King James Version (KJV)
Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.
This has always been one of my favorite Psalms. I love the Psalm in its entirety, but today, let's focus on verses 1-9.
Just as a bit of history behind the Psalm, it was written in the Hebrew language as an acrostic. An acrostic is defined - From the Free Dictionary on-line - as:
“A poem or series of lines in which certain letters, usually the first in each line, form a name, motto, or message when read in sequence.”
But of course an Hebrew acrostic does not translate with our English. Still, I like the thought of God inspiring David to write this Psalm in that way. David’s Psalm is best read and appreciated as a topical study. As a result of what David went through, we can trust that he understood perfectly that which he wrote.
It is a Psalm of comfort, assuring us that the prosperity of the wicked is temporal, and that which the righteous have acquired through the sacrifice of Jesus is eternal. We have no reason to envy the wicked.
In my Bible, I at some point numbered and circled seven key points. I'm sure I circled them so that I might easily find them again, so that I might easily remember them, and so that I might be instructed and be encouraged later as I re-read the text. A nice acrostic to help me remember these would be nice! In it, we find a good formula to achieve peace in the face of adversity.
- Fret not thyself. ~ While a degree of "worry" can encourage us to action, excessive worry does no good and can even be debilitating.
- Neither be envious of workers of iniquity. ~ The riches of such are short-lived.
- Trust in the Lord. ~ He has our best interest in mind.
- Do good. ~ Only blessings can come from doing good. Scripture adds: "so shall we dwell in the land and be fed."
- Delight thyself in the Lord. ~ We must seek to know Him better in order to achieve this.
- Commit thy way. ~ We should commit all that we do, and all that we have unto Him. We should always have His will in mind.
- Rest in the Lord. ~ Wait patiently for Him.
"We must do our duty, and then leave the event with God. The promise
is very sweet: He shall bring that to pass, whatever it is, which thou has
committed to him." ~ Matthew Henry