Howard Mooney - Psalm 37

This afternoon my thoughts are found in Psalm 37:16.  This Psalm is the story of a righteous man or a righteous person.  The first verses of the Psalm describe a righteous person.  I am always glad when I can find a definition of a word in the Bible, because then I know we have God's mind on the matter.  Sometimes you look up the definition in the dictionary, and you get a modernistic meaning of the word.  We often miss the real essence of what God intended we should get from the word.  The forepart of this Psalm is God's description of what a righteous person really is.  The latter part of this Psalm tells of seven special blessings that God gives to the righteous, a fulfillment of what is mentioned in the 16th verse.  It speaks of “A little that a righteous man hath.”  I do not believe he meant for a single minute that we have so little in comparison with the world, but the world thinks we have so little.  I think it was just a message to the world.  "You think we have so little--you think we do not have anything to live for; you think our lives are empty."

I am going to tell you about seven things we enjoy that all the money in the world cannot buy.  It speaks about the riches of many wicked.  You put compound money together of many wicked people, many wealthy people, and we have something that money cannot buy.  We have something that belongs to the un-searchable riches of Christ, and nothing can be compared with that.  This Psalm is a practical Psalm.  We learn to look on the Scriptures as a practical book and more so the older we get.  It is referred to as a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, and nothing could be more practical than that. When you are walking on a narrow path and darkness surrounds you, when danger lurks on every side, the most practical thing you could do would be to take a light with you.  Peter said, “You do well if you take heed to that light, as to a light that shineth in a dark place, till the dawn of the resurrection morning.”  You will always see that light, and it will always be there.  We can be thankful for that.

James mentions in his writings that the Bible is like a mirror.  When you look into a glass, you see yourself as you appear in the eyes of your fellow man and what you can do to improve your appearance.  When we look into the Bible, we see ourselves as we appear in the sight of God and what we can do to improve that appearance.  I hope that none of us will forget the reflection that we have gotten of ourselves in the last four days, as we have looked into God's mirror, and as He has shown us just exactly how we appear in His sight.  But He has not left us without hope, because He has also told us what we can do to make ourselves acceptable in His sight.

I do not know of any portion of Scripture that has helped me more this last year or two than Psalm 37.  And I do not know of any other portion of the Scripture that I have given to others in their distress more than the practical teaching that is found in the Psalm 37.  We are told in the first verse not to fret.  That is good, practical common sense counsel.  This Psalm was written under conditions very much like what we are living in today.  There was wickedness abounding in the world on every side.  Sometimes when you see these things abounding, it makes you just fret.  And to begin with, may I say to you, folks, that fretting never helped anybody.  All that you can do when you fret is to make yourself miserable, and you make those around you miserable also.  No one has ever helped a situation by fretting.  If you do not remember anything else that I've tried to tell you in my privilege of speaking to you this afternoon, if you can carry that thought home with you, it will make our time well spent.

Fretting has never helped anyone.  All it does is make you miserable and those around you miserable.  And there is no way that fretting can help in any situation.  So the Psalmist said when you see these things happening, and I think he was referring in this verse, to conditions in the world, evildoers, evil prevailing on every side, don't fret about it.  That will not do a bit of good.  You just get yourself riled up.  Later on he said to them in verse 7, “Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way.”  I think that would refer to somebody inside the fellowship.  It might be someone who, seemingly, is getting by with something.  Sometimes you see that and you begin to fret.  You think, “Why doesn't somebody do something about it?”  In verse 8 he says, "Don't try to do anything about it."  “Fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.”  So if you get to fretting, which you should not do, but if you do it, and you see something happening perhaps inside the fellowship, and you get all distressed over it, and you have the tendency to take matters into your own hand and shake things into place, he said, “Don't do that!”  If you want to make matters worse, just do what this verse warns you not to do.  “Fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.”  We are told that instead of fretting, we should trust.  That is very good and Godly council.  That is why I read it over frequently because by nature it would be easy for me to fret.  I thank God that I have proven the value of putting my trust in God.  I am glad to tell you that my trust in God is deeper than it ever has been before, and I have reason for saying that!

