Psalms – Chapter 37

The Meek Shall Inherit

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

David says that we should “run our own race” and not compete with evil people. Don’t envy their wealth because they will be cut down like grass and then they’ll dry up. (Just like grass cannot continue to thrive when removed from the soil, people cannot long endure when they are disconnected from G-d, Who is the source of our sustenance.) Rather, place your trust in G-d and perform acts of goodness; if you do, you will be able to be sustained by Him, physically and spiritually.

Those who have faith will be fulfilled by their service to G-d. Because of this, He will surely grant your desires. Your righteousness will be obvious to all and you will have nothing to hide. Don’t question G-d, just wait for Him. Don’t copy the wicked, even if they seem successful in a materialistic sense. Give up your anger – or, perhaps, give up your evil so that G-d will give up HIS anger!

The evil ones will soon be destroyed and the humble will inherit the world. (Sound familiar? That’s from here.) Evil people plot against their neighbors, but G-d laughs at them because He knows their time is almost up. They prepare their weapons against the innocent, but those plots will backfire against them. The righteous are more satisfied with a little than the wicked are with a lot. Not only will the weapons of the evil ones be broken, so will their arms! (The Radak says this means that they will have no ability whatsoever to harm the righteous.)

G-d is well aware of the kind acts performed daily by the righteous; they will inherit an eternal reward. They will not be made ashamed in times of trouble. On the other hand, the wicked ones, who oppose G-d, will be destroyed quickly and completely. What’s one difference between the wicked and the righteous? The wicked borrow, never intending to repay; the righteous give generously to others. (Rashi says that the righteous one is G-d, Who repays lenders whatever evil borrowers default.)

A person with strong faith in G-d walks confidently in His path. Even when he’s down, he knows that G-d would never cast him away. “I was young,” says David, “and now I’m old, but I’ve never seen a righteous person abandoned by G-d so that his children had to beg for bread.” (If this verse sounds familiar, it’s because it’s said at the end of bentching – grace after meals – according to most customs.) Even when times are tough, the righteous person shares what he has as best he can. His children emulate his ways and are a blessing to him. So give up evil and do only good, which G-d loves, and you will always feel secure.

A righteous person speaks words of wisdom and justice. The Torah is in his heart, so his thoughts and words are consistent and he will not stumble. The evil wait to ambush the righteous, but G-d will not allow this to occur. If you put your faith in G-d and guard the path of Torah, He will raise you high and you will witness the judgment of the evil ones. “I once saw an evil man, who was quite prosperous,” David says, “but one day he was just gone. Every trace of him disappeared, body and soul.” The righteous, however, have a future (in the Next World).

G-d is the One Who saves the righteous when trouble comes looking for them. He saves them because they put their trust in Him.

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