# 146 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 37 Consequences!

In his book, “The Rage against God – how atheism led me to faith” (Zondervan 2010), Peter Hitchens (brother of professed atheist Christopher Hitchens), writes about “why an honest assessment of atheism cannot sustain disbelief in God”. In it he quotes from another book, which reads:

“It is exactly the explicit denial of the intervention of any God, or indeed of any will other than human will in the universe, that has attracted to Soviet Communism the sympathies of many intellectuals, and especially of scientists in civilized countries.” (Soviet Communism: A New Civilization? written in the 1930s by S & B Webb).

Hitchens comments: “Any student of gullibility amongst the intelligent and worldly should study [this book] …It purports to be a respectable and carefully researched account of the USSR under Stalin. Its picture of a rational paradise of human progress is so wholly and completely false and can now be shown to be so at every turn by libraries full of records and by mountains of human skulls”.

(Wikipedia suggests “that Stalin was ultimately responsible for the deaths of between 20 and 25 million people.”)

And today, despite the proven history of the failure and tragedy of such despotic and atheistic regimes, outspoken atheists remain convinced that to live without belief in God is the answer to all our problems. Societies and people seeking to run their countries or their lives minus “the intervention of” God (which is actually impossible!), continue to end up  not only missing out on His rich blessings but often leaving a trail of human destruction.

David gave some great advice when confronted by evil people and how we as believers should respond:

Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

Psalm 37 is known as a Wisdom Psalm. Brueggemann comments:

“It is a collection of sayings that might easily be found in the Book of Proverbs.” The main assumption being “that the world is ordered [by God], that conformity or nonconformity to this order has consequences, that the main issues of order concern social conduct. The theological point is that well-being (or lack of it) depends on knowing the [Creator and his] order of creation, which is experienced in this community as social expectation.” (#2)

If any society (not just one based on communist ideals), moves away from God and His plan for the world, then society begins to break down.  In fact, just like the person who turns from God and does evil, they like the grass … will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.

The alternative is to understand and apply the wisdom of the Bible as we read about it here in Psalm 37.

To not fret or be envious, but to trust in the Lord and do good and to take delight in the Lord, knowing that he will give you the desires of your heart. Then to commit your way to the Lord and trust in him. To be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. To also refrain from anger and turn from wrath remembering that those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

As Blaiklock concludes: “The man [and woman] who trusts God is secure…’The world and all its passionate desires’, wrote John, ‘will one day disappear. But the man [and woman] who is following God’s will is part of the permanent and cannot die.’ (1 John 2:17 J.B. Phillips)”         (# 39)

Father, what an incredible privilege it is to believe in you and know that in relationship to you we are secure. Thank you for the death and resurrection of Jesus and that in him we have, not only abundant life here and now, but eternal life in your presence. Open the eyes of those who seek to live their lives minus your intervention. Reveal your love and grace to them. Amen. 

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