If you want to help a situation, whether it is outside the kingdom or inside the kingdom, instead of fretting, just do what it tells us in verse 3, “Trust in the Lord and do good.”  In other words, do the right thing yourself, and leave the rest up to the Lord.  Trust that the Lord will take over and do what you cannot do.  The best way for you to correct any situation is by doing the right thing yourself.  Remember that!  There is no better way that you can help any situation, no matter what the situation may be, than by just doing the right thing yourself.  A young brother went to an older sister worker once when he was fretting.  Some things had happened at preparations at this convention that he did not think was just right.  The older sister worker kindly said to him, “You know, whenever I see anything happen that I don't think should happen, I just double up my efforts to do the right thing.”  That is the best way to correct it.  That worker was my companion, and a year or so ago he told me that was the best advise anyone had ever given him.  It is the best criticism in the world; it is the best correction fluid in the world.  If you see a tendency on the part of some to digress from what they should be and prosper in their own way like this verse says, the best way to help the situation is to double up your own efforts to do what is right, and that never fails.  The reason I am advocating this to you this afternoon is because it has worked in so many cases where people in their fretting distress have come to us wondering what to do about the situation, and this is the verse we have given them, and it works every time.

If, in your experience this year, you find yourself facing experiences which have caused you to fret, you just remember, "If I double my efforts to do the right thing myself, I will be helping the situation far better than anything else I could possibly do."  You just do good, and trust in the Lord, and He will take over and do what you cannot do yourself.


Would you like to know another secret given in this Psalm about how to help a situation like that instead of fretting?  It is in verse 4, “Delight thyself in the Lord.”  Get into this thing and enjoy it.  Enjoy it to the fullest yourself.  In His presence there is fullness of joy.  The joy of the Lord is your strength.  The joy of the Lord is also your beacon light.  Often men and women have been drawn to the kingdom when they saw the joy that was radiating from the lives of God's people. I think that the reason why we are getting so many wonderful sterling young workers in the work the last few years is because of the joy that is radiating from the young workers that are already in the work.  It is so noticeable.  A young woman came to me at the Saginaw convention.  She had been to the Orick convention, and she came to me in tears.  She said that down at Orick, and here also, all the young workers seem so happy, and they are just radiating joy, and they are all so satisfied.  She said, “I don't have that joy.” She said, “Do you suppose that the Lord is trying to tell me something?”  I said, “Well, you keep listening.” I am satisfied that the reason why we are getting so many sterling young workers into the work the last few years, and you see it wherever you go, is because the ones who are in the work are enjoying it.  They have tasted of the depths of joy, and it radiates from their lives.  They cannot cover it up.

We had a woman come to us who had professed in our meetings a short while before.  She was anxious for her husband to also profess.  She said to us one day, and this was after we had already given her counsel on how to help her husband.  She had some of the old background training in her mind, and she could hardly believe that our counsel was really sound in a case like this.  She came to us and said, “I did such and such a thing.  I think that will impress Bob.” I said, “Anything you do to impress Bob or anyone else will only depress them.”  That is really the essence of Phariseeism.  That is what the Pharisees were trying to do all the time.  They were trying to impress others with long prayers, with the long robes they wore, and the other extended activities that only drew attention to themselves.  All they were doing was depressing people.  We said to this woman, “If you want to help Bob, the thing for you to do is to get into this thing and enjoy it for yourself.  Forget about him for the moment.”  She did, and Bob came to convention the following fall and professed.


You will notice how the latter part of this verse reads.  “Delight thyself in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”  If anyone here this afternoon, if any husband would desire to see his wife saved, or if any wife would desire to see her husband saved, this verse tells you how to do it.  You just delight yourself in the Lord.  Do not be satisfied with the fact that you are in the Way.  You taste the joy of salvation.  Let that radiate from your life. This verse says that if you do that, the Lord will give you the desire of your heart.  Maybe your desire is to see your husband saved, or your wife saved, or your children saved, or whatever the case may be.  You just get into this thing and enjoy it, and God will give you the desire that you have for those that you love and would want to see helped. 


