Psalm 36 — Seeing Light in His Light — Reading the Psalms


For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD.

1 The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart,
There is no fear of God before his eyes.
2 For he flattereth himself in his own eyes,
That his iniquity shall not be found out and be hated.
3 The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit:
He hath left off to be wise and to do good.
4 He deviseth iniquity upon his bed;
He setteth himself in a way that is not good;
He abhorreth not evil.
5 Thy lovingkindness, O LORD, is in the heavens;
Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the skies.
6 Thy righteousness is like the mountains of God;
Thy judgements are a great deep:
O LORD, thou preservest man and beast.
7 How precious is thy lovingkindness, O God!
And the children of men take refuge 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 drive me away.
12 There are the workers of iniquity fallen:
They are thrust down, and shall not be able to rise.

With this psalm we see two contrasting attitudes: that of closed selfishness and that of open generosity. It is the wicked who closes himself off and seeks ways to separate his soul from sight and judgment. It is from God that we learn love and service.

When we examine the wicked we find those who scheme to keep their works and heart secret. They seek things that promote themselves. In fact, they spend their days flattering themselves and devising new ways to succeed in self promotion.

In God we learn about lovingkindness, faithfulness and righteousness. As the apostle John writes, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us.” It is in God’s light that we see light. In contrast, all we can learn from ourselves is the fruits of selfishness.

This psalm poses the ever present question in a beautiful form: choose you this day whom you will serve. Either our selfish and proud hearts, or the wise and generous heart of the Lord. Remember, where God has room in his heart, he will also have room in his home; the wicked have no room for anyone. Let us live like God, with our hearts wide open, and not under the constraints of self.


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