"for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous." Psalm 37:17
If it seems like David is saying the same things over and over again, you'd be absolutely right. However, you'd also be wrong to some extent which is more of a mystery than it is a contradiction. Think about it, most people when explaining how they feel, say the same things twenty different ways until what they are saying "clicks" to all people. I personally do this every time I share something I know to be important, even at the expense of being slightly annoying because I won't let it go until everyone "gets it". Today's verse, like the first sixteen we've gone over, when read in the original language, gives some interesting insight as to the way evil "ends" in the finite realm. Even though Psalm 37:17 is basically saying what has been expressed through the first sixteen verses of the Psalm, The LORD reminds us once again that He will have his way with the wicked and bless the righteous and just.
When speaking of the "power of the wicked being broken", the Hebrew word for "broken" gives an amazing definition that is able to challenge the minds eye unlike the English language is able to do with words. In Hebrew, the word for broken is "Shabar". Defined in English, the word shabar means to "burst, break in pieces, bring to birth and/or tear". Sit and dwell on this for a moment...the ways of the wicked will eventually come to pass, but not a comfortable passing like a rolling tide or the water through the feathers of a duck. Instead, the evils ways eventually come crashing down like a dam or levy that was not built to handle the force of the water against it. In this finite life, there are limits, and the more those without God become obsessed with their "own way" and "own ability", they lose track of the fact that they are pursuing something that will eventually come toppling down to the point that they will never recover in their own power.
Having a seven month old daughter, I can remember just yesterday what it was like to have a pregnant wife. Even though she was able to eat as much as she wanted, got to purchase whatever it seemed like we would need, and we were able to have frequent alone time together, we knew those days would soon come to pass. At some specific point in time (around 36-40 weeks of pregnancy) the days of brownies, pickles, ice cream and fried chicken sandwiches would be over. Each day that went by Kelsey and I began to realize that she really needed to focus on the fact that some serious changes would need to take place and she would no longer be able to lift things, fly in a plane, eat at all hours or go for a jog. We also needed to realize that if we continued in the lifestyle of eating whatever we wanted (you know I was in on that ice cream and fried chicken), buying whatever we wanted, and acting like nothing mattered besides the two of us, recovering to a normal life when Lily arrived would be virtually impossible as we would be unhealthy, dead broke, and arguing with child services (or my Mom, which could be even tougher) who would say we were unfit to have a child.
The word Shabar says so much about the life of the wicked because the life they lead is one that is undeniably finite with an ending that is incredibly uncomfortable. Much like a pregnant woman eventually gives birth through pain, sweat and tears; the consequences brought forth by God to the evil persons who have lived a life of pleasing self at the expense of everyone else comes with divine power and swiftness.
In his interpretation about the wicked men that David speaks of in the Psalms, C.H Spurgeon once said, "God makes implacable men, incapable men". The word implacable is defined as "difficult to appease or pacify". How difficult is it for those living a life of constant discontent, striving to please themselves in their own power, to come back to trusting in God? Strong enough that God brings everything not done for Him to destruction at some point in time, even at the expense of bringing every evil man to his own knees that he may understand his incapability's as he has chosen to live without the God who gives him the ability to do everything.
I encourage you this weekend to spend some time searching your own heart. Make it your priority to focus on Christ and what was given to you by both His death and resurrection. We know that as we follow the LORD and allow His Spirit to take over our lives we are made righteous and just receiving an eternal prize. Becoming like Him is never done in our own power as it is the Spirit that makes us more like Him as we let go of ourselves. It is through grace so that "no man should boast" that we are able to take on the life of our Savior. Recognize after these first seventeen days that a life lived for yourself is a life that is doomed for a destruction that is neither comfortable nor eternally profitable. The ways of the wicked have an ending date and in order to enjoy a life of eternal peace, joy, love, patience, goodness and kindness give your ways, thoughts, dreams, goals, desires and hopes to God and let Him change you from the inside out.