I am so thankful that I had the privilege of growing up in a home under the care of my folks who really had found the way of salvation.  They did not tell us many facts and figures about the truth when we were youngsters, because they did not know very much themselves.  The mission in our little mining village was very much like the mission held at Thessalonica, but there were 42 adults that professed in that mission.  The workers had to leave shortly afterward, and really they did not know very much. About all they knew was that they had found a wonderful thing, and they kept on going.  I am glad to tell you that all but two of that 42 finished faithfully.  That was back in 1909 when that mission was worked. My father passed away a year ago.  He was the last of those 42 who professed at that time.

My folks did not know what you parents know today.  We did not have workers in our field very much.  We would go out to the convention in the fall of the year, and we would be with the workers for the four days of that convention, and then in the spring of the year generally four workers, two brothers and two sisters, would come into our district and visit for a week, and we would have special meetings on Sunday.  These are the only workers that we ever saw.  None of us there had any chance of getting an understanding of the Truth like you folks have who sit in mission after mission throughout the year. 

I can count on the fingers of both hands the number of Gospel meetings that I was in before I went into the work.  What I am going to tell you, I am telling you with all sincerity.  I don't believe there ever was to greener person who went into the work than I was.  I firmly believe, and I say this with all sincerity also, that the reason why God has preserved me in the work is just to make me a monument of the grace of God, and assure anyone that if a person with as little to start with as I had can make it, then anyone can make it. I did not know many of the facts and figures when I professed as a boy, as far as the Truth is concerned.  But there is one thing that I did know, and it was evidenced in our home every day.  I did know that my folks had the most wonderful thing in all the world, and that is what I wanted, and that is why I made my choice.  I made my choice when four of these workers came in for special meetings, and they had a gospel meeting while they were there.  My sister, who is in the work also, and myself and some others professed in that meeting. Like I said, I did not know many of the facts and figures concerning the Truth when I made my choice, but I knew that my folks had the most wonderful thing in the world and I wanted it also.  Later on I began to understand why it was the most wonderful thing in all the world.  But we would say to you again, that if you want to help the cause along, if you want to offset any evil on the outside or inside of the kingdom, and if the desire of your heart is to see a relative brought into God's Truth, you just get into this thing and enjoy it. Learn to delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desire of your heart.  Whether it is your desire to see a husband saved, or a wife saved, or your children's saved, or whatever the case may be, you get into this thing and enjoy it. Then you put yourself in the position where God, through you, can work to the advantage of  His Kingdom.


Verse 5 says, “Commit thy way unto the Lord.”  If you see someone taking their own way and seemingly prospering in their own way, you may begin to fret and wonder, "Why isn't somebody doing something about it?  Why are they getting away with it?"  He said, instead of that, you just commit yourself to the Lord.  You see to it that that does not happen to you.  You see to it that the Lord gets full control of your life and of your way, as our brother told us so helpfully this morning when he spoke of presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice. You just see to it that your whole life is in the hand of God, that He is the controlling factor in your life.  If you do that, you'll find everything that will make your life worthwhile, and He will make you a channel of blessing, regardless of what might be going on in the world or what you might see sometimes that should not take place inside the kingdom.  Trust in the Lord, delight in the Lord, and commit thy way to the Lord. Then rest in the Lord.  Just sit back with perfect confidence.  That is what it means to rest in the Lord.  You put your situation in His hands, you put your life in His hands, you put your cares in His hands, you turn the situation over to Him, and then you just calmly sit back and wait for Him to take over, because you have all the faith in the world that if you do the right things, the Lord will take over and do what you cannot do.  That is what the Bible says constitutes a righteous person.  Wasn't that true in the case of Abraham?  You remember the story we have in Romans 4.  God made a staggering promise to Abraham, and the staggering promise was, "Abraham, I will do for you what you never have been able to do for yourself."  He made a staggering promise that we won't go into this afternoon, but we are told that Abraham staggered not at the promise of God, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. He was fully persuaded that what He had promised He was able to perform, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.  If you want to know what the righteousness of Abraham consisted of, it is just that he believed God, and he trusted God, and he turned things over to God.  And God proved to him, "I can do for you what you have never been able to do for yourself."

