37 Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.
38 But the rebellious will be destroyed; they have no future.
Psalm 37:37-38 (NLT)
Welcome to the 23rd installment on my study of Psalm 37.
God wants us to look at those who are honest and good. They love peace. As a result, they have a wonderful future waiting for them. However the rebellious will suffer the opposite.
Psalm 37:37 gives us 3 criteria for a wonderful future. They are honesty, goodness and love peace. Let us go through them in detail.
Honest (source: dictionary.com)
noun, plural -ties.
1. the quality or fact of being honest; uprightness and fairness.
2. truthfulness, sincerity, or frankness.
3. freedom from deceit or fraud.
There are basically 2 parts of being honest. The first is being truthful and the second is not deceitful. Some may ask, “Are they not the same?” When we are truthful, we only say things or make remarks that we believe is true. For example, when a religious man says Christians who do not obey God will go to hell and he believes in it, he is being truthful. He is truthful because he truly believes what he said.
However, when he promotes his religion to a non-believer by telling this person that salvation is by faith alone and intentionally leaving out the part that says Christians who do not obey God will go to hell, he is being deceitful. Why? He is intentionally leaving out material facts. Material facts are facts that will a difference on how the recipient makes decisions. In this example, the non-believer was lead to think that God loves him unconditionally and one does not have to do anything to earn it. He was attracted to the Gospel and become a Christian. However, after a few weeks, he was told that he must do certain things or God will send him to hell. The unconditional love has suddenly become conditional.
This is deceit. I fell for that before when I was in my previous religious church. In fact, I believe religious churches are founded upon this deceit. If you are interested to attend church, make sure the church you attend preaches faith and not religion.
For this reason, I have greater respect for the Roman Catholic Church than those religious “Protestant” churches. The Catholics dare to be honest. They reject salvation by faith up-front and do not hide their beliefs. I may not agree with their beliefs but I admire their honesty. In contrast, the religious “Protestant” churches used salvation by faith as a marketing gimmick and once they could get people to join, they began to impose bondage. Salvation by faith has become salvation by doing what I tell you to do.
Therefore, being honest means more than telling the truth. It means telling the whole truth without hiding any relevant facts.
Good (source: dictionary.com)
1. morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious: a good man.
2. satisfactory in quality, quantity, or degree: a good teacher; good health.
3. of high quality; excellent.
4. right; proper; fit: It is good that you are here. His credentials are good.
5. well-behaved: a good child.
6. kind, beneficent, or friendly: to do a good deed.
7. honorable or worthy; in good standing: a good name.
There is a long list of definitions for this term. I think the first 7 are sufficient for this article. Another word for goodness is excellence. We are to excel morally and in areas God puts us in. We are to strive to do the best we can in our jobs, ministry and family. It does not matter what kind of job you are in, there is always opportunities to do better. How to do that? I don’t know. You have to seek God and ask for his direction to show you how to improve yourself. God wants us to be good and he means it.
Peace (source: dictionary.com)
1. the normal, nonwarring condition of a nation, group of nations, or the world.
2. (often initial capital letter) an agreement or treaty between warring or antagonistic nations, groups, etc., to end hostilities and abstain from further fighting or antagonism: the Peace of Ryswick.
3. a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, esp. in personal relations: Try to live in peace with your neighbors.
4. the normal freedom from civil commotion and violence of a community; public order and security: He was arrested for being drunk and disturbing the peace.
5. cessation of or freedom from any strife or dissension.
6. freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, an obsession, etc.; tranquillity; serenity.
7. a state of tranquillity or serenity: May he rest in peace.
Based on the above definitions, loving peace means not to create or involve in strives or anything that creates bitterness and enmity. We don’t cause people to fight each other nor do we make people feel anxious or lose hope. Religious people may like to do that for the sake of defending their “True Religion” but we don’t. We are Christians. Christians do not resort to evil means to fight for our religion because we are not evil and we have no religion.
Psalm 37:37 tells us that when we are honest, good and love peace. We have a wonderful future. It does not say how wonderful it is. However I believe this future must be filled with prosperity in every area of our lives. So rejoice and be glad because we have a wonderful future waiting for us. It is a future of great prosperity. Let us look forward with joy in our hearts.
Psalm 37:38 tells us that the rebellious will be destroyed and they have no future. The rebellious are those who rebel against God. How do they rebel against God? They did it by doing opposite of God’s direction. Why do people destroyed by rebelling against God?
Let me put it this way. If you truly believe in God’s Word, then you must believe that the greatest wish of God for you is for you to prosper and be in health as your soul prospers. This means every thing that God tells you to do must lead to your prosperity. Obeying God will cause your to prosper. Guess what happen if you rebel, meaning you do opposite of what God tells you? The result must be the opposite of prosperity. There will be poverty instead of prosperity. This is why the rebellious will be destroyed and they have no future. God is not the one who destroyed them. Their result of their rebellion destroyed them.