Psalm 37:31
The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not falter.
Slippery PlacesT. C. Finlayson.Psalm 37:31
The Divine Law in the HeartHomilistPsalm 37:31
The Divine Law in the HeartE. H. Chapin, D. D.Psalm 37:31
The Law of God in the HeartRobert Hall, M. A.Psalm 37:31
The Good Man's DirectoryC. Clemance Psalm 37:1-40
Two PicturesW. Forsyth Psalm 37:1-40
GoodnessW. Forsyth Psalm 37:27-34
Evil-DoersW. Forsyth Psalm 37:27-40
Evil-doers are not truly objects of envy. The more closely we contemplate this, the more clearly do we see their baseness. But it is needful that we should be urged to this salutary duty. Again and again in this psalm is the exhortation addressed to us to consider and judge rightly, to cease from evil and learn to do well. And there are good and weighty reasons given why we should have no part with evil-doers.


II. THEIR PROSPERITY IS DELUSIVE. Image upon image is used to set forth the vanity and worthlessness of all prosperity not founded in righteousness. Reason, observation, and history are appealed to as teaching that sometimes quickly, at other times slowly, sometimes openly, at other times silently and secretly, but always certainly, the end cometh (ver. 38).

III. THEIR DEVICES ARE DOOMED TO DEFEAT. We see, on the part of the wicked, malice suggesting, cunning contriving, and energy working out their evil devices, and, on the other hand, God watching and thwarting and overruling for good all their plans. So it was with Joseph's brethren (Acts 7:9, 10). So it was with Daniel's cruel foes (Daniel 6:24). So it was with the Jews, whose wicked hands had crucified the Son of God (Acts 2:23, 24). The day of retribution surely cometh. Not only defeat, but "shame and everlasting contempt," await the wicked. - W.F.

The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

1. An acquaintance with the law, considered as the standard of holiness, as the rule of action.

2. An habitual reference to God's mind and will.

3. A deep sense of the obligation of the law of God, accompanied with a sincere resolution of implicit and unreserved obedience.

4. A love to the law of God after "the inner man."

5. In a good man this attachment to the law of God, and to the rules of duty, is progressive, and, with every accession of religious experience, becomes more vigorous and confirmed.

II. ITS EFFECTS ON THE CHARACTER AND CONDUCT. "None of his steps shall slide." His steps shall not fatally slide; he shall maintain a uniform and consistent deportment.

1. The violence of temptation shall not overpower him.

2. The suddenness of it shall not surprise him.

3. The deceitfulness of it shall not seduce him.

4. The example of the multitude shall not prevail.

(Robert Hall, M. A.)


1. Its source is love.

2. Its requirement is love.


1. The law of peace.

2. The law of life.

3. The law of liberty.


1. This law of love will guard him from theological errors. A God-loving heart is the best interpreter of Scripture.

2. This law of love will guard him from moral errors. He who loves God supremely will delight in doing His will.


1. One marked characteristic of this is that it inspires him with the power of an unlimited ideal. A high ideal is the spring of social progress and public enterprise. Who can calculate the soul's capabilities, and the mighty sweep of its orbit? It sees in Christ the highest example of excellence, and it goes on becoming more and more like Him, without ever arriving at a point beyond which it cannot pass. The man under the influence of this ideal is the truly practical man, his course of conduct being according to the laws of his being and adapted to the desired end. Christ is formed in him the hope of glory.

2. This develops the individuality of a man. Sensualism destroys individuality. The drunkard, in more senses than one, throws himself away. lie unmans himself. But the man described in the text acts under a constant sense of responsibility. He feels that he must act himself and must stand or fall for himself. He knows that an act can only be performed by an individual, and that he must obey the law himself, or there will be no obedience so far as he is concerned.

3. The life of such a man is positive. He does not try to see how near he can go to the edge of the precipice of wrong without falling over. But he goes on. He has a filial love that inclines him in a positive way to his heavenly Father.

4. Harmony of thought and word. The words are the direct expressions of the thoughts, because these are vivified by the heart's warm emotion. The law in the life is not a mere matter of memory. Paul truly says: "The law of the spirit of life hath saved me from the law of sin and death." The heart in an important sense in the man — it is the mainspring of action, and gives nob only efficiency, but harmony.

(E. H. Chapin, D. D.)

(with Psalm 73:18; Psalm 94:18): — The slipping or sliding of the foot is used in the Bible as an emblem, chiefly, of three dangers.

I. THE DANGER OF FALLING INTO SIN THROUGH TEMPTATION. If once you fall into the sin, you may, doubtless, rise again; but ah! you may rise sadly bruised, and perchance you may carry the mark of the bruise all your days! Even though we slip, it is well for us if we do not fall. But it is better still not even to slip, if we can help it. The spirit and the habits of godliness will lessen for us the dangers of temptation.

II. THE DANGER OF FALLING INTO RUIN THROUGH SIN (Psalm 73:18). God has many methods of dealing with sinners. Sometimes He appeals to them by His "goodness"; at other times by His "severity." But if the sinner will not listen, then God lets the man have his own way — for a time! Oh, terrible punishment!

III. THE DANGER OF FALLING INTO UNBELIEF THROUGH ADVERSITY (Psalm 94:18). There are those who, when they come into these dark and troublous experiences, and their foot is slipping into unbelief, will not lay hold of the supporting arm of God; they nurse a morbid gloom. Is it not enough to lose earthly wealth, without losing also, through our unbelief, the heavenly treasure? Is it not enough to lose by death the conscious companionship of some dear friend, without losing also, through our unbelief, the conscious friendship of Him who is the best of all friends? Let us, then, whenever we come into the slippery places of adversity, seek to grasp by faith the Cross of Calvary, that the mercy of God, revealed in Jesus Christ, may "hold us up."

(T. C. Finlayson.)

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