If you would like to have the righteousness that filled the life of Abraham, the secret is given in these four things here.  The Lord will bring it to pass, and He will make you a channel of blessing.  You will have the comfort in your heart of knowing that now you are in a position where you can offset the evils of the world, and you are in a position where you can offset anything that comes into the kingdom that should not be there.

We will go down verse 16 now.  It says, “A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked.”  Remember now these first seven verses describe what the righteous person is.  If you have these marks in your life, if you have submitted to these conditions, this puts you in a position where God can give you these things that all the money in the world cannot buy.  All the amalgamated riches of the world put together cannot buy one of these seven things that God enumerated that He has given us in these next verses.

(1)    The first one is in verse 17--“For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord upholdeth the righteous.”  And in verse 24 He tells us how He does it.  “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand.”  If you are a righteous person in this meeting this afternoon, you have something that all the money in the world could not buy. 
You have the hand of God helping you.  That is the greatest possession of all. The greatest assurance that a person could have in life and the greatest you can have in the life to come is the hand of God helping you.

I have been making a little study of Nehemiah lately, and I hope that I can get a convention message out of it sometime, but it is not there yet.  There is one thing that I know, that when Nehemiah put his confidence in God, everything happened.  In each case he said, “According to the good hand of God upon us.”  He recognized that.  The king was moved to do something that normally would have been impossible to move him to do.  It was because the good hand of God was opening up the way.  They needed provisions, they needed to have the way opened, and everything just fell into line,
because the good hand of God was upon them.  Then they started repairing the wall of Jerusalem, which was a tremendous undertaking.  They undertook it against all kinds of odds, but they prospered because the good hand of God was upon them.  I will tell you, everything will happen to you, and the greatest of the blessings of God will be your portion, and the way will open up through every circumstance if you will just keep yourself under the mighty hand of God.  There is no end to what God can do when a person puts themselves under His hand.


There are some verses in Isaiah 41 that we have referred to before, and maybe we could just take a moment to refer to them again.  They are wonderful verses.  If you have never marked them in your Bible, maybe you would like to mark them and read them frequently this coming year.  You might find that you need them.  Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not thou, for I am with thee.  Be not dismayed for I am thy God.  Fear not thou, for I am with thee.  I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”  Verse 13, “For I the Lord will hold thy right hand.”  That means that He is bringing His left hand into play now.  “I the Lord will hold thy right hand, and I will help thee.”  You do not have anything to fear when you have the mighty hand of God helping you like that.  This was spoken to people who were fearful because they were facing an unknown future, and they had the same apprehensions that people have today when they face the unknown future, not knowing what they will be called upon to face.  But the Lord said, "Don't you be afraid.  You have put your trust in Me; you have committed yourself to Me, and I will uphold thee.  I will open up the way with the right hand of My righteousness," and that is the same mighty hand of God that opened up the waters of the Red Sea.  You read of that in Exodus 15:6. Think of it, Folks! That is the same mighty hand of God that is opening up the way for His people today.  We do not know what we are going to face in the future.  We have no idea what the opposition might be that would present itself to us in the future.  What we do know is this:  the mighty hand of God that divided the waters of the Red Sea is still in the picture, and it will open the way for us regardless of what we might be called upon to face.

With His other hand He is holding ours.  “I, the Lord, will hold thy right hand, saying, 'Fear not, I will help thee.'”  These verses are left on record in the Bible for your comfort, to assure you that when you put your trust in God and you commit your life to His keeping, that you put yourself in the position that God can lead you triumphantly forward, regardless of what you might be called on to face in the world.  And that is just as true today as it was when God gave those words to His prophet away back so many years ago.

