|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
37:7-20 Let us be satisfied that God will make all to work for good to us. Let us not discompose ourselves at what we see in this world. A fretful, discontented spirit is open to many temptations. For, in all respects, the little which is allotted to the righteous, is more comfortable and more profitable than the ill-gotten and abused riches of ungodly men. It comes from a hand of special love. God provides plentifully and well, not only for his working servants, but for his waiting servants. They have that which is better than wealth, peace of mind, peace with God, and then peace in God; that peace which the world cannot give, and which the world cannot have. God knows the believer's days. Not one day's work shall go unrewarded. Their time on earth is reckoned by days, which will soon be numbered; but heavenly happiness shall be for ever. This will be a real support to believers in evil times. Those that rest on the Rock of ages, have no reason to envy the wicked the support of their broken reeds.
Verse 8. - Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; i.e. such anger and such wrath as the prosperity of the wicked calls forth. Fret not thyself in any wise to do evil; rather, fret not thyself, only to do evil. No result could be looked for from the sort of "fretting" spoken of, but an evil one. If men will dwell unduly on the fact of the prosperity of the wicked, and brood upon it in their hearts, they will be apt, in the first instance, to envy the wicked, which is at once "to do evil;" and from this they will be naturally tempted to go on to an imitation of their wicked practices, which is to assimilate themselves altogether to the enemies of God, and to be guilty of practical apostasy (comp. Psalm 73:2, "But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well-nigh supped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked").
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Cease from anger,.... Either at these wicked men who are so prosperous, or at God, who for the present suffers it; see Jonah 4:9, Proverbs 19:3;
and forsake wrath; which is anger wrought up to a greater degree; and the rather to be shunned and avoided, as being very disagreeable to the character of a good man;
fret not thyself in any wise to do evil; evil may be done by fretting at the prosperity of wicked men, or by imitating them, doing as they do, in hope of being prosperous as they are; from which the psalmist dissuades by reasons following.
The Treasury of David
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
9 for evil doers 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.
"Cease from anger and forsake wrath." Especially anger against the arrangements of Providence, and jealousies of the temporary pleasures of those who are so soon to be banished from all comfort. Anger anywhere is madness, here it is aggravated insanity. Yet since anger will try to keep us company, we must resolvedly forsake it. "Fret not thyself in any wise to do evil." By no reasonings and under no circumstances be led into such a course. Fretfulness lies upon the verge of great sin. Many who have indulged a murmuring disposition have at last come to sin, in order to gain their fancied rights. Beware of carping at others, study to be yourself found in the right way; and as you would dread outward sin, tremble at inward repining.
"For evil doers shall be cut off." Their death shall be a penal judgment; not a gentle removal to a better state, but an execution in which the axe of justice shall be used. "But those that wait upon the Lord" - those who in patient faith expect their portion in another life - "they shall inherit the earth." Even in this life they have the most of real enjoyment, and in the ages to come theirs shall be the glory and the triumph. Passion, according to Bunyan's parable, has his good things first, and they are soon over; Patience has his good things last, and they last for ever.
"For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be." When bad men reach to greatness, the judgments of God frequently sweep them away; their riches melt, their powers decay, their happiness turns to wretchedness; they themselves cease any longer to be numbered with the living. The shortness of life makes us see that the glitter of the wicked great is not true gold. O wherefore, tried believer, dost thou envy one who in a little while will lie lower than the dust? "Yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be." His house shall be empty, his chair of office vacant, his estate without an owner; he shall be utterly blotted out, perhaps cut off by his own debauchery, or brought to a deathbed of penury by his own extravagance. Gone like a passing cloud - forgotten as a dream - where are his boastings and hectorings, and where the pomp which made poor mortals think the sinner blest?
"But the meek shall inherit the earth." Above all others they shall enjoy life. Even if they suffer, their consolations shall overtop their tribulations. By inheriting the land is meant obtaining covenant privileges and the salvation of God. Such as are truly humble shall take their lot with the rest of the heirs of grace, to whom all good things come by a sacred birthright. "And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." Peace they love and peace they shall have. If they find not abundance of gold, abundance of peace will serve their turn far better. Others find joy in strife, and thence arises their misery in due time, but peace leads on to peace, and the more a man loves it the more shall it come to him. In the halcyon period of the latter days, when universal peace shall make glad the earth, the full prophetic meaning of words like these will be made plain.
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