Commit your way to YHWH, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:5 (Hebrew text)
Bring It To Pass – Philipp Melanchthon was born Philipp Schwarzerd, but changed his name to the Greek Melanchthon in 1531. He was an exceptional scholar in astronomy, law and particularly Aristotle. He earned his baccalaureate degree at age 15 and his master’s degree at age 17. He was considered an expert in Greek grammar. Melanchthon became a close friend of Luther and for 42 years he worked alongside Luther in Wittenberg. Melanchthon contributed to Luther’s translation of the Greek New Testament into German. We owe Melanchthon the debt of converting the concept of external evidence found in Hebrews 11:1 into an internal inner confidence. That mistake altered the face of faith for the next 500 years.
Why is this history important for our examination of Psalm 37:5? Because Psalm 37:5 is an answer to the question, “How do I get my heart’s desire?” (see the previous verse). If this verse is simply a spiritual magic formula that obligates God to fulfill my desires, then God becomes the “cosmic butler” of my faith. My religion will be focused inwardly, on my heart and my wishes and my expectations. This, of course, is nearly blasphemy. God is not my servant. He is my Master. Therefore, His desires must become the focus of my heart. If it weren’t for mistranslations like those of Melanchthon, we would never have imagined that God would fulfill our desires. We would realize that it is God’s desires that replace my past self-centered preoccupation. What God will bring to pass is what He intends – and I am privileged to participate because He chooses to use me to accomplish His will. The focus of my faith is not inward; it is outward. It is about restoring righteousness in God’s creation and bringing back the harmony that once ruled the world. Faith is not about how I feel. It is about what God is doing. To have faith is to put myself at God’s disposal and let Him use me as He sees fit.
The translated phrase, “bring it to pass,” is the Hebrew verbal construction ya’ase. This is from the root verb ‘asah, “to do or make, to accomplish or complete.” It is about performing an activity with a distinct purpose in mind. Notice that in this verse it is God’s distinct purpose that is in view. God will make, He will accomplish, He will complete the desires He puts in my heart. How can I be utterly confident that this will occur? Because the desires are His, not mine. As long as I am aligned with what He intends to accomplish, I can be absolutely confident that I will be used by Him.
Is it possible to know the will of God? Of course it is. He has revealed it clearly. He has specified it in detail. There can be no doubt about how He intends us to live and what He wished to accomplish through us. The only question is how do we commit and trust. The rest is guaranteed.
Topical Index: bring it to pass, ‘asah, Melanchthon, Psalm 37:5, Hebrews 11:1