Maybe we could just notice verse 14 for a moment.  It says, “Fear not, thou worm Jacob.”  It can help you, too.  This expression, miserable worm, is an expression that you read in the Bible.  I noticed that Jesus used the expression, that it was prophesied of Him in Psalm 22:6 describing His feelings as He hung on the cross, “I am a worm, and no man.”  That was one of the sufferings that Jesus went through on the cross because He was taking the place of others who would have ended up in a lost eternity as a miserable worm. These people had made such a miserable failure of their lives, and they were feeling like miserable worms on this occasion.  The Lord said to them, "Fear not, I can still help you; you just put your hand in Mine, and you just start off afresh here, and you let Me open up the way with the right hand of My righteousness, and I can still put you on your feet.  I can cleanse you again, and put a new spirit in you, and send you on your way rejoicing." If there is anyone in this meeting this afternoon, and you have been sitting there just like a miserable worm because of your past failures, this is a personal message from the heart of God to you, saying that He can still help you.  He will uphold you with the right hand of His righteousness, and He will lead you safely through.  So this is one thing now that the righteous have that all the riches of many wicked could never buy, and that is the helping hand of God.

(2)  Verse 21.  This is another thing that the righteous have.  It says, “The wicked borroweth and payeth not again, but the righteous sheweth mercy and giveth.” The righteous have a different spirit.  God has given His people a spirit that is altogether different to the spirit of the world.  Often when people ask, “What is the main difference between your church and the other churches in the country?” we tell them “It is the Spirit!”  Yes, it is true that we have a ministry that is revolutionary.  We have a fellowship that is different to any other in the world, but it is the Spirit that has made that possible.  God has endowed us with a spirit that is different to any other spirit in the world, and that is what makes this fellowship the paradise right here on earth.  The Bible says that it is, and we have proven it to be that.

The Psalmist said that the wicked borroweth and payeth not again.  He never intended to in the first place.  That is the spirit of the world.  Sure, they will make you some fabulous promises, but they don't intend to pay them.  I would just like to say to our wonderful young people in this meeting that the wicked that makes up the rank and file of this world will make some wonderful promises to you.  If they can just borrow your affection, if they can just borrow your fellowship, if they can just borrow you or your substance, oh, they will make some wonderful promises to you. When they get out of you all that they can, they don't care what happens to you after that.  They borrowed from you, but they don't intend to pay it back again.  They make some wonderful promises; that is the spirit of the world.  They have a saying in the world:  "I couldn't care less."  That is the spirit of the world, and it is true.  They do not care what happens to you when they get through with you.  They do not care if you bury your broken heart in suicide's grave.  They do not care if you end up in a mental institution because of your dissipation.  They do not care if you hang your head in shame.  They couldn't care less. All they are concerned with is borrowing all that they can get from you.  They do not intend to pay it back.  That is the spirit of the world.  That is why we give so much warning against the world.  I hope that will just refresh the warning in the minds of you young people, and that it will help you to keep your shields of faith high and protect yourselves from the fiery darts of the wicked.

The Spirit of God is so different in the lives of His people.  We live to give.  That is the purpose of our lives.  Our biggest concern is what we can do to help, what we can do to aid the cause.  Often our brethren will come to us and say, “Isn't there something more we can do to help?  We would just like to do anything, if you will tell us what we can do.”  That is the Spirit of Truth.

Our sister was telling about their study in first Timothy.  Paul said there that the law was not made for the purpose of the righteous, but for the lawless and the disobedient.  The righteous don't need the law.  The law says, “Thou shall not steal.”  I don't need a law like that.  I am out to give people all I can.  My greatest joy is when I can share with others this something that has proven to be the most wonderful thing in all the world to me.  My greatest joy, and I know it is the greatest joy of my fellow laborers, is when we can share with others the unsearchable riches of Christ. We don't want anything that the other person has, but we would sure like to give them what we have.  The law says, “Thou shall not kill.”  We don't need a law like that.  Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life,” and the reason we are going forth with the Gospel of Christ is that we might impart that life to others.  We don't want to take life from people; we want to give people life, the life that is so abundant, the life that is worth living.  It is the only life that gets better with the passing of time.  It is the only life that you will continue to enjoy throughout eternity.

