Hebrew refers to the book of "Praises". Greek refers to book of songs and was associated with music accompaniment. 2 Timothy 3:16 speaks to 'all scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, rebuking, for correcting and for training in all righteousness.' The Psalms constituted Israel's ancient, god breathed 'hymn' book describing the proper spirit and content of worship. This psalm, 37 was written by King David in his old age. This is referenced in verse 25 'I have been young and now I am old...' this Psalm speaks of wisdom and the instruction in wisdom, which comes from living and experiencing life - the day to day reality of man's sinfulness, behavior patterns of the wicked and also the periodic stumbling of believers. Life often seems out of control, and yet when events and situations are understood in the light of God's divine providence as being right on course according to God's timetable. Throughout the Psalms there is an assuring glimpse of the future, of God's day, that encourages us and calls for a perseverance to the end. (A book of praise in practical theology is written.)
MacArthur writes, the psalms of King David show an association between the 'one' (psalmist) and the 'many' (people) there is an inseparable relationship between the mediatorial ruler and his people; as life went for the king, so it went for the people.
The psalms often follow a format in which the psalmist describes a problem in the first few verses, considers it in light of humanity and God, comes to a point of faith and praise, and ends up worshiping God. This does not show lack of faith, but a mature consideration of how life and faith interact. Frequently psalmists cry out for God to help the needy or helpless. We understand their concern, since we do the same thing when we ask, "Where was God when such-and-such tragedy occurs?" For the psalmists, there was no doubt God would act to save His people, even if they waited long for their rescue.
Often the psalms compared the lifestyle of the wicked, who do not know and serve God, with those who love and live for Him. David speaks of his own innocence, in comparison to the wicked. (PS 37:35-36) When psalmists speak of their own lack of sin, they do not claim personal perfection. Clearly, from the needs they brought before their Lord, they were more than aware of their own ability to be pure. But their hearts desired to live to honor God and do His will lifelong. These are the hallmarks of faithful Christians, though they may experience times of great failure. No one other than God is consistently perfect. But those who have experienced God's salvation daily seek to become more like Him.
All cycles of human troubles, and triumph provide occasions for expressing human complaints, confidence, prayers, or praise, to Israel's sovereign Lord. The basic theme of Psalms is living real life in the real world. The people of God are to live joyfully and dependently on the Person of God and His promises.
Ps. 37:4 Then you will take delight in the Lord, and he will answer your prayers. (NET Bible)
I was drawn to take a closer look at the verb delight and meditate and search for the meaning of delighting in the Lord God. Delight is a sense of joy and pleasure, experienced especially through achievements or relationships. What pleasure and joy have I experienced in my relationship with God? Peace, definitely and I could recount many instances of peace when I am interacting and involved with the will of my Father. Now, JOY is another matter to contemplate and perhaps this is the change that has been taking place in these last few years of transition and transformation. Joy, is a quality or attitude of delight and happiness, which is ultimately grounded in the work of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So, joy would be experienced in the presence of God...being, not an action! BIG concept to grasp for myself and for many believers. When I think of delight and joy I envision an artesian well that just bubbles up from the earth effortlessly. An artesian well works by natural pressure; a well drilled through impermeable rocks into strata where water is under enough pressure to force it to the surface without pumping.
If you will follow me here on this, our delight and joy of our relationship with God our Father by natural pressure is forced to the surface of our interactions with others as an overflow of the relationship and enjoyment in our original and first relationship...that with our deep communion with God! Let's take a look at another scripture which speaks to this joy of God...Phil 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again Rejoice!" We are called to have a joyful response to all that God has done for us! The truly godly person both longs for God's presence, where one pours out one's heart to God in joy, prayer and thanksgiving, and lives in God's presence by "doing" the righteousness of God. The late Christian writer and preacher John Bunyon expresses that a delighted relationship is one in which the desires of God and the desires of the righteous are in agreement; both are of one mind in desire. (This is the point of the verse) Spurgeon writes this which I have adapted for myself in an attempt to make it more personal, I don't think he or God would mind this adaptation: "Come and sit down with me God, as I retire myself to You, and solace myself in the delights which are to be found in Your presence and in walking and talking with You and transacting my course (my day, my week, my life) before You and in Your sight."
The 37th Psalm is one that speaks of trust and wisdom instruction in a world that has sinners and those of the world living lives that LOOK successful and happy, but remember this is a short lived life that withers and fades away. We as faithful followers are encouraged to trust in God, do good, dwell in the land, cultivate faithfulness, delight in God, commit our ways to God and trust in God! If we are faithful followers, we will desire the right things, because YHWY has informed our thoughts (Jer 31:31-34 with a covenant of grace; Eze 36:26-27 with a new heart and new Spirit). God will give the desires of a heart turn toward Him, He will bring forth righteousness and justice. What does "Love" delight in? Love delights in 'right-doing'. Love delights in holiness. Our faith and obedience will bring divine blessing! Lord, You intimately know my heart, my needs and yes ultimately my desires! Please help me to call out to you in prayer and petition...seeking relationship that brings You delight and joy, and that delight and joy bubble up out of me that I might share it with others.
2 quotes that have spoken to me and when I visit them, help to redirect me that I can 'be':
"Men, don't study for a class, study for a life of ministry" Dr. William Lane Craig
"Success is not measured by what you are compared to others; success is what you are compared to what you could be!" Bill Gothard