SIN DECEIVES, GOD DELIVERS
Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness, even when I am unfaithful.
Read Psalm 36
For the director of music. Of David the servant of the Lord.
1 I have a message from God in my heart
concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:[b]
There is no fear of God
before their eyes.
2 In their own eyes they flatter themselves
too much to detect or hate their sin.
3 The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful;
they fail to act wisely or do good.
4 Even on their beds they plot evil;
they commit themselves to a sinful course
and do not reject what is wrong.
5 Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
6 Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
7 How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
10 Continue your love to those who know you,
your righteousness to the upright in heart.
11 May the foot of the proud not come against me,
nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12 See how the evildoers lie fallen—
thrown down, not able to rise!
a Psalm 36:1 In Hebrew texts 36:1-12 is numbered 36:2-13.
b Psalm 36:1 Or A message from God: The transgression of the wicked / resides in their hearts.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIn what ways does sin deceive and defraud us? In what ways does God deliver and delight us?
God himself reveals to the psalmist how wickedness works itself deep into human hearts (1a) until it becomes a settled lifestyle (4b). At the heart of sin lies the refusal to “fear God” (1b). Instead, self is placed on the throne (2a). As in Eden, self-determination holds sway over submission to God’s Word (Gen. 3:6). With no objective, authoritative standard, moral mayhem ensues, for fallen human beings are unable and unwilling both to “detect” and to detest sin (2b). The downward spiral of sin (3,4), ending in destruction (12), illustrates a conscience that is “seared” (1 Tim. 4:2; Rom. 1:18–32). Good no longer attracts and evil no longer repels.
Leaving aside the awfulness of sin (1–4), the psalmist moves on to contemplate the awe-fullness of God (5–9). We are reminded of the faithfulness of God’s covenant love—immense and immeasurable (5,6), while also intensely precious and personal (7). The way to break free of the fatal sin-spiral is to receive and respond to God’s “light” (9). As Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31b,32).
Meditate on the lyrics of “Amazing Grace” (John Newton). Then sing or pray the words aloud.
Lord, with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light (Psa. 36:9).
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