This is the spirit that God has given to His people.  It is an unlimited study.  I have been looking into it lately, and I have not scratched the surface.  I will give you just one reference.  It is in Daniel 5:12.  This was something that the ungodly queen of the land saw in Daniel.  She saw there was an excellent spirit in that man.  That man had the spirit that was different than any other spirit in the world, and it was that making him different than any other person in the world. In the last part of that verse it says he was the dissolver of doubts.  Folks, if you can take this excellent spirit into the world with you, you'll be the dissolver of doubts.  That is a wonderful accomplishment, because the devil is busy putting doubts into the minds of men and women from every angle, and there is nothing in the world to dissolve those doubts other than this excellent spirit that God gives unto His people.  If you carry that spirit in the world where you stay, and into the place where you work, and into the meetings where you meet, you have something that automatically dissolves the doubts of people.  They might have doubts as to the existence of God, or the greatness of His way, or the authenticity of the Bible, or so many of the doubts that fill the hearts of men and women.  God has just one way to dissolve those doubts:  by an excellent spirit.  If He can use you and me as a vessel, as we were hearing about, the most glorious privilege that a person could have in this life is dissolving doubts.  As they look upon the lives of our people, all their doubts are dissolved. Strangers will come to a gathering like this.  If they heard rumors of this fellowship that were not accurate, or not complementary, they are all dissolved when they come to see what we actually have and what we actually are.  So this is the second thing now that the righteous have that the riches of the wicked cannot buy.  You cannot buy this Spirit of God for all the money in the world.  This is the Spirit given to those that trust in the Lord, those that delight in the Lord, commit their way to the Lord, and rest in the Lord.  They are the ones to whom an excellent spirit is given, and then you have something to give to others.  You have something that dissolves their doubts.  You have something that stimulates them and spurs them on along the way.

(3)  Verse 25 is the third thing the righteous have that all the money in the world cannot buy, and that is
satisfaction.  “I have been young, and now I am old, yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”  In the Bible, food always has reference to satisfaction.  To those of us who have been in those Eastern countries, we have seen that satisfaction to those people is a stomach full of food.  That is their conception of paradise.  They don't have any hopes of the hereafter, but their concept now of paradise is a stomach full of food.

You studied the parable in Luke 14 a while back, when the King made this great feast, and he invited the Jews.  They did not come, and he invited others, and still there was room.  In chapter 14:23 he said to his servants, “You go out into the hedges and highways and compel them to come in.”  That is the language that is familiar in those countries, because a vast number of those people have never had a home.  They just walk the highways by day, begging, borrowing, stealing anything in the line of food that will keep their body and soul together one more day.  When darkness comes, they crawl under some shrub or hedge that protects them from the equatorial rains that generally fall at night.  The people who live in the lands where these incidents were recorded, most of them never knew what it was to have a stomach full of food, and their concept of satisfaction is to have a full stomach.  So when God was trying to show people the inward satisfaction of soul that He offered to people, He told them it was like a feast.

He said, “Your soul will delight itself in fatness,” and fatness comes when you get more than you need.  For those poor people who had never had a stomach full of food, it must have been wonderful to think of the possibility of getting more than they needed.  Whenever you read of food in the Bible, you read of satisfaction.  God was giving to the hungry souls of men and women a satisfying portion.  David was saying in this portion, I was young when I made my choice to serve God, and now I am old, and I have never seen the righteous forsaken, or His seed begging bread.  Never once has God let His people down.  He satisfied them under all conditions.

We had a woman come to our convention in Chelan a few years ago.  She had just moved into the district and she had several conversations with the sister workers there during the preparations.  This resulted in her coming to the convention.  She came to all 12 of the meetings and later on, after convention was over, she was talking to two of these sisters.  She said, “The thing that impressed me most about your convention is that you people are perfectly satisfied with what you have.  All that you want is more of it.”  I thought that was a good analysis. She mentioned that she had been a delegate several times to her Christian church conventions which lasted for ten days.  She said that all the time, during those ten days, was spent in trying to devise means whereby they could improve on what they had.  They weren't satisfied with what they had.  They were trying to find a way in which they could improve it.  She thought it was so wonderful that God's people could come to convention and sit there for 12 meetings, perfectly satisfied with what they had, and all they wanted was more of it!

