Wise Living (49, 37)
Torah (1; 19; 119)
A Look at Chiasm
Chiasms are like mirrors. The text is separated into sections, and at the top and bottom of the Psalm they have similar themes. The next section does as well, all the way until they meet in the middle, and that is usually the focal point of the Psalm.
Do not be agitated by evildoers; do not envy those who do wrong. For they wither quickly like grass and wilt like tender green plants. Trust in the Lord and do what is good; dwell in the land and live securely. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act, making your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like the noonday. Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him; do not be agitated by one who prospers in his way, by the man who carries out evil plans. Refrain from anger and give up your rage; do not be agitated—it can only bring harm.
For evildoers will be destroyed, but those who put their hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
A little while, and the wicked person will be no more; though you look for him, he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land and will enjoy abundant prosperity. The wicked person schemes against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him. The Lord laughs at him because He sees that his day is coming. The wicked have drawn the sword and strung the bow to bring down the afflicted and needy and to slaughter those whose way is upright. Their swords will enter their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.
The little that the righteous man has is better than the abundance of many wicked people.
For the arms of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord supports the righteous.
The Lord watches over the blameless all their days, and their inheritance will last forever.
They will not be disgraced in times of adversity; they will be satisfied in days of hunger.
But the wicked will perish; the Lord’s enemies, like the glory of the pastures, will fade away— they will fade away like smoke.
The wicked man borrows and does not repay, but the righteous one is gracious and giving.
Those who are blessed by Him will inherit the land, but those cursed by Him will be destroyed.
A man’s steps are established by the Lord, and He takes pleasure in his way.
Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, because the Lord holds his hand.
I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous abandoned or his children begging for bread. He is always generous, always lending, and his children are a blessing.
Turn away from evil and do what is good, and dwell there forever. For the Lord loves justice and will not abandon His faithful ones. They are kept safe forever, but the children of the wicked will be destroyed. The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it permanently. The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom; his tongue speaks what is just. The instruction of his God is in his heart; his steps do not falter. The wicked one lies in wait for the righteous and seeks to kill him; the Lord will not leave him in the power of the wicked one or allow him to be condemned when he is judged.
Wait for the Lord and keep His way, and He will exalt you to inherit the land. You will watch when the wicked are destroyed.
I have seen a wicked, violent man well-rooted like a flourishing native tree. Then I passed by and noticed he was gone; I searched for him, but he could not be found. Watch the blameless and observe the upright, for the man of peace will have a future. But transgressors will all be eliminated; the future of the wicked will be destroyed. The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord, their refuge in a time of distress. The Lord helps and delivers them; He will deliver them from the wicked and will save them because they take refuge in Him.
How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. The wicked are not like this; instead, they are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not survive the judgment, and sinners will not be in the community of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.
Did I purify my heart and wash my hands in innocence for nothing? For I am afflicted all day long and punished every morning. If I had decided to say these things aloud, I would have betrayed Your people. When I tried to understand all this, it seemed hopeless until I entered God’s sanctuary. Then I understood their destiny. Indeed, You put them in slippery places; You make them fall into ruin. How suddenly they become a desolation! They come to an end, swept away by terrors. Like one waking from a dream, Lord, when arising, You will despise their image.