Psalm 36 opens with David’s conclusion about the root of the sinful behavior he sees in the “wicked”, or people who reject God’s ways and willfully choose to follow their own. David says the wicked act as they do because “There is no fear of God before his eyes”. (v. 1)
David then lists evidence to support his conclusion. He says this of those who do not fear God.
- They flatter themselves, thinking so highly of themselves that they cannot detect their own sin.
- They speak lies.
- They are not wise.
- They stop doing good.
- They plot evil, even as they go to bed.
- They are committed to a sinful way of living.
- They do not reject what is wrong.
We can relate.
When we look around, we too see people who do not fear God, who think they are accountable to no one. We see people who are quick to criticize and point out the faults of others, but will never admit to their own mistakes. We see people who lie, claiming accomplishments they did not achieve or attempting to cover up bad behavior. We see people who not only refuse to reject what is wrong, they celebrate it as a sign of their own strength or decisiveness.
We can see the painful consequences of living without the fear of God, without surrendering in worship and choosing His ways.
But like David, we can let this awareness drive us to worship.
David celebrates the unfailing love of God, an active love demonstrated in God’s faithfulness, righteousness, and justice.
Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
O LORD, you preserve both man and beast. (v. 6-7)
God’s love has no limits.
God’s faithfulness has no end.
God’s righteousness is immovable. Man’s laws and rules for acceptable behavior can change, but God’s right and wrong never will.
God’s justice will prevail. The sinful choices of the wicked will not escape punishment.
God’s unfailing is worth celebrating!
How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low amoung men
find refuge in the shadow of your wings. (v. 7)
God’s priceless love is for everyone. Rich, poor, high status or low status, all can find refuge in God’s protective love.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light. (v. 8-9)
God’s love gives us abundant life.
Because of His great love for us, God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins so that we could have eternal life one day and abundant life now. Jesus, God’s love made visible, said this of why he came:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
John 10:10 ESV
David closes Psalm 36 with a prayer and a prediction.
Continue your love to those who know you,
your righteousness to the upright in heart.
May the foot of the proud not come against me,
nor the hand of the wicked drive me away. (v. 10-11)
David prays that God will continue to show His unfailing love to those who know Him and to protect him from the wicked men he described at the beginning of the psalm.
David then predicts the outcome of the wicked.
See how the evildoers lie fallen –
thrown down, not able to rise! (v. 12)
We will see wickedness in this fallen world.
May it drive us to our knees in worship and in gratitude for God’s unfailing love.
Father, how priceless is Your unfailing love. Your love has no limits. You are faithful. No matter what wicked people do, Your righteousness and justice will prevail. Thank you for the protection of Your unfailing love and for the gift of abundant life through Jesus. In Jesus’ name, Amen.