices committed against us, but we are on this earth to further Christ’s kingdom. Sometimes I think we fret and complain because it’s easier than actually doing something to right a situation.
Being still before the Lord and waiting patiently for Him doesn’t mean just sitting back and doing nothing. We are “to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly” with our God (Micah 6:8). Our mission is to take the love of Jesus to people who are hurting and wronged, and to trust God with the results.
What can you, a busy mama, do to help right the injustice of abortion, for instance? Wash a few extra baby things for a PRC, sponsor a child in a walk-a-thon or walk with your own children in one, befriend a single mother-to-be? Pray daily for women who are considering abortion?
What has God given you a passion for? What injustice are you most tempted to fret over? “Trust in the Lord, and do good.” Do what you can to help right that wrong!
And have a wonderful Easter Day tomorrow!
For your children:
Today is treasure hunt day for the kids! (See Days 26 and 29 if you haven’t read about this yet.) Hide all the clues (included in Day 29’s post) in their proper places, except the first one, which you will give them at the start of the hunt. (If you haven’t printed the clues out yet, here they are). Hide your prize. Then hand them Clue #1. If they get stuck, they can use their Bibles or you can read the verses for them. Have fun!