There is a painting by Italian artist Guido Reni (1575–1642) of the Archangel Michael that pictures the ultimate defeat of Satan. A miniaturized sculpture of that painting stands in my office, reminding me that the “real” battle is being overseen by our Creator God, and that one day, one of His angelic captains will throw the Adversary into the bottomless pit for eternity.
No matter how well the wicked seem to be succeeding over the efforts of the righteous, ultimately they will not win! God promises that the wicked will be destroyed and punished. He also promises that the righteous will be victorious and rewarded. Both of these promises provide us with assurance of God’s victory—not only in His eternal plan, but also in and through the lives of His precious saints.
God will not forsake His beloved saints. They may seem forgotten for a season, but they are never out of His sight. (See Psalm 33:18-19; 34:15; Job 36:7; 1 Peter 3:12.) God is protecting His beloved. God does have a plan in His sovereign and eternal mind. God will work all things “together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Frustration is inevitable as the saints of God battle the forces of evil, for though we are certain of ultimate victory, the pain and pressure of torment are nonetheless real as the “devices” (Isaiah 32:7) of the wicked take their toll on God’s people. The Lord will reduce the plans of the wicked to naught (Psalm 33:10), but while those plans are effective, there is still much hurt.
Psalm 37 is focused on the solutions that will cure the “fretting” that comes in the heat of battle. Anger is a natural result when God’s people confront those who would dare lift up their hand against the Lord of the universe. Envy of evil’s seemingly easy success is bound to explode from the heart of the righteous saint who loves the Kingdom and is in anguish because of the triumphs of the wicked….
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