Psalm 36 Commentary
Transgression speaks from within a man’s heart: all is well. Take heart. Nothing wrong is happening. Don’t fear. God won’t do anything. So they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their own evil deeds.
The NIV translation seems to suggest that this is the message that God has put in David’s heart. It would therefore mean that the psalmist is looking at two models. In the first model, the heart is God-fearing and understands that there are consequences for wrongdoing. There is a clear distinction between right and wrong.
In the second model, the heart lacks the fear of God and anything goes.
I want your heart to be like this and not like that. “Yes”, seems to be David’s response. And since the LORD is talking like this, insisting on the difference between good and evil, let’s have it that way. Consequently, won’t righteousness be rewarded? And wickedness, won’t there be repercussions? Why not? God is faithful; God is just, righteous, and loving.
David then looks up and sees things exactly as they are: the evildoers lie fallen, thrown to the ground, and unable to rise. Thrown to the ground by the God of justice. They won’t rise.
On the other hand are the righteous, whose hearts are God-fearing and are able to tell the difference between good and evil. They feast on the abundance of God’s house. Yes, they do. This psalm is inviting the household of faith to look up and see the difference. God is their fountain of life and they drink from God’s river of delights.
There is a smokescreen of false happiness in front of misery, uncertainty, fear, loss of personal worthiness, and meaninglessness. They take to drugs and all sorts of evil acts to help the situation but it is all in vain. The saint must see beyond the smokescreen. On the other hand is a life of peace and meaning. Simple and uncomplicated but full of God’s love, joy, care, and hope. Money cannot buy any of these God-given qualities. Let the saint think about these things.
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