Psalm 37

Meditations on the Psalms: Kevin Youngblood

My reading of Psalm 37 this morning revealed to me a connection I had never made before. The psalmist makes two references to those who will inherit the land. The first in verse 9 refers to these people as “those who wait on/hope in the LORD.” The second in verse 11 refers to them as “the afflicted/meek/gentle.” Both of these statements occur in the larger context of warnings not to fret over the deeds of the wicked, not to let them get to you and disturb your peace. In other words, do not let the wicked provoke you to wickedness. Do not let them trigger you to thoughtless sinful reflexes, angry knee-jerk reactions.

What I had never considered before was the connection between “waiting on the LORD” and meekness, gentleness, tolerating a certain amount of persecution for the sake of a greater goal or cause. It would appear that as we wait on the LORD the Spirit cultivates in us our savior’s own gentleness. Of course, these verses are famously recalled in the third beatitude of our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount where, arguably, the extent of the inheritance expands to encompass the whole world – the new creation. Wait on the LORD long enough and the world itself becomes yours! Exercise increasing gentleness and the next thing you know you’ve “conquered” the world! Meditating on this psalm reminded me this morning of just how counter-intuitive the psalms are. They reveal to what a great extent the world has messed with my head and challenge me to think differently, to declare my independence from this present age’s conventional wisdom.


Thank you for reserving the eschatological inheritance for those who in gentleness wait for your vindication and intervention. Teach me not to fret nor to allow my actions to be dictated by the perverse provocations of the wicked. Increase my immunity to such provocations. May they lose their impact on me as I pursue your holiness and love. Through your psalms continue to detoxify my mind of polluted thoughts. Sober me up with the psalms that I may no longer be “drunk with wine” but rather be filled with the Holy Spirit whose fruit is gentleness and patience.