The Message

Psalm 37

A David Psalm

11-2 Don’t bother your head with braggarts
    or wish you could succeed like the wicked.
In no time they’ll shrivel like grass clippings
    and wilt like cut flowers in the sun.

3-4 Get insurance with God and do a good deed,
    settle down and stick to your last.
Keep company with God,
    get in on the best.

5-6 Open up before God, keep nothing back;
    he’ll do whatever needs to be done:
He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day
    and stamp you with approval at high noon.

Quiet down before God,
    be prayerful before him.
Don’t bother with those who climb the ladder,
    who elbow their way to the top.

8-9 Bridle your anger, trash your wrath,
    cool your pipes—it only makes things worse.
Before long the crooks will be bankrupt;
    God-investors will soon own the store.

10-11 Before you know it, the wicked will have had it;
    you’ll stare at his once famous place and—nothing!
Down-to-earth people will move in and take over,
    relishing a huge bonanza.

12-13 Bad guys have it in for the good guys,
    obsessed with doing them in.
But God isn’t losing any sleep; to him
    they’re a joke with no punch line.

14-15 Bullies brandish their swords,
    pull back on their bows with a flourish.
They’re out to beat up on the harmless,
    or mug that nice man out walking his dog.
A banana peel lands them flat on their faces—
    slapstick figures in a moral circus.

16-17 Less is more and more is less.
    One righteous will outclass fifty wicked,
For the wicked are moral weaklings
    but the righteous are God-strong.

18-19 God keeps track of the decent folk;
    what they do won’t soon be forgotten.
In hard times, they’ll hold their heads high;
    when the shelves are bare, they’ll be full.

20 God-despisers have had it;
    God’s enemies are finished—
Stripped bare like vineyards at harvest time,
    vanished like smoke in thin air.

21-22 Wicked borrows and never returns;
    Righteous gives and gives.
Generous gets it all in the end;
    Stingy is cut off at the pass.

23-24 Stalwart walks in step with God;
    his path blazed by God, he’s happy.
If he stumbles, he’s not down for long;
    God has a grip on his hand.

25-26 I once was young, now I’m a graybeard—
    not once have I seen an abandoned believer,
    or his kids out roaming the streets.
Every day he’s out giving and lending,
    his children making him proud.

27-28 Turn your back on evil,
    work for the good and don’t quit.
God loves this kind of thing,
    never turns away from his friends.

28-29 Live this way and you’ve got it made,
    but bad eggs will be tossed out.
The good get planted on good land
    and put down healthy roots.

30-31 Righteous chews on wisdom like a dog on a bone,
rolls virtue around on his tongue.
His heart pumps God’s Word like blood through his veins;
    his feet are as sure as a cat’s.

32-33 Wicked sets a watch for Righteous,
he’s out for the kill.
God, alert, is also on watch—
    Wicked won’t hurt a hair of his head.

34 Wait passionately for God,
don’t leave the path.
He’ll give you your place in the sun
    while you watch the wicked lose it.

35-36 I saw Wicked bloated like a toad,
croaking pretentious nonsense.
The next time I looked there was nothing—
    a punctured bladder, vapid and limp.

37-38 Keep your eye on the healthy soul,
scrutinize the straight life;
There’s a future
    in strenuous wholeness.
But the willful will soon be discarded;
    insolent souls are on a dead-end street.

39-40 The spacious, free life is from God,
it’s also protected and safe.
God-strengthened, we’re delivered from evil—
    when we run to him, he saves us.

New International Reader's Version

Psalm 37

Psalm 37

A psalm of David.

Don’t be upset because of sinful people.
    Don’t be jealous of those who do wrong.
Like grass, they will soon dry up.
    Like green plants, they will soon die.

Trust in the Lord and do good.
    Then you will live in the land and enjoy its food.
Find your delight in the Lord.
    Then he will give you everything your heart really wants.

Commit your life to the Lord.
    Here is what he will do if you trust in him.
He will make the reward for your godly life shine like the dawn.
    He will make the proof of your honest life shine like the sun at noon.

Be still and wait patiently for the Lord to act.
    Don’t be upset when other people succeed.
    Don’t be upset when they carry out their evil plans.

Turn away from anger and don’t give in to wrath.
    Don’t be upset, because that only leads to evil.
Sinful people will be destroyed.
    But those who put their hope in the Lord will receive the land.

10 In a little while, there won’t be any more sinners.
    Even if you look for them, you won’t be able to find them.
11 But those who are free of pride will be given the land.
    They will enjoy peace and success.

12 Sinful people make plans to harm those who do what is right.
    They grind their teeth at them.
13 But the Lord laughs at those who do evil.
    He knows the day is coming when he will judge them.

14 Sinners pull out their swords.
    They bend their bows.
They want to kill poor and needy people.
    They plan to murder those who lead honest lives.
15 But they will be killed by their own swords.
    Their own bows will be broken.

16 Those who do what is right may have very little.
    But it’s better than the wealth of many sinners.
17 The power of those who are evil will be broken.
    But the Lord takes good care of those who do what is right.

18 Those who are without blame spend their days in the Lord’s care.
    What he has given them will last forever.
19 When trouble comes to them, they will have what they need.
    When there is little food in the land, they will still have plenty.

20 But sinful people will die.
    The Lord’s enemies may be like flowers in the field.
    But they will be swallowed up.
    They will disappear like smoke.

21 Sinful people borrow and don’t pay back.
    But those who are godly give freely to others.
22 The Lord will give the land to those he blesses.
    But he will destroy those he curses.

23 The Lord makes secure the footsteps
of the person who delights in him,
24 Even if that person trips, he won’t fall.
    The Lord’s hand takes good care of him.

25 I once was young, and now I’m old.
    But I’ve never seen godly people deserted.
    I’ve never seen their children begging for bread.
26 The godly are always giving and lending freely.
    Their children will be a blessing.

27 Turn away from evil and do good.
    Then you will live in the land forever.
28 The Lord loves those who are honest.
    He will not desert those who are faithful to him.

Those who do wrong will be completely destroyed.
    The children of sinners will die.
29 Those who do what is right will be given the land.
    They will live in it forever.

30 The mouths of those who do what is right speak words of wisdom.
    They say what is honest.
31 God’s law is in their hearts.
    Their feet do not slip.

32 Those who are evil hide and wait for godly people.
    They want to kill them.
33 But the Lord will not leave the godly in their power.
    He will not let them be found guilty when they are brought into court.

34 Put your hope in the Lord.
    Live as he wants you to.
He will honor you by giving you the land.
    When sinners are destroyed, you will see it.

35 I saw a mean and sinful person.
    He was doing well, like a green tree in its own land.
36 But he soon passed away and was gone.
    Even though I looked for him, I couldn’t find him.

37 Consider honest people who are without blame.
    People who seek peace will have a tomorrow.
38 But all sinners will be destroyed.
    Those who are evil won’t have a tomorrow.

39 The Lord saves those who do what is right.
    He is their place of safety when trouble comes.
40 The Lord helps them and saves them.
    He saves them from sinful people
    because they go to him for safety.