The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.
When we look at this familiar passage, there are some words that jump off of the verse. At least for me. For example, “good man” and then “ordered” and then “delights” and then “Though” and then “shall” and then “upholds” and finally the last two words “His hand”. Whew. That’s a long list. I want to talk a little about each one.
“good man” –The New Living Translation puts Psalm 37:23 in this way: “The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord.” A good man is then a godly man. That would be true because God is utterly good and faithful.
“ordered” – The word ordered tells me that it wasn’t suggested or tossed out there to see if it worked. God “ordered” or really it means “established”. God not only orders our steps, but He “determines” or “directs” or “establishes”. It’s that important to God that He is fully involved every moment of time. Like someone else has said, “The good and the bad; the happy and the sad.” For our good and His glory!
“delights” – According to Strong’s Concordance it means to take pleasure in, desire, be pleased with. God of all creation. The Miracle Maker. Almighty God, Himself delights and takes pleasure in our way as we follow His steps. God is pleased. So here is an answer to a long time question heard from time to time, “How can I please God?” Well, here you go. Follow the steps He as ordered. Hallelujah!
“Though” – From “Though he fall”. Some translations say, “When he falls”. It does not say, “If he falls”. We can be absolutely sure that we will fall. But there’s another absolute truth. When we fall, God will be there. Always. Every time we fall.
“shall” – As in “he shall not be utterly cast down.” Shall is a definitive word. It really means, “count on it”. Not maybe, not should, but shall. And “shall not” is even better. When God stretches out His hand to pick you up, it’s not a joke to Him. He won’t pull His hand back. Again, I say, “count on it.”
“upholds” – God upholds us. Who better to uphold you then God Himself. There’s power in understanding this. There is no one stronger. When God holds you up, nothing will be able to take you down. Nothing.
“His hand” – When we fall, God stretches our His hand for us to grab a hold of and get picked up. Always and every time. He doesn’t keep walking the path so that you have to catch up to Him. NO!!! When we fall, God STOPS!!! So that when we look up we can see His grace and mercy and His finished work, we can reach up to His hand. And with a mighty, yet gentle grip, we are lifted up. Glory to God!!!
There’s a lot of promises in this relatively short verse. Promises that are the truth. And anyways, who would want to follow their own steps. They’d end up lost. Whoops, did I say that? That’s for another devotion. Thank You Lord!!!
Precious God. Thank You for establishing and ordering our steps with You. What a blessing we have to follow Your way. And thank You Lord, for picking us up when we fall. Oh Lord, we will fall. Help us to understand that You are always and eternally there for us. To reach up to You and to grab a hold of You. We love you Lord. In Jesus Name. AMEN.
Don’t believe me, believe God!