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How are the steps of a man ordered by the Lord (Psalm 37:23)?

steps of a man ordered by the Lord
Question: "How are the steps of a man ordered by the Lord (Psalm 37:23)?"

In Psalm 37, David writes that the righteous can trust God to sustain them (Psalm 37:17) and that the inheritance of righteousness will never end (Psalm 37:18). The righteous are given righteousness and salvation from the Lord (Psalm 37:39). It is a psalm that reminds us of God’s faithfulness, and it encourages us that we can trust Him and that He is worthy of our trust. In Psalm 37:23 the psalmist observes that “the steps of a man are ordered by the Lord” (BSB). Earlier in the psalm, David explains that, when we commit our way to the Lord, He will bring about our righteousness. In Psalm 37:23 David proclaims that God orders or directs even the individual steps of the person, and God takes delight in that person.

The term translated as “ordered” or “established” in Psalm 37:23 is from a Hebrew verb that can also mean “to guide, direct, or make reliable.” In other words, the person who has committed his way to God will have his steps made sure by God. He will guard them and ensure that they are solid steps. How encouraging to know that even our small, seemingly inconsequential steps are not too insignificant for God! He loves and cares for us so much that He actually takes pleasure in guiding our steps. When we fall, we won’t fall to destruction because the Lord holds our hand (Psalm 37:24). Because the law of God is in our hearts, our steps or our path won’t be slippery (Psalm 37:31). What an incredible truth to know that God is right there, ready to establish our walk if we will simply commit our walk to Him! Even more incredible, perhaps, is that He delights in doing that. To think that God—the almighty Creator—takes pleasure in walking with each of His people in that way!

David knew better than most that there would be dark days in this life—it was David who wrote that, even though he walked through the valley of the shadow of death, he didn’t need to fear evil because His heavenly Shepherd was with Him (Psalm 23:4). From psalms like Psalm 23 and Psalm 37 we learn that God is with us, that He delights in fellowship with us, and that we can trust Him with our very lives. Even a simple observation that the steps of a man are ordered by the Lord represents an amazing truth that we matter to God. When we are encountering hardship or difficulty, or if we simply feel alone as if no one cares about our well-being, we can have confidence in knowing that He loves us and wants to walk with us and guide us through those difficulties we face.

Recommended Resource: Book of Psalms: New International Commentary on the Old Testament by deClaisse-Walford, Jacobson, & Tanner

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How are the steps of a man ordered by the Lord (Psalm 37:23)?

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