The thirty-sixth psalm begins by describing the depravity of man.
Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated. The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit; he has ceased to act wisely and do good. He plots trouble while on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he does not reject evil.Psalm 36:1-4
Satan’s influence is pervasive. Iniquity is found in the deepest recesses of man’s heart. Wicked thoughts flow from his mind while he is yet in his bed. Throughout his day, he walks in the path of sinners; he rejects no evil; and he does so without any regard for God. Despite his debauchery, he sees no evil. He believes himself to be good. Consequently from his mouth comes forth self-righteous flattery.
The psalmist then turns to consider his God.
Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O Lord. How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.Psalm 35:6-9
Consider the love of God. It is steadfast and not fickle. It keeps coming and coming. It fills up the earth — even the highest of heavens.
Consider the righteousness of God. It is majestically gorgeous. It can’t be missed. It is like the highest and broadest of mountain ranges.
Consider the justice of God. His omniscience is as deep as the grand oceans. He is so wise. As high as his love, so deep are his judgments.
Consider the grace of God. He showers it upon all beasts. He showers it upon all men — even the wickedest of fellows. Especially, he showers it upon his redeemed children.
Consider the protection of God. As a little bird finds protection under the wings of its mother, as Ruth found protection under the wing of Boaz, so the psalmist and other penitents find protection under the watchful gaze and mighty arm of God.
Consider the generosity of God. He provides our basic necessities, but he does far more than simply give us our elementary blessings. He is the God of wealth, gladness, wine, and song. He is the God of feasting, and he invites us to dance before him and swim within his river of delight.
Consider the life God gives. From spiritual death he saves us. From physical death he saves us. Regenerative life is our experience. Abundant life is our gift. Eternal life is our inheritance.
Consider the light of God. He is the one who informs, teaches, and guides. How grand is the counsel of the Wonderful Counselor.
The psalmist then goes to prayer.
Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your righteousness to the upright of heart! Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away. There the evildoers lie fallen; they are thrust down, unable to rise.Psalm 36:10-12
Here, three supplications are found:
First, please continue your steadfast love and righteousness to those who know you, to those with upright hearts.
Second, please protect me from the feet and hands of those who are wicked and arrogant — those who want to harm your people.
Third, please help me to remember the assured victory. It has been determined; it is a fixed reality; those who fear not you, those who are evildoers, they are fallen, thrust down, and unable to rise. They will not be able to harm our future bliss.
So my friends, what are we to do with this information today?
I would encourage you not to under-think your sin. You can meditate on it all day long. You can write down your sins of commission. You can go back and then begin on your list of omissions. You can keep your list going all day long. You can even ask your family and friends to help you make the list longer. However, as great as you think your sin to be, you have not even come close to the depth of your depravity. As a rebel before the face of a holy God, you are much worst than you think you are.
I would encourage you not to under-think your Judge. You can pretend he winks and nods at your peccadilloes. You can imagine you are in pretty good stead with him. You can think he softly glows with righteous indignation and is not violently angry, but you would be wrong. He is Holy and hates sin and sinners every single day. (Psalm 5:5; 7:11) Hot is his hell.
I would encourage you not to under-think your Savior. His love, mercy, grace, and substitutionary righteousness is as high as the heavens, as majestic as the mountains, and as deep as the seas. It is steadfast and unlovable. It is lavish and over-the-top. This too can be meditated upon all the day. And when all is contemplated, you still have not begun to understand the height, depth, width, and breadth of God’s love. You are his beloved child. You get to dine and dance in his house of feasting. You get to swim and frolic in his river of delight. His life is your life. His light is your light. Don’t under-think this.
Finally, I would encourage you not to under-think your Victor. Enemies of Christ and his family abound everywhere. Don’t over-think their power and under-think your God. Some of your enmies will be conquered and saved. Some of your enemies will be conquered and damned. But all of them are nothing and will prove to be nothing in comparison to the Almighty God and his Kingdom. So don’t over-think your enemies and under-think your future. Everything is and will work out alright.