Psalm 36 A Psalm of David
Today during my devotional I read Psalm 36. I’ll be honest the first time through I didn’t get much. I had to apologize to the Lord and ask him to help me wake up. I haven’t been sleeping well. It’s probably my kidney stones. :-/
Once I was more alert, I read the chapter again. The following is what I gleaned from my devotion. Hope it helps you as well.
1) The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
2 For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.
3 The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.
4 He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.
5 Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.
6 Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O Lord, thou preservest man and beast.
7 How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
8 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.
9 For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.
10 O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.
11 Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me.
12 There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.
Scripture taken from King James Bible courtesy of BibleGateway
Character of the Wicked
Verse One shows us that the wicked are not at all afraid of God, not even when they commit an act of wickedness. We can also deny God in our lives when we choose to willfully sin, at that moment, we are telling God we are not afraid of his chastisement for sin. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be lumped in with, “the wicked” and it scares me to think of how God views a willful sin.
Verse two shows us that wicked think much more of themselves than they ought too. Now, the Merriam-Webster dictionary tells us that flattery can be an insincere praise and this wicked person could possibly be offering himself that, a form of pride, but I think “a pleasing self-deception” is more likely what this wicked person is doing.
After all, Jeremiah 17:9 tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Apparently this wicked person’s lack of ability to recognize how deceived and prideful he or she is also leads to being hateful.
Titus 3:3 “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.”
As hard as it may be to grasp, before Jesus came into our lives and saved us, we were hateful. I certainly have no desire to go back to malice, envy, and hatefulness after all the Lord has done for me. Pride will put us right back in that place of hating and envy so we need to guard our hearts and protect against it.
Verses three and four show us that when a wicked person speaks, they are saying ugly things and/or deceiving others with their words. This deception is for their own personal gain, not to actually help others. The thoughts of the wicked person are all vanity as well. This person can only think of plans that go against the Word of God. They have forsaken wisdom from God and have turned to whatever sounds best to them.
I aspire to be a lady in whose mouth was found no guile. Unfortunately, I can’t say that is true all the time. I have been provoked to anger and I’ve certainly said some things I wish I could take back. Haven’t you? I do believe that God is faithful and he alone can help us to be a purer vessel that will be found with no guile. All we have to do is let him work in our hearts.
When I think of just a handful of God’s attributes, I’m truly overwhelmed. My friend sings a song called, In My Father’s Eyes. You may have heard it as well. I honestly can’t imagine what the Lord saw when he reached down for me.
Verses five and six tell of us God’s mercy, faithfulness, righteousness, and judgement. He is faithful to extend mercy to us so many more times over than we deserve. I know that just since I’ve been saved, I’ve failed him more than I could count and yet he’s NEVER failed me.
His righteousness is GREAT like the mountains. I’ve not seen many mountains, but when I have, I just have to stand in awe. It’s so beautiful yet so intimidating. Can you imagine meeting someone that was so right in all they did that they were never wrong? Wouldn’t it be intimidating just to sit and eat with them? Think of an extraordinarily successful person, how would you feel sitting with them to a meal? Honored I’m sure, but you’d also put on your nicest clothes, make sure you didn’t over eat, and maybe refresh your manners. And yet God, who is right in all his judgments, desires a relationship with us!
Lastly, in verse six, we are told that God himself, not anything we can do, preserves both mankind and animals. Why does he do that? He loves his creation! That is why he sent his beloved and only begotten son to die for our redemption and that’s why he still preserves us today. I’ve faced a lot of illness, so have many of my friends and sometimes all I could trust was God will preserve me and hold me together.
Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
That single verse kept me going through some of the worst pain in my life. If you’d like to read about the painful disease called endometriosis I lived with for years, click here.
The Joy of the Christian!
Now that we have seen the traits of the wicked and the holiness of God, David gets excited over the life of the redeemed!
In verses seven through ten we see the lovingkindness of God mentioned twice. Not only does he love us, he expresses that love with kindness. What good does it do to love someone and never show them your love with kindness?
As wives, we need to show our love to our husbands. It’s so easy to get caught up in the mundane, run of the mill life. Don’t forget to find ways to show your husband you love him. As a mother, we need to show our children love. As home educating moms it is very easy to get wrapped up in paperwork and lessons and find yourself not showing the love your children need.
Daniel 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
As women, we need to protect ourselves from fatigue because the devil is doing his best just to wear us out. I don’t know about you, but when I’m wore out, I’m not loving. Be vigilant to protect your heart, mind, and the body from just being worn out. For some of us with chronic illness, this means we will need to say “no” to some things so we can stay healthy enough to take care of our families.
In verse seven, my King James Bible has a note on the word “excellent” and it says “precious.” Is the lovingkindness of God still precious to you? If you find you’ve been taking for granted the lovingkindness of the almighty God who desires a one on one relationship with you, it’s time for a heart check. Above all, we should never forget to show the Lord our love in return for all he’s done.
Verse eleven is a prayer made by David. David is asking God to keep him from being puffed up with pride. The position of King can cause a man to become full of pride. Pride was the devil’s sin and he will provoke us to be prideful as well.
1 Corinthians 8:1 “Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.”
David was a good King and he knew that he needed God’s help to stay humble and keep his mind pure. God gave a wonderful testimony about King David when he said that David had followed God all the days of his life, except for the matter of Uriah, the Hittite.
1 Kings 15:5 “Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.”
If even the great King David could fall into sin, how much more do we need pray this prayer, let not the foot of pride come against me? Probably every one of us could improve our prayer life.
The Plight of the Wicked
Verse twelve shows us that wicked do not truly prosper in the end. The wicked fall and are cast down. There is no one to help them help stand back up since they have turned from God.
In contrast, a righteous man can fall and God will send someone to help him back up. A righteous man knows when he has made a mistake or even committed a sin. King David certainly knew and he was very quick to repent and ask God’s forgiveness and help when he did mess up.
Proverbs 24:16 “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
There is a lot to unpack in this short Psalm. Twelve verses cross reference us all over the book and teach us a lot! I’m thankful that God wrote his word down for us to read over and over again.
As Christians, we should seek to make improvements on our lives daily. If we are successful with making those improvements through daily sanctification, we need to take care that we do not become filled with pride. We need to remember that we can slide right back into the behavior of the wicked man.
2 Corinthians 10:12 “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
We also need to remember not to compare ourselves with what we perceive another Christian lady to be. We need to stay in our own lane, run our own race, and compare ourselves with the perfect example, Jesus. How well are we shining Jesus through our life?
If you’re still reading, I truly want to thank you for stopping by. Let me know if this daily devotional helped you. I love to hear from readers.
Until next time-