17 For the strength of the wicked will be shattered, but the Lord takes care of the godly.
Psalm 37:17 (NLT)
Welcome to the ninth installment on my study of Psalm 37. There are 2 parts in this verse. The first part tells us that the strength of the wicked will be shattered and the second part says the Lord takes care of the godly.
The wicked has some strength in them and this strength can make them appear to be invincible. This reminds me of the Israelites when they first reached the Promised Land. Moses sent out 12 scout to survey the land. 10 of them focused on the strength of their enemies.
27 This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces.
28 But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak!
29 The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan Valley.”
Numbers 13:27-29 (NLT)
In their report, they confirmed the presence of a bountiful country. A land flowing with milk and honey refers to a land of prosperity. They even brought back some samples of the land’s produce to prove that God has indeed kept his promise in prospering his people.
However, the problem was, they focused on the strength of the enemies instead on the faithfulness of their God. When the 10 scouts described the people living there to be powerful with large and fortified towns, they were not just reporting some facts. They were discouraged because they chose to focus on the strength of their enemies.
Could this be the situation you are going through right now? You have been trusting God to lead you to your own Promised Land. It could be a promotion, new job or a new business. As you move along toward your goal, you hit some setbacks. You feel discouraged and thought you would never achieve your goals because the obstacles look too big and powerful to you. Why would you feel this way? Obviously, like the 10 scouts you have allowed yourself to focus too much on the strength of your enemies instead on the faithfulness of your God. If you are in this condition, you should repent. Repentance means turning around from focusing on the strength of the enemies to the faithfulness of God.
This was what Caleb tried to do in order to encourage his people to march in to take their inheritance.
30 But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!”
Numbers 13:30 (NLT)
What gives Caleb such courage? He must have believed that the strength of the wicked will be shattered, but the Lord takes care of the godly. In other words, he did not allow himself to be preoccupied with the strength of his enemies. He chose to believe that his God will shatter their strength and take care of his people.
Did his people respond positively? No, they got more negative than ever.
31 But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!”
32 So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge.
33 We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!”
Numbers 13:31-33 (NLT)
They were so confident of being devoured by their enemies, even to the level of feeling like grasshoppers. In today’s term, they would have called Caleb a “Prosperity Preacher” for preaching the “Prosperity Gospel”. As a result of their rebellion, they could not enter the land God has promised them.
You may feel that your enemies are too powerful for you. This enemy can be some people, a bad situation, disease or lack. God wants you to know that no matter how powerful they are, he will shatter their strength. Once their strength is shattered, they will no longer able to oppress you. The Lord will take care of you. You only have to believe. It is only through faith that you can have the courage of Caleb. You will be able to say “Let’s go at once to take the land, we can certainly conquer it!”
In conclusion, God wants us to triumph over every challenge that comes into our way. Focus on God instead of the problem. Through Christ we are more than conquerors.