Hebrew Highlights 43 – DON’T FRET
Shalom. This is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.
PSA 37:1-11 (A Psalm of David.) Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass, And fade like the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret, it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land. Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; And you will look carefully for his place, and he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land, And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.
This phrase, from verse one, “Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers”, is repeated again in PRO 24:19, “Do not fret because of evildoers, Or be envious of the wicked”.
The word “fret” is translated from the Hebrew “titchar”, which can mean compete, vie, rival, or undercut. The words “because of” come from one simple letter in the original, “bet”, which when place before the following word means “in” or “on” or “at” or “with”.
A free, yet viable street translation of verse one, would go like this: “Do not compete with the bad guys, do not be jealous of those who do wrong.”
We are further encouraged in this principle in verse 7, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not “compete with” him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.” Let me point out that by saying “prospers in his way”, in the context of the whole passage, we are to understand that this signifies “man’s way”, as opposed to “God’s way”.
Today, many questions are being asked about integrity in the marketplace. It seems that a number of companies around the world have become rich at the expense of their shareholders and investors through dishonesty and downright thievery.
Often, those of us stuck somewhere in the strata of the middle class are tempted to be jealous of our friends or neighbors, or even someone on television, who has “made it”.
Even as believers, we are tempted to be envious of someone else’s ministry, or personal success, thinking things like “if God gave me a million dollars, I would use it properly!” Or we may say to ourselves, “why is so-and-so prospering, when he is such a rotten person, and a nice guy like me can barely make ends meet”.
Well, as if knowing we are hard headed, the same point is again repeated in verse 8, “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not “compete”, it leads only to evildoing.” In other words, the very act of attempting to succeed can lead us into a position of compromising our morals and standards.
How often we hear of business men, or even successful ministers, who start out with good intentions, and end up breaking the law. Verse 2 says, “they will wither quickly like the grass, And fade like the green herb.” How quickly we forget that the riches of the world are temporal.
Okay then, what should we be doing? Well, throughout Psalm 37 we are told to, “Trust in the Lord”, “cultivate faithfulness”, “Delight in the Lord”, “Commit your way to the Lord”, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him”. I’ll admit that this sometimes is not easy, but we need to remind ourselves of the big picture. After all, in verse 11, we read, “the humble will inherit the land”. Yeshua later resounds this advice when in MAT 5:5 He says, "Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth”. Granted, we are not told exactly when we will get our inheritance. So, we wait patiently. And wait, and wait…
I don’t know about you, but I for one would rather have a little green acre in God’s eternal kingdom, than a massive corporate enterprise in this fading world.
Shalom, Shalom, from Jerusalem.