Psalms 37:12-15 ESV
“The wicked plots against the righteous
and gnashes his teeth at him,
but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he sees that his day is coming.
“The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose way is upright;
their sword shall enter their own heart,
and their bows shall be broken.”
Who are the wicked? They are all who do evil in practice, habitually and deliberately. And they can be many who profess faith in Jesus Christ, too. For being wicked or being righteous is not dependent on our professions of faith (or not), but it is dependent on our actions, on how we live. For the Scriptures teach that it is those who practice righteousness who are righteous, as God is righteous, and the wicked are those who do evil, in practice (1 John 3:4-10; Matthew 7:21-23; John 3:19; John 5:29).
Now those who do evil, in practice, might often be offended by those who live righteously, and so sometimes they will plot against the righteous to bring them down in some way or another. Usually these evil plots are not done out in the open for all to see, but they take place behind closed doors where no one else can see or hear what is taking place other than those who are part of the evil plot. Still, these evil plots should not surprise us or overtake us when they do happen, for we are told these days will come.
[Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; John 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Ac 14:22; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12]
But the Lord will judge all evil and all evildoers. So, it may seem as though the wicked are being successful in their evil plots against the righteous, but God is still in control. He is still on the throne. For God definitely has the final word in the matter. So, he may allow evil to exist for a time, and for the wicked to do their evil deeds, even against the righteous, but a day of judgment is coming when God will judge them for their evil deeds and he will cast them out of his sight and into eternal damnation.
[Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Matt 7:21-23; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Psalms 37:1-2,8-11 ESV
“Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.”
“Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
For the evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.
“In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;
though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
But the meek shall inherit the land
and delight themselves in abundant peace.”
So, we are not to fret and fear what evildoers may do to us, for God is still on the throne, and he is still sovereign over our lives, and nothing can touch us but what God allows it, and he allows it for a purpose. And he will bring good out of it for those who love and obey him and who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). And his calling on our lives is that we live holy lives, pleasing to him, in walks of genuine faith and obedience to him and to his commands.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13]
So, when evildoers do evil against us, we are to refrain from anger and forsake wrath. In other words, we are not to try to get even with our enemies. We are not to trade “tit for tat.” Just because they plot evil against us does not mean that we are to do something to cause harm to them. For we are to love our enemies, and pray for them, and do good to them (what will benefit them in a good and proper way). And we are to leave the wrath to God.
So, although it may be painful to suffer unjustly at the hands of the wicked who plot evil against us, we are to entrust our lives into the hands of God and believe that he is working all things for good in the lives of those who love and obey him. So, even if evil is done against us, God allowed it for a purpose, and so we have to trust God in it. If the Lord still has a purpose for us on this earth, he will accomplish that purpose despite the evil done against us, for no wicked person can thwart God’s eternal purposes.
Psalms 37:3-7 ESV
“Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
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 act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!”
So, although it may be difficult in the midst of suffering from the evil done against us to rejoice, it is not impossible. Even through the tears we can rejoice in our Lord, believing that God is going to work it out for good in some way. And so we have to keep an eternal perspective. We have to be so careful that we do not get so caught up in the emotion of the moment that we forget God and that we take matters into our own hands, although we may be tempted to do so in a moment of distress.
So, even in the midst of evil being acted out against us we must keep trusting the Lord, and we must keep doing good despite the evil being done against us. And we must keep loving even our enemies. And we must be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him to act on our behalf. And even while we are hurting we can still delight in the Lord, and we should then definitely be committing our ways to him, trusting him that all of this is going to turn out for our good in some way or another. Praise God!
My heart can sing when I pause to remember
A heartache here is but a steppingstone
Along a trail that’s winding always upward,
This troubled world is not my final home.
The things of earth will dim and lose their value
If we recall they’re borrowed for a while;
And things of earth that cause the heart to tremble,
Remembered there will only bring a smile.
This weary world with all its toil and struggle
May take its toll of misery and strife;
The soul of man is like a waiting falcon;
When it’s released, it’s destined for the skies.
But until then my heart will go on singing,
Until then with joy I’ll carry on,
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.
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