In Psalm 37 David reminds us to fret not because of evildoers. If anyone has a right to give advice about how to handle evildoers, David does. Those evildoers in David’s life included some who walked as friends with him but betrayed him, those who refused his leadership in their lives, those who sat as accusers, jury and judges over him. It is safe to say that David had many evil doers in his life.
But what does it mean to “fret not”? The word fret does not have the meaning that we associate with it today; worry. It means to anger. In other words, don’t get angry about those evildoers in your life. That includes those that cut you off in traffic, those that abuse your kindnesses or even those who intentionally try to do you harm. Now we’ve got a more present reality application.
But how should we view those that offend us? David goes on to admonish us to remember that God sees all that has been done against His inheritance and He alone knows the evildoer’s outcome, which will not be good if repentance does not happen. Their lives are like a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow. Refraining from anger protects us from retaliating against those who have offended us which often, if not always, leads to sin.
David reminds us to keep God as our focus as we establish our behaviors. He uses the directives, “Trust in the Lord and do good, Delight yourself in the Lord, Commit your way to the Lord, Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him,” and “Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath.” We can rest, relax, and enjoy life once we let God handle those evil doers in our lives. There is freedom in this Psalm.