The Book of Psalms Bible Study Psalm 36

Psalm 36

When we understand how sin functions in the life of an individual we should have strong motivation for wanting sin out of our lives. A true believer’s primary motivation for receiving Yeshua into their lives is that they don’t want to walk in sin any longer – not only because we are concerned with the eternal punishment that sin brings about, but also because of the adverse effects of sin in our day to day lives (in our behaviour and in our thoughts). 

Inscription: David uniquely identifies himself as a servant of the L-rd. David was committed to serving and obeying G-d. 

v1: Transgression – knowingly, wilfully disobedient to the purpose/will/commandments of the Word of G-d. 

  • No fear of G-d – Their attitude is one of not giving G-d priority in every aspect of their lives (thoughts, behaviour, speech etc). They are in rebellion against G-d. They have no fear of G-d as they think He is not going to do anything to them. 
  • ‘before his eyes’ – his perspective is skewered. 

v2: ‘Flatters himself’ – he builds himself up, rooted in pride. Pride causes our perspective of G-d to become smaller as the perspective of ourselves increases. He only thinks about himself. 

  • Finds out his iniquity – ie it is exposed. 
  • ‘He hates’ – He hates to be convicted of his sin or called to account for it. 

v3: The wicked man’s words are full of sin and deception – things that are not pleasing to G-d. 

When we are following sin it is going to impact how we speak to others. We will speak things that conflict with the purity and holiness of G-d. We need to be people concerned with speaking truth. We don’t want to be people who invent stories, distort facts etc in order to manipulate others. G-d’s Kingdom is NEVER advanced through falsehood. 

  • Ceased to be wise (Romans 1)
  • Ceased…to do good: He doesn’t do the will of G-d. These people cease to do those things that have a positive/good influence in their lives. 

v4: ‘devises wickedness” – he positions himself to think about and create ways to do evil. 

  • Sets himself” – again a word of positioning himself. He stands for what is evil and not for what is good. He delights to stand and walk in a path of wickedness. 
  • He loves to do evil. He is defiant against G-d. Sin will work in our lives to influence us, to position us, whereby we are an active enemy of G-d. Righteousness turns us into a friend of G-d (James 2:23)

v5: In this verse we see (yet again) a link between mercy/grace and faith. It is the grace of G-d that produces faithfulness in our lives. Naturally both of these things are out of our reach (in the heavens) but IN Messiah these are attainable for us. Grace brings about a change in our lives, a regeneration (Titus 2:11-12 )

v6: Mountains are large, strong, powerful. They also reach into the heavens. 

  • Great deep – ie great abyss. This verse speaks to G-d’s sovereignty. His righteousness and justice will ultimately fill all of His creation. If we are wise we’re going to seek His righteousness, and are going to behave according to His judgments (G-d’s instructions, not just judgements in the sense of punishments).
  • G-d’s righteousness and justice is not only geared toward man but toward all of His creation (creation groans…). In His lovingkindness G-d is going to bring a change to both man and to creation. 

v7: We need to remember that this is Hebrew poetry. With poetry there is parallelism – things are likened to one another. In this verse G-ds lovingkindness or grace is likened to the shadow of G-d’s wings. The rabbis say that these wings are a reference to the four cornered garment worn by Hebrew men in their prayers. Numbers 15: 37- 41 tells us that there is a connection between this garment and the commandments of G-d. There is a connection between G-d’s grace and His commandments. When we are recipients of G-d’s grace we are going to want to submit to the Word/commandments of G-d. When we are walking in the purposes of G-d we find refuge and shelter in Him. 

v8: Abundantly satisfied = saturated. 

  • ‘House’ is referring to the house of G-d – being in a place of worship, wanting to worship G-d. There is a relationship between worship and G-d imparting good things to us – things that bring about a righteous change in our lives. 
  • ‘fullness’ is a word that speaks of a fertile land, the fatness of the land. Good things. G-d is going to nourish us spiritually. 
  • ‘Give them drink’ speaks of provision. 
  • ‘River of Your pleasures’ – those things that G-d delights in will be things that we delight in. 

v9: The implication of this verse is that it is only through G-d that we will find life. He is the source of life. 

  • Light speaks of illumination or revelation. G-d gives us a clear perspective. His perspective on things. 

v10: Those who know G-d are going to be blessed with His grace and righteousness.

  • Upright heart has to do with those who think straight/correctly. 

v11: ‘The foot of pride’ – a wise person does not want to be walking in the ways of those who carry out their pride or own personal desires. 

  • Hand = power or authority. We do not want to have anything to do with those who are opposed to G-d. David does not want to be moved away from G-d by wicked men. He does not want to be influenced by them. 

v12: David is explaining what the future of those who are influenced by sin looks like. Sin is going to trip them up and cause them to fall. 

  • Cast down and cannot rise – they are held down. Sin is going to keep them down and away from the upward call that we have in Messiah (Phil 3:14). G-d lifts us up, sin holds us down. Are we going to be people who accept G-d’s grace or are we going to exploit it? 

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