Notes on Psalm 37:3-7
"Trust in the Lord." The Hebrew verb batach literally means "to throw ourselves upon them." On the contrary, God invites us to do so. Have you ever returned from a long, wearisome journey, and on reaching home you felt you could do nothing but just throw yourself down? Have you ever felt so weary with the load of care that you could not go one step farther, and were compelled to throw yourself on your knees and pray to God? By throwing yourself and your care on God, you obtained rest - that is trust.
Delight thyself also in the Lord." "Softness," "delicacy" and "delight" are words closely allied in Hebrew. The verb anag, translated into English is, "delight," and means "to live softly." The word indicates a state of a soul (far beyond boisterous joy, which is often superficial and transitory), characterized by deep, placid, calm joy. The finest notes of music are necessarily soft; so also the finest feelings of the soul. And to have those in peaceful harmony (no jarring carnality), fully satisfied, with the all-absorbing object, which is God Himself - this is delight. Mr. Darby has expressed the thought beautifully in the following lines:
"Yet deeper, if a calmer, joy
The Father's love shall raise,
And every heart find sweet employ
In His eternal praise.
Nor is its sweetness now unknown
Well proved in what it's done;
Our Father's love with joy we own,
Revealed in Christ the Son."
It is said, "Still waters run deep"; and I would add, "Deep joy flows softly."
"Commit thy way unto the Lord." Our "way" is just our life in activity, whether it be looked at as moral walk our whole, or as the whole sphere of our service. It may be past, present, and future. As to the past, there may be regret; as to the present, there may be occasion for care; as to the future, there may be reason for anxiety. By rolling all this on God, we have rest of mind. The word galal means "to roll." This particular load is not like the load of sins, which can be thrown down; it requires another to bear it, not in an atoning sense, but as "a very present help." The cares of life cannot be got rid of by simply dropping them. We have to think, deliberate, act, provide and so on. But this load can be rolled on to "Another", who undertakes for us.
A huge stone was being transported to a building. The trolley on which it lay gave evidence of breaking down. Another trolley, stronger and more suitable, was run alongside, and the stone was "rolled on" to it. This illustrates, I think, the meaning of the word galal. Our "way" is not dropped as if it were nothing (for, in reality, it is everything), but rolled on to God, who is our "very present help." The business man, workman, house-wife, teacher, etc., all have their "way"; and if they roll this on God, as He desires them to do so, they will walk along with light and joyful step.
"Rest in the Lord." Here we come to what I would term the summon bonum (height) of bliss. The word daman means "to be still" or "to be silent." In this state of real, genuine bliss, we are speechless. The soul adopts her own language, which is silence, and is so to speak, entranced with the goodness of God. Every human faculty is suspended, and in silent worship the souls rests in the presence of God.