Isn't this a wonderful thing when we start to analyze it?  I suppose that we are all guilty of taking too much for granted along this line.  Isn't it wonderful that we have something so wonderful that we wouldn't want to change it?  If someone should suggest to you that maybe a new plan would help the situation, you would say, “What, a new plan?”  We have something that is working perfectly; it is God's Way that is perfect from the beginning.  Every year you are more satisfied than you were the year before.  All we want is more of it.  That is why you come to convention.  You didn't come here to get an improvement on things, or to get a new variation of teaching, or anything of that sort.  All you wanted was more of what you have, and you have certainly gotten it, because it has been a feast that has filled every one of us to overflowing.

A lot is mentioned in this Psalm about being fed.  Remember when you read that in the Bible it speaks of the Lord satisfying the hungry souls of His people.  It says, “So shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.”  Verse 19, “In the days of famine thou shalt be satisfied.”  Even though everyone around you is famine-stricken, you are still being satisfied.  God doesn't let His people down because the world has gotten themselves into a turmoil.

There is a statement that Paul made in 2 Corinthians that I have thought of so much lately, and I would like to share it with you.  Maybe it will help you in this coming year.  He said to them, “When we preached the gospel to you, the promises that God made to you through us were not yea and nay.  They were yea and amen.”  In other words, they were not yes and no.  God did not say to you when you listened to the gospel story, "Yes, I can help you.  No, I couldn't help that person, he is too far gone."  Or He didn't say, "Yes, I can help you now, but I couldn't do that if the Communists took over."  The promises that God made to these people through the gospel He has also made to us.  The promise that God made to us was "Yea" and "Amen."  "Yes, I can help this person, but I can help that person just as well.  Yes, I can take care of you when everything is going good, but yes, I can take care of you when some foreign powers might come in and try to devastate your nation."  It doesn't make any difference to God what the situation is.  His promises to His people are not hanging on surrounding conditions, and that is the thought that the Psalmist is bringing out here. Even in time of famine, we will be satisfied.  Even if the world has gotten itself into a famine-stricken condition like it has today.  Men and women are running to and fro seeking the word of God, seeking something to feed their soul.  They are not finding it, and the famine is existing all around us, and here we are enjoying ourselves.  We are delighting ourselves in the abundance of fatness.  That satisfaction, that fatness of soul and that inward contentment we have is another thing that all the money in the world could not buy.  The world thinks that we don't have much, that what we do have is so little, but when you stop to analyze these things bit by bit, you realize that we are the wealthiest people that have ever walked the face of the earth from the dawn of creation until now.

(4)    Verse 29 speaks of the
inheritance that the righteous have, and I think it is good to remind ourselves from time to time that what we have in Christ is an inheritance.  It is not something that we deserve, it is not something that we worked for, it is not something that we merited; it is something that we have received through the kindness of God.  There is a verse in Romans 8 that has thrilled me from time to time when I read it or think of it.  It says that when you become a child of God, then you are an heir of God, and joint heir with Christ.  Can you take that in this afternoon - that Christ has made you an heir with Him - and that is as true today as it will be eternally.  Everything that God has placed at the disposal of His Son, He has placed at your disposal and mine today.  We are told that the mind of Christ is within our reach.  We are told that the Spirit of Christ is at our disposal. It says of the grace of Christ, “Of all His fullness have we received, and grace for grace.”  Everything that God has placed at the disposal of His Son, Jesus, He has placed at the disposal of you and of me, and through that medium we are able to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.  When we talk to the world about following Jesus, and of God's plan for us to do so, they say it is impossible.  He was the Son of God, and we are just creatures of the dust.  Well, we might be a creature of the dust to start with, but you put your trust in the Lord, you rejoice in the Lord, you commit your way to the Lord, and God will place at your disposal everything that He has placed at the disposal of His Son, Jesus Christ.  We are heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ, and that enables us to walk in His footsteps and have close fellowship with Him as we walk along the way.

