Do not fret because of those who are evil, or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:1-7
The NIV commentary breakdown this poem very concisely:
Following the negatively stated admonition of verse 1, the psalmist shifts (37:3–6) to a series of positively stated imperative directives to the hearers. They are called to “trust” (37:3, 5) in Yahweh, “dwell” (37:3) in the land, “delight” (37:4) in Yahweh, and consequently “commit” (37:5) their way to him. As a result of turning their negative anger into passionate commitment to Yahweh, they will receive from God security and safe pasture (37:3), the “desires” (mišʾalot, from šʾl [“the thing asked for, requested”]) of their hearts (37:4), and clear, public vindication against the wicked (37:6). (Source)
Having a list of do’s and don’ts is generally a welcome thing, but this short list is not as easy as it might appear.
The “don’t list” takes the discipline of our thoughts. This isn’t something we need to do on our own. Paul reminds the church at Corinth in 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 that we have the Holy Spirit’s help to control our thoughts. You may have heard v. 5 before
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
The “do list” involves actions of obedience. Trusting requires that we respond before we know the outcome. Dwelling requires us sitting in the presence of God. When we commit, we will step away from apathy and doubt and move forward even when we aren’t sure of the end result.
With a “do list” of actions, delight sits in the midst of these actions. Haylee DiMarco, author of A Woman Overwhelmed explains that delighting in the Lord includes choosing his path for our life instead of our own. She states “When we delight in Him, our dreams change, becoming self-less instead of selfish.”
To delight ourselves in the Lord is a choice, just as every pursuit of a relationship with him it requires intentionality on our part. God is always pursuing us, but that doesn’t mean we, in turn, shouldn’t also pursue him! The result of that pursuit includes mutual delight in each other.