THE RIVER OF DELIGHTS
I thank you today, Creator God, for making the world and continuing to sustain it. I want to be obedient to you in my world, wherever you have placed me.
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!
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.
ReflectAre you hungry and thirsty for more of the Lord? Ask him to give you the hunger only he can satisfy.
This is a psalm about abundance. It begins by describing the extent of humanity’s sinfulness. ‘Even on their beds they plot evil’ (v 4). Do they never stop for a minute?! But then in contrast, it describes the boundlessness of God’s goodness. His love reaches to the heavens; his justice is as deep as the ocean (vs 5,6). At the end of 2020, scientists exploring the bed of the Atlantic discovered a dozen previously unknown species of sea life. God had made these creatures on the fifth day of creation, knowing that we wouldn’t find them until thousands of years later. Isn’t that incredible? Vast as it is, though, creation is finite – it is possible for humans to see everything. But God, his attributes, his character and his gifts are infinite. We could swim in the depths of his justice for eternity and never find its limits.
More unfathomable still, this infinite, creative, holy God wants to share his goodness with us. One day we will join him in a feast, as Christ is at last united with his bride, the church (Revelation 19:6–9), but until then we can feast on his Word and his sustaining power, and drink from his ‘river of delights’ (v 8).
‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow / Praise him all creatures here below / Praise him above ye heavenly host / Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost’.*
Heavenly Father, the world is such a sinful place. I pray for myself and Christians everywhere, that we may be lights in the darkness, pointing to Jesus, the True Light.
*Thomas Ken, 1674.
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