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Psalm 37:32-33 Study & Meaning

Staff Member
The wicked watches the righteous,
And seeks to slay him.
The LORD will not leave him in his hand,
Nor condemn him when he is judged.
~ Psalm 37:32-33

What do you think of this passage in light of persecuted Christians and what appears as the wicked people succeeding in their evil ways? I was curious as I read this from my NLT study bible. Then found some study commentary here: Psalm 37

(32-33) The character and the response of the wicked.

a. The wicked watches the righteous, and seeks to slay him: In considering the remarkable blessings God has appointed to the righteous, David did not think it meant their life would be easy. One danger continually faced was from the wicked who hates the righteous without cause.

i. “There want not those still that carry about Cain’s bloody club, hating to the death that goodness in another that they neglect in themselves.” (Trapp)

b. The LORD will not leave him in his hand: Thankfully, the righteous man or woman is not at the mercy of the wicked. God will protect them, particularly in the ultimate judgment (nor condemn him when he is judged).

i. “And the day is coming, when he who hath stood tamely at the bar of men, and hath suffered for truth and righteousness, shall be advanced to a throne among the saints and martyrs, to assist at the trial of his once-insulting judges.” (Horne)
Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.
Matthew 26:31

Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith YHWH of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.
Zechariah 13:7
That passage speaks to me of the fact that our lives are in God's hands. Not the wicked. If we suffer at their hands, it is His will. It is not a case of God abandoning us and leaving us in their hands.

The last line 'nor condemn him when he is judged' clarifies the fact that the righteous will not be judged for their wrong doings. Someone who has just laid their life down for God and endured suffering for His name, will not now endure more suffering at the hands of God.
2 Cor 4:7; But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;
2 Cor 4:8; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;
2 Cor 4:9; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
2 Cor 4:10; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
2 Cor 4:11; For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
2 Cor 4:12; So death works in us, but life in you.

It seems when we are afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, struck down, and constantly being delivered over the death.
... that the life of Jesus also may be manifested... in our lives, there is a reward for this.

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