This inheritance is so vast.  Peter said that it is “incorruptible, undefiled, and fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.”  It is something that reaches right on into eternity.  When we are talking about His inheritance, I would like to give you the testimony of Joshua.  In Joshua 23, Joshua had reached the day of his death, and he said to the elders of Israel, “I am going this day the way of all the earth.”  This is the way everybody goes out of the picture, through the avenue of death.  He said, “You know that not one good thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord thy God spake concerning you.”  All have come to pass, and not one thing hath failed thereof.  What a wonderful testimony! Think of 64 years walking with God and not one thing had failed of all the good things that God had promised when he started out.  You might say, “Well, he has had his inheritance.”  You turn to the next chapter and you read of him dying that day, as he said he would.  In verse 30 it says, “They buried him in the border of his inheritance, in the place called Timnathserah.”  It just seems too wonderful to think that for 64 years he had been just inside the border. I don't care how long you have been professing, or how deeply you have gotten into this thing; I don't care how much you love it, or how much you have invested in it, the fact remains that when you die, you will be just inside the border.  It will take all eternity for you to enjoy the remainder of your inheritance.  This place where Joshua was buried was called Timnathserah.  You look up the meaning of that word in the back of your Bible and it will tell you that it means a portion of the remainder.  For 64 years Joshua had been enjoying a portion, and it will take all eternity for him to enjoy the remainder. I say again, no matter how much you put into it, no matter how deeply you enter into this thing or how fully you enjoy it, the fact remains that, when you lay your head down on your pillow for the last time, you will be just inside the border of your inheritance.  Ephesians 2:7 tells you that it will take all the ages to come for you to enjoy this vast inheritance.  So here is something else we have that not all the money in the world could buy.  Nobody enjoys this but the children of God.  Romans 8:17.  When you become children of God, then you are heirs of God, you are joint heirs with Christ, entering into something that is more valuable to you with the passing of time, and will continue to be right through the countless ages of eternity.

(5)    Verse 30 speaks of the special wisdom that God gives to the righteous, so that when you speak, you are not giving your own opinion.  You have the
wisdom from heaven above. In Proverbs it says, “The mouth of the righteous is like a well of life,” an artesian well.  An artesian well always gets its supplied from a higher source, and it just bubbles out through the opening. The mouth of the righteous is like that.  You have wisdom, but it is not earthly wisdom, it is not human reckoning.  When you are talking to people and when you are answering their questions (which this verse also includes), you are not giving them your ideas.  You are not giving them some surmising of your own.  No, you are sharing with them that source of wisdom which comes from above, from the higher source of supply.  “The mouth of the righteous is as a well of life.”  What we are sharing with people as we go from place to place is that wisdom from above.  Read James 4 and it will tell you what that wisdom consists of.

(6)  Verse 32 speaks about the
special protection that God has made around the souls of the righteous.  We don't have to comment on that.

(7) Verses 39 and 40 speak of the
salvation that God has provided for the righteous.  You analyze these seven things when you go home after this convention and you will agree with the writer of this Psalm when he says in verse 16 that what you have, little though it may seem in the eyes of the world, is better than the riches of many wicked.  You have seven wonderful virtues that make up your living that all the money in the world cannot buy, and there is no power in the world that can take them from you.  This is what the Lord has placed at our disposal.  Remember all we have to do is:


          Trust in the Lord;

          Do good;

          Delight thyself in the Lord;

          Commit thy way to the Lord;

          Rest in the Lord.

Then all of these wonderful things will be our portion.  I hope that this will be true in our experience more and more as we enter into this new year of victory and blessing with the Lord. 


Hymn 357, verse 1, "Fret Not Thy Soul"


Final hymn, number 85, "I Must Have the Saviour with Me"