Does the Nice Guy Always Finish Last?

Text Psalm 37


I.         I’m sure you have heard the statement before, it is well ingrained in our society’s thinking: “Nice guys finish last.”

            A.        Its more modern than you might realize. A baseball player and manager, Leo Durocher, is the one who said it.

                        1.         He also said, “Winning requires toughness, even ruthlessness” and “Show me a good loser and I will show you an idoit.”

                        2.         Clearly Mr. Durocher is a fan of the idea that might makes right

            B.        But is his beliefs true?

II.        Why does it seem that the wicked win?

            A.        Solomon noted that it seems that things are backwards. The wicked get what appears to be proper for the righteous - Ecclesiastes 7:15; 8:14

            B.        Job saw this and wondered how God could allow it - Job 9:22-24

            C.        It seems as if nothing happens to the wicked - Job 21:7-17

III.       The futility of wickedness

            A.        The wicked appear to flourish - Psalm 37:1

                        1.         But they flourish like weeds and like weeds will soon be cut down like grass - Psalm 37:2

            B.        They appear to prosper - Psalm 37:7

                        1.         But they won’t last - Psalm 37:8-10

            C.        They plot against the righteous and attack them - Psalms 37:12

                        1.         The Lord already sees their end - Psalm 37:13

            D.        They oppress the weak - Psalm 37:14

                        1.         Their own attacks will come back on them - Psalm 37:15

            E.        They have an abundance - Psalm 37:16

                        1.         Their arms will be broken - Psalm 37:17

                        2.         They will perish in days of distress - Psalm 37:20

            F.        They take without returning - Psalm 37:21

                        1.         They will be cursed and cut off - Psalm 37:22

                        2.         Even their descendants will be cut off - Psalm 37:28

            G.        They spy on the righteous and make plans to kill him - Psalm 37:32

                        1.         The Lord will not let it happen - Psalm 37:33

                        2.         They will be cut off - Psalm 37:34

            H.        They spread themselves like a luxuriant tree - Psalm 37:35

                        1.         He will pass away - Psalm 37:36

                        2.         He will be cut off and without descendants - Psalm 37:38

IV.      The success of the righteous

            A.        God will give your heart’s desires - Psalm 37:3-5

            B.        He will make your integrity shine forth - Psalm 37:6

            C.        You will outlast the wicked and prosper - Psalm 37:9, 11

            D.        God sustains the righteous - Psalm 37:17

            E.        Their inheritance is eternal - Psalm 37:18

            F.        They will not be ashamed in times of distress and have an abundance - Psalm 37:19

            G.        They will inherit the land - Psalm 37:22

            H.        He might fall, but it won’t be fatal - Psalm 37:24

            I.         His descendants are cared for - Psalm 37:25-26

            J.         They are preserved forever - Psalm 37:28-29

            K.        He doesn’t slip - Psalm 37:30-31

            L.        The Lord is by him - Psalm 37:33-34

            M.       He will have peace and prosperity - Psalm 37:37

            N.        The Lord helps them - Psalm 37:39-40

V.        Wait for God

            A.        Notice that all through Psalm 37 the wicked might succeed, but what is promised is that their success is merely temporary.

            B.        The righteous might struggle with difficulties, but he outlasts the wicked and gains in the end.

            C.        Notice the encouragement

                        1.         Trust the Lord and do good - Psalm 37:3, 5

                        2.         Rest in the Lord and wait patiently - Psalm 37:7

                                    a.         Don’t get angry - Psalm 37:8

                                    b.         Wait for the Lord - Psalm 37:9

                        3.         Depart from evil and do good - Psalm 37:27

                        4.         Wait for the Lord and keep His way - Psalm 37:34

                        5.         Take refuge in God - Psalm 37:40

            D.        The problem too often is not that the righteous do not win in the end, it is that we give up too soon.

                        1.         We don’t fully trust God will handle the problems

            E.        “It’s not true that nice guys finish last. Nice guys are winners before the game even starts.” - Addison Walker

            F.        We just need to remain steadfast and wait for God.

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