[ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kevin Vance and his wife Lisa lead the Gentle Road Church of Christ, a recent church plant in North Central Regina.]
When you think of peace, North Central Regina might be one of the last places you think of. The reality of the crime, poverty, murder, gangs, prostitution, and family strife here hardly engender warm feelings of tranquility.
It was a similar context that the Psalmist found himself in when he penned Psalm 37. It felt like the land was overrun with corrupt people, who were vicious and violent, while the few godly people left were steamrolled into the ground.
12 The wicked plot against the righteous
and gnash their teeth at them;
14 The wicked draw the sword
and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose ways are upright.
21 The wicked borrow and do not repay…
As usual, the courts are also corrupt (33).
In this context, the Psalmist urges patient and quiet humility:
1 Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will so or wither, like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
When evil seems to prevail, we continue to trust God and do the right thing. We quietly continue doing good, without being jealous or anxious, or retaliating.
The reason for this is that we will prevail in the end. Those who are evil will fade away like the grass. Meanwhile,
22 those the Lord blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be destroyed.
This is the background to the words of Jesus, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” God sifts the people, removing the evil ones and blessing the godly with the inheritance of the land where they live. Interesting thought for the future of North Central Regina!
As I reflect on these words of comfort and wisdom, I see God’s people quietly, diligently doing good in the inner city. Not much fanfare, nothing earth-shattering or worthy of national television. But godly and faithful nonetheless. It’s what Jesus called people of peace (Luke 10).
And this is God’s direction for us in whatever place we find ourselves – dysfunctional families, corporate power plays, stuck churches, self-serving athletic organizations, infighting politics. God’s people of peace quietly keep doing what is right. And even though this seems pointless sometimes, God assures us that this approach will prevail.
Consider the blameless, observe the upright;
a future awaits those who seek peace.
38 But all sinners will be destroyed;
there will be no future for the wicked.