FROM GUTTER TO THRONE
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!
- Psalm 36:1 In Hebrew texts 36:1-12 is numbered 36:2-13.
- 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.
Realize the horror of what it means to rebel against God. Then look to God’s amazing love and faithfulness.
David describes himself here as the servant of the Lord. Like many in God’s service, he is deeply aware of the frailty of human nature and the awfulness of sin. God has spoken to him about this (vs 1–4), revealing the rebellion in the hearts of the godless. Perhaps he had been disappointed by some trusted friend1 or shocked by the extent of wickedness in unbelievers. If you know how he must have felt because of your own circumstances, notice how he deals with this insight. He turns to God in praise of the Lord’s amazing attributes and actions. He contrasts what has depressed him about human nature with what thrills him about the divine character. His eyes are on God.
Instead of staying focused on the cesspit around him, David chooses to bathe in the fountain of life and walk in God’s light (v 9). He extols the attributes of God – his love, faithfulness, righteousness, and justice – celebrating all that is good in the God he adores. Like the writer of Lamentations, he looks away from the devastation that he sees in the human condition and declares by faith, ‘great is your faithfulness’.2 He goes further, too. God’s attributes demand a response from his children. High and low can find refuge under the shadow of his wings (v 7). The same is true for us today, finding shelter in that place that symbolizes intimacy and care.3 Feasting in God’s house and drinking from his river of delights is how David pictures fellowship with the Lord. Then he prays for protection against the attacks of his enemies (v 11). At the end, the contrast with the fate of the wicked is stark (v 12). They have no one to help them up when fallen. I know which side I would prefer to be on!
Read Psalm 91:1–4 and picture God’s wings overshadowing you today. Draw near to him and praise him for his attributes and actions too.
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.
1 Ps 41:9 2 Lam 3:23 3 Ps 91:4
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