A David Psalm 37 1Don’t bother your head with braggarts or wish you could succeed like the wicked. 2In no time they’ll shrivel like grass clippings and wilt like cut flowers in the sun. 3Get insurance with God and do a good deed, settle down and stick to your last. 4Keep company with God, get in on the best. 5Open up before God, keep nothing back; he’ll do whatever needs to be done: 6He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon. 7Quiet down before God, be prayerful before him. Don’t bother with those who climb the ladder, who elbow their way to the top. 8Bridle your anger, trash your wrath, cool your pipes—it only makes things worse. 9Before long the crooks will be bankrupt; God–investors will soon own the store. 10Before you know it, the wicked will have had it; you’ll stare at his once famous place and—nothing! 11Down–to–earth people will move in and take over, relishing a huge bonanza. 12Bad guys have it in for the good guys, obsessed with doing them in. 13But God isn’t losing any sleep; to him they’re a joke with no punch line. 14Bullies brandish their swords, pull back on their bows with a flourish. They’re out to beat up on the harmless, or mug that nice man out walking his dog. 15A banana peel lands them flat on their faces— slapstick figures in a moral circus. 16Less is more and more is less. One righteous will outclass fifty wicked, 17For the wicked are moral weaklings but the righteous are God–strong. 18God keeps track of the decent folk; what they do won’t soon be forgotten. 19In hard times, they’ll hold their heads high; when the shelves are bare, they’ll be full. 20God–despisers have had it; God’s enemies are finished— Stripped bare like vineyards at harvest time, vanished like smoke in thin air. 21Wicked borrows and never returns; Righteous gives and gives. 22Generous gets it all in the end; Stingy is cut off at the pass. 23Stalwart walks in step with God; his path blazed by God, he’s happy. 24If he stumbles, he’s not down for long; God has a grip on his hand. 25I once was young, now I’m a graybeard— not once have I seen an abandoned believer, or his kids out roaming the streets. 26Every day he’s out giving and lending, his children making him proud. 27Turn your back on evil, work for the good and don’t quit. 28God loves this kind of thing, never turns away from his friends. Live this way and you’ve got it made, but bad eggs will be tossed out. 29The good get planted on good land and put down healthy roots. 30Righteous chews on wisdom like a dog on a bone, rolls virtue around on his tongue. 31His heart pumps God’s Word like blood through his veins; his feet are as sure as a cat’s. 32Wicked sets a watch for Righteous, he’s out for the kill. 33God, alert, is also on watch— Wicked won’t hurt a hair of his head. 34Wait passionately for God, don’t leave the path. He’ll give you your place in the sun while you watch the wicked lose it. 35I saw Wicked bloated like a toad, croaking pretentious nonsense. 36The next time I looked there was nothing— a punctured bladder, vapid and limp. 37Keep your eye on the healthy soul, scrutinize the straight life; There’s a future in strenuous wholeness. 38But the willful will soon be discarded; insolent souls are on a dead–end street. 39The spacious, free life is from God, it’s also protected and safe. 40God–strengthened, we’re delivered from evil— when we run to him, he saves us.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About