Dwell in the land - Do not flee to foreign climes to escape from that providence which, for thy own good, denies thee affluence in thy own country.
And verily thou shalt be fed - God will provide for thee the necessaries of life: its conveniences might damp thy intellect in its inventions, and lead thee into idleness; and its superfluities would induce thee to pamper thy passions till the concerns of thy soul would be absorbed in those of the flesh and, after having lived an animal life, thou mightest die without God, and perish everlastingly.
The original, אמונה ורעה ureeh emunah, might be translated, "and feed by faith." The Septuagint has και ποιμανθησῃ επι τῳ πλουτῳ αυτης, and thou shalt feed upon its riches. The Vulgate Ethiopic, and Arabic, are the same. The Syriac, seek faith. The Chaldee, be strong in the faith. The Anglo-Saxon, and feeded thou shalt be in its welfare. Old Psalter, and thu sal be fed in ryches of it. But it is probable that אמונה emunah here signifies security. And thou shalt be fed in security.
Dr. Delaney supposed that the Psalm might have been written by David in the behalf of Mephibosheth, who, being falsely aecused by his servant Ziba, had formed the resolution to leave a land where he had met with such bad treatment. David, being convinced of his innocence, entreats him to dwell in the land, with the assurance of plenty and protection. It is more likely that it is addressed to the captives in Babylon; and contains the promise that they shall return to their own land, and again enjoy peace and plenty.
Trust in the Lord - Confide in him; rest on him. Instead of allowing the mind to be disturbed and sad, because there are wicked men upon the earth; because they are prosperous and apparently happy; because they may injure you in your person or reputation Psalm 37:6, calmly confide in God. Leave all this in his hands. Feel that he rules, and that what he permits is wisely permitted; and that whatever may occur, it will all be overruled for his own glory and the good of the universe.
And do good - Be engaged always in some work of benevolence.
(a) If there are wicked men in the world, if wickedness abounds around us, there is the more reason for our endeavoring to do good. If others are doing evil, we should do good; if they are wicked, we cannot do a better work than to do good to them, for the best way of meeting the wickedness of the world is to do it good.
(b) The best way to keep the mind from complaining, chafing, and fretting, is to be always engaged in doing good; to have the mind always occupied in something valuable and useful. Each one should have so much of his own to do that he will have no thee to murmur and complain, to allow the mind to prey on itself, or to “corrode” for lack of employment.
So shalt thou dwell in the land - This would be more correctly translated as a command: “Dwell in the land.” That is, abide safely or securely in the land - referring, perhaps, to “the land” as the land of promise - the country given to the people of God. The idea is, that they should abide there calmly and securely; that they should not worry themselves because there were wicked men upon the earth, and because they were successful, but that they should be thankful for their inheritance, and partake gratefully of the bounties which they receive from the hand of God. Compare the notes at Matthew 5:5.
And verily thou shalt be fed - Margin, “in truth or stableness.” The “literal” meaning would be, “Feed on truth.” The word rendered “fed” is here in the imperative mood. It properly means to feed, as a flock; and then, to feed upon anything in the sense of delighting in, or taking pleasure in anything, as if we found our support or sustenance in it; and here it means, doubtless, “Feed on truth;” that is, seek after truth; find delight in it; let it be the food of your souls. The word here rendered “verily” means, as in the margin, “truth:” and the meaning is, that they should seek after truth, and find their support and comfort in that. There are, then, in this verse, four things prescribed as duty, in order to keep the mind calm in view of the fact that wickedness abounds in the world:
(1) to confide in God;
(2) to be actively employed in doing good;
(3) to abide calmly and gratefully in the land which God has given us;
(4) to seek after truth, or a true view of the character and government of God as the great Ruler.
If people would do these things, there would be little complaining and fretting in the world.
When we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” we ask for others as well as ourselves. And we acknowledge that what God gives us is not for ourselves alone. God gives to us in trust, that we may feed the hungry. Of His goodness He has prepared for the poor. Psalm 68:10. And He says, “When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors.... But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.” Luke 14:12-14. MB 111.1
“God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” 2 Corinthians 9:8, 6. MB 112.1
The prayer for daily bread includes not only food to sustain the body, but that spiritual bread which will nourish the soul unto life everlasting. Jesus bids us, “Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life.” John 6:27. He says, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever.” Verse 51. Our Saviour is the bread of life, and it is by beholding His love, by receiving it into the soul, that we feed upon the bread which came down from heaven. MB 112.2Read in context »
Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Psalm 37:3. TDG 42.1
“Trust in the Lord.” Each day has its burdens, its cares, and perplexities; and when we meet, how ready we are to talk of our difficulties and trials. So many borrowed troubles intrude, so many fears are indulged, such a weight of anxiety is expressed, that one might almost suppose that we had no pitying, loving Saviour, ready to hear all our requests, and to be to us a present help in every time of need. TDG 42.2Read in context »
Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Psalm 37:3. TMK 232.1
“Trust in the Lord.” Each day has its burdens, its cares and perplexities, and when we meet, how ready we are to talk of our difficulties and trials.... Some are always fearing and borrowing trouble. Every day they are surrounded by the tokens of God's love, every day they are enjoying the bounties of His providence, but they overlook these present blessings.... TMK 232.2Read in context »
And while much of the fruit of their labor is not apparent in this life, God's workers have His sure promise of ultimate success. As the world's Redeemer, Christ was constantly confronted with apparent failure. He seemed to do little of the work which He longed to do in uplifting and saving. Satanic agencies were constantly working to obstruct His way. But He would not be discouraged. Ever before Him He saw the result of His mission. He knew that truth would finally triumph in the contest with evil, and to His disciples He said: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. The life of Christ's disciples is to be like His, a series of uninterrupted victories, not seen to be such here, but recognized as such in the great hereafter. 6T 307.1
Those who labor for the good of others are working in union with the heavenly angels. They have their constant companionship, their unceasing ministry. Angels of light and power are ever near to protect, to comfort, to heal, to instruct, to inspire. The highest education, the truest culture, and the most exalted service possible to human beings in this world are theirs. 6T 307.2
And often our merciful Father encourages His children and strengthens their faith by permitting them here to see evidence of the power of His grace upon the hearts and lives of those for whom they labor. “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” Isaiah 55:8-13. 6T 308.1Read in context »