“Fret Not Thyself” in Psalm 37:1-13

Pastor Scott Markle wrote this as a comment on Saturday’s post on Proverbs 24:19-20, which dealt with the instruction to “fret not thyself” in that Scripture, and he gave me permission to move it to the front page.

Psalm 37:1-13

Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
7 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.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
12 The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
13 The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.

Psalm 37:1-13 appears to give three different ways in which we might “fret” ourselves (be internally “inflamed”) over the wicked.

Envy

We might become inflamed with envy over the apparent, immediate successes of the wicked, and thereby choose to follow after their ways (vs. 1-2).  Rather, we should “trust in the LORD, and do good,” and delight ourselves “also in the LORD” (vs. 3-4).

Impatience

We might become inflamed with impatience concerning the apparent, immediate “un-success” of the righteous, and thereby become bitter against our Lord (v. 7).  Rather, we should commit our way “unto the LORD,” and “trust also in him,” and “rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him” (vs. 5-7).

Anger

We might become inflamed with anger against the mistreatments of the wicked, and thereby return evil for evil in response to those mistreatments (vs. 8-9, 12). Rather, we should “wait upon the LORD” to “cut off” the wicked and to reward the righteous in His time (vs. 9-11, 13).

Trust, Don’t Fret

Over all, it is worthy of notice that the foundational way to combat this wrong “fretting” over the wicked is to set our trust in the Lord (obediently, delightedly, confidently, patiently, and faithfully). Indeed, this is the same foundational way to combat “fretting” in worry over troublesome circumstances.

For the Excellency of the Knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord,
Abiding in Christ, and Christ in us,
Pastor Scott Markle

About Jon Gleason

Pastor of Free Baptist Church of Glenrothes
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