Daily Devotion

Psalm 37:8

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Saturday, 05 August 2017

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READ:

Psalm 37:8

8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

EXHORTATION:

The preceding context of this verse (vv. 1, 7) suggests that the anger is provoked by the unchecked actions of the wicked. The wicked was also prospering, causing much unhappiness and trouble to the man of God. So the godly man was advised, in verse 7, not to be overwhelmed by his frustration with the wicked – “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” Nonetheless, his patience was wearing thin. The unhindered progress of the wicked had filled him with displeasure and vexation. Because he had not paid attention to his own feelings, his angry heart was further inflamed. When anger is not checked, even within a godly man’s heart, it will produce evil thoughts and emotions. So Scripture advises us, “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.”

The first advice in our passage is to “cease from anger”. When anger rages within us, we must warn ourselves that we are entering a very perilous arena, strewn with many evils. Anger will engender disorderly conduct, disrespectful and hurtful words, dangerous and violent actions, and many other shameful and destructive evils. Proverbs 14:17 warns us that “He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly”. Proverbs 29:22 further admonishes us that “An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.” Proverbs 27:4 also reminds us that “Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?” Likewise, James 1:20 teaches us that “the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” So we must not feed our anger, but cease from it.

Secondly, we are advised to “forsake wrath”. We are not only to stop nursing the anger that we feel against others, but also to totally abandon it. We would rather shun and avoid anger than quietly harbour it in our hearts. So Paul said in Ephesians 4:31, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.” The final advice given to us is: “fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.” An uncontrolled, enraged mind will soon indulge in harsh and malicious remarks, or undesirable and deplorable actions. So as Paul says, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27).