Sometimes, the bad guys seem to be winning, don’t they? Every day, we read of more and more issues, events, decisions, actions, trends and attitudes that give the impression that the enemy has a new arrogant boldness as he rebels against God’s person, God’s principles and God’s people.
When the wicked flourish, King David urges you and me to do four things …
Read Psalm 37:1-40
- Underline the words wicked or evil in Psalm 37, and what God says about them.
- Give the phrases in Psalm 37 that contrast the behavior of the righteous and their relationship with God in the midst of wickedness and evil.
1. TRUST IN THE LORD (Psalm 37:1-6)
- In which verses do you find the word trust? What do you think it means?
- Give one reason from 37:1-2 for not worrying when the wicked flourish.
- How is this reasoning confirmed in Proverbs 21:6-7? 24:19-20? Ecclesiastes 2:11? Psalm 92:6-8? Isaiah 40:6-8? James 1:9-12?
- As we choose to trust the Lord when the wicked flourish, what four things are we to do, according to Psalm 37:3-4? What promise is given to those who do these things?
- What is God’s attitude toward the wicked who defy Him? See Psalm 37:12-13; Psalm 2:1-6; Revelation 19:11-21.
- What three wicked world powers did God overthrow on behalf of those who trusted in Him? See Exodus 14:29-31; Jeremiah 39:11-18; Nahum 3:18.
- What encouragement do you receive from Psalm 91:1-8?
- What are some practical things you can do to maintain and strengthen your trust in the Lord?
2. WAIT ON THE LORD (Psalm 37:7-22)
- How can you “be still before the Lord,” according to Psalm 37:7?
- What is one reason 2 Peter 3:7-9 gives us to wait for God to settle accounts?
- Will the wicked be held accountable? See Micah 5:15; Nahum 1:2-3; Hebrews 9:27; 2 Peter 2:4-9; Revelation 14:7; 20:11-15.
- What encouragement do you receive from: Psalm 27:1-3, 13-14? Psalm 40:1-3? Lamentations 3:19-26?
- What are we ultimately waiting for? Read Philippians 2:9-11; James 5:7-9.
3. WALK WITH THE LORD (Psalm 37:23-34)
- Give phrases in Genesis 6:1-7, 12 that describe the flourishing of the wicked.
- Give phrases that contrast Noah with the world in which he lived, from Genesis 6:8, 22; 7:5, 7, 17-23; 8:1, 15; 9:1.
- How does Noah’s life illustrate Psalm 1?
- List the promises in Psalm 37:23-24 that are given to those who are right with God.
- What are some practical things you can do to claim the promise of Proverbs 3:5-6? Psalm 119:105?
- How does John describe walking with God, and what is the exclusive promise given to those who do? See 1 John 1:5-7.
4. HIDE IN THE LORD (Psalm 37:35-40)
- What do you think it means to hide in the Lord? See Psalm 32:7; 4:8; John 14:23; 15:5; Ephesians 3:16-17; Colossians 3:15-17.
- What two other words are used for hide in Psalm 37:35-40?
- What encouragement do you receive from Deuteronomy 33:26-29? 2 Samuel 22:2-4? Psalm 9:9-10? 46:1-3? 91:9-12? 118:6-9? Isaiah 25:4?
If we are living at the end of human history as we have known it, then the wicked may actually increase in prosperity. Temporarily, lies may win out over truth, hate may win out over love and wrong may win over right. Things may get worse before they get dramatically, ultimately, permanently better. Now is the time to prepare, not by stockpiling guns or food, but by trusting, waiting, walking and hiding in the Lord. We need to be strong enough in our faith that God can use us to strengthen and encourage others.
In the end, we will be on the winning side. Because Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords. Praise God! One day every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that He is Lord. To the glory of God. And the righteous … not the wicked … will flourish. ©2021 Anne Graham Lotz
This article is adapted from a study originally published in March 2013.
Anne Graham Lotz has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 40 years. Her newest book, “Jesus in Me: Experiencing the Holy Spirit as a Constant Companion,” is available from major booksellers online.
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