David assures the righteous that evildoers will not prosper. If they have success or financial gain, it will not last. “Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” He further said, “But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” Throughout the psalm, David describes how the wicked would be destroyed, and that God almost would mock the evil at their downfall. He declares that “a little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked.” A very well-known passage gives further clarity to David’s thoughts:
Psalm 37:23–29 (NKJV)
23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the LORD upholds him with His hand.
25 I have been young, and now am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Nor his descendants begging bread.
26 He is ever merciful, and lends;
And his descendants are blessed.
27 Depart from evil, and do good;
And dwell forevermore.
28 For the LORD loves justice,
And does not forsake His saints;
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land,
And dwell in it forever.
Psalm 38 is a prayer of David for mercy in the face of the chastening of the Lord. He describes his condition in terms of being troubled, mourning, feeble, inflamed, and winded. He is isolated, and cannot hear or speak to those around him.
Psalm 38:15–16 (NKJV)
15 For in You, O LORD, I hope;
You will hear, O Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Hear me, lest they rejoice over me,
Lest, when my foot slips, they exalt themselves against me.”
In the midst of being ready to fall, or to succumb to his enemies, David still expresses hope in the Lord.
David sometimes seems to vacillate between his absolute faith and trust in God to his utter despair in the midst of trouble. He sounds like most people, living in hope one day, but perhaps being a little less happy on another day. Some swing more drastically than others. Moods are normal, but what is important is to live with an underlying faith that stabilizes the soul. Hills and valleys will occur. Climbing is hard; running downhill can be fun. The baseline is the important part. The baseline is Jesus. Look down to him when you are flying. Look up to him when you are crying. Know that He is always near.