“Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret–it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.”
When David wrote “do not fret” it was a strong command not a mere suggestion. Websters Dictionary defines “to fret” as: to become angry, irritated, become rough, wear away, agitated, worn or eaten away. It’s obvious fretting isn’t a good thing, after all who wants to be worn or eaten away? When you are displeased because a worldly person is able to accomplish more than you, have more ‘creature comforts’ or a better job, David says “refrain from anger and turn from wrath.” Why? Because those who are evil are like grass that withers and flowers that wither and die (verses 1-2) and will be cut off from God (verse 8).
So how can we be kept from “fretting”? In verses 3-8 David gives us some very important spiritual truths and guidelines. If we listen and obey, we are able to escape “being worn down by evil” which leads only to sin!
- First in verse 3~ Trust in the LORD fully, assured of His safety, not only trust Him, but do good: This literally means; dwell with Him and enjoy safe pasture. “The Lord is my Shepherd… He leads me beside still waters, makes me lie down in green pastures”. (Psalm 23) Dwell (live, eat, rest) in the place of the Shepherd’s safe haven.
- Secondly in verse 4~ Delight in the LORD: When the Lord tells us to delight ourselves in Him and He will give us the desires of our hearts; it’s not a “you can have anything you want gift card” ~~ literally it means, if we delight ourselves in Him by spending time with Him, living according to His Word and His will, then He places His desires in our hearts.
- Next in verse 5~ Commit your way to the LORD: Give Him the complete power over your life. It doesn’t mean we sit around and do nothing, it means everything we do is done with a full, honest commitment to Him.
- In verse 6 we read~ The results of trusting, dwelling, delighting and committing ourselves to Him: He makes our righteousness “shine”. In the New Testament it says we are “a light in the darkness”, shining the Light of His love to all the world.
- We are then reminded to “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him” (verse 7), which in the Hebrew means to “rest and trust ON the Lord”. Just as we are told in the New Testament “Casting all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you.”
- Now David doesn’t stop there, he repeats the same message again emphatically in verse 8: “refrain from anger, turn away from evil and fret not“. We are told in no uncertain terms that “fretting” causes evil to erupt within us. That evil is known to most folks as worry. Worry is the opposite of faith, and without faith we can not please our LORD!
- Finally we see the blessed result of following the direction of the LORD “… but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land”. That land is our hope of an eternity spent with our Father and Lord Jesus in heaven, basking in His love and worshiping with joy!
There was definite purpose for David’s repetition. The repetitive “fret not” is vital to our Christian growth. We need to always be reminded, that no matter what happens in our lives, the LORD IS in control, and He will reward our faithfulness. If we do as David did and trust God, commit our lives to Him, wait patiently upon His timing, delight in doing His work, rest in His pastures and “fret not” about what the world has, we will know in our hearts that our daily provisions will be taken care of by Him, and like David we will rejoice in the future knowing the hope that “those that wait upon the Lord, shall inherit the earth.”
We, as followers of the Lord Jesus, have the awesome privilege to call the Creator our Father; His Son, Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Friend; and His Holy Spirit our Comforter and Guide. From the merciful loving kindness of the one and Only True God we receive blessings daily from His Word. I was blessed as I read and studied this Psalm, also chastened by our loving Father. My prayer is that by sharing this~~~ others may profit.
(others verses for reference Proverbs 16:3; Matthew 6:25;1 Peter 5:7;Psalm 55:22;Philippians 4:6-7; Hebrews 13:5)