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Psalm 36

Vs. 1-4 describe the character of evil people;

Vs. 5-9 contrast the wonderful character of God;

Vs. 10-12 appeal to God for His goodness.

Verses 1-4 identify “the transgression of the wicked,” or moral corruption: 1) no fear of God; 2) no conscience; 3) no truth in his mouth; 4) no good deeds; 5) dreams and desires evil; 6) does not hate evil. Any of these character defects bodes ill, and all of them together complete the picture of someone truly hard-hearted.

1) To conclude the universality of sin and the need for the Savior, Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul described the wicked concluding with Psalm 36:1, “”There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:9-18). Putting the “fear of God” into someone motivates him/her to be saved (2 Corinthians 7:1).

2) Since the common nonbiblical expression is, “flattery will get you nowhere,” even those in the world know flattering ourselves about our sins will get us nowhere with God! Jesus pictured the problem by showing how people want to move their brother’s “speck” of a sin while a “plank” of sin is covering our own eyes (Matthew 7:1-5).

3) Truth in conversation matters, for words come from the heart (Matthew 12:33-37), and if truth doesn’t matter there is no basis for converting to Christ (John 14:6).

4) Jesus Christ noted that the wise person “hears these sayings of Mine, and does them” (Matthew 7:24). One who ceases to be wise, ceases to do good, and vice versa.

5) Evil dreams lead to evil schemes. Give it a rest. “Do they not go astray who devise evil? But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good” (Proverbs 14:22).

6) “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil” (Proverbs 8:13). But the heart must replace the negative with the positive: “Hate evil, love good” (Amos 5:15).

News commentator, Paul Harvey, used to follow a bad news story with a good one, which he preceded with, “But wash your ears out with this.” David seems to be doing exactly that in verses 5-9. Having seen the worst of character in mankind, he looks at the best character of all: the LORD! His “mercy” and “faithfulness” reach upward, away from sinners; His “righteousness” goes higher than mountains; His “judgments” show depths of  care, even to preserving “man and beast”; His “lovingkindness” creates trust in human hearts; His “fullness” of house appeals to our need for respite; His “pleasure” flows like a river; His “fountain of life” sustains; and His “light” shows us the way. All of these characteristics may be seen in Jesus Christ. What is not to like about God and His Son?

In verses 10-12, David determines his decision between wicked people or the wonderful God. May God “continue” what He already is doing for David’s relationship with him;

May God stop the “foot of pride” and the “hand of the wicked” from their onslaught;

And may “workers of iniquity” continue to fall so as not to rise again! David wants to go away from sinners who seek his destruction and toward the God who loves him.

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading