A revelation is within my heart about the disobedience of the wicked: “There is no fear of God before his eyes.” For he flatters himself in his own eyes, too much to detect and hate his sin (Ps. 36:1-2 WEB).
Holy Father, your Scripture tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge (Prov. 9:10). This concept of fear comes from the Hebrew word פַּ֥חַד, and it means terror or dread.
While this sounds intense and jarring for a new believer, it has to be recognized that God is the supreme ruler and king over all kings. There is nothing greater or more glorious than Yahweh–for these reasons, we ought to fear His powerful, mighty, and holy nature.
At the same time, God is also full of love, grace, and truth. He is a good Father who cares for His children and wants the best for all people–He has made it clear that His desire is for all mankind to be saved (2 Pet. 3:8). The Bible also states that perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). Is there a contradiction here? Absolutely not. For this type of fear is out of reverence and respect for an omnipotent king who happens to be an omnibenevolent Creator.
In this passage, the psalmist is declaring that the wicked do not fear God. Their disobedience, hatred, and disregard for God is a sign that they have a reprobate mind. In fact, his self-centered flattering and love for iniquity clouds his judgment of who the great God of this universe really is; for he has created a false god made in his own image and likeness. O Lord, open the eyes of the wicked so they will repent and see the glory of Christ.
“The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit. He has ceased to be wise and to do good. He plots iniquity on his bed. He sets himself in a way that is not good. He doesn’t abhor evil (Ps. 36:3-4).”
Everlasting Father, the wicked are full of deceit. Their tongues are full of hatred and lies. They plot and devise to do evil. The Hebrew word יַחְשֹׁ֗ב for devise means to think upon and consider how to practice iniquity. This premeditation of sin is what the Lord Almighty despises.
O Lord, that’s why the unrighteous set themselves against you. They run from the light and hide in the darkness because their deeds are full of evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed (John 3:20). I pray that those who are on the wrong path might turn from their sin, call on the name of the Lord, and be saved. For whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Rom 10:13).
“Your lovingkindness, Yahweh, is in the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God. Your judgments are like a great deep. Yahweh, you preserve man and animal (Ps. 36:5-6).”
O God, but we know you are good. We perceive your lovingkindness and mercy. You are faithful and peaceful towards your creation. You desire that we enjoy our life. Your Holy Son, Jesus of Nazareth, stated that He has come to not only have eternal life, but a life full of abundance (John 10:10).
Yahweh, your judgments are right and true. Your wisdom and knowledge are greater than the deepest trenches of the ocean. You safeguard your creation by a strong, mighty, right hand. You preserve, or in the Hebrew תוֹשִׁ֣יעַ – saving and liberating us from our carnal nature and replacing it with the gift of the Holy Spirit.
“How precious is your loving kindness, God! The children of men take refuge under the shadow of your wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the abundance of your house. You will make them drink of the river of your pleasures (Ps. 36:7-8).”
Your love is precious יָּקָ֥ר. It’s rare, splendid, greater than the most valuable ruby. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul? Knowing God and standing in right relationship is better than anything the world can offer (Mark 8:34). It is the most amazing gift we can receive.
Heavenly King, your children take refuge under the shadow of your wings. Continue to protect us from the enemy; when we have doubts, fill our minds with confidence that there is nothing that can separate us from your love and deep mercy. You keep us satisfied and content; we are protected in the house of the almighty one.
Jesus told us that rom our innermost being will flow rivers of living water (John 7:38-39). The prophet Isaiah also echoes the same sentiments when he said, “You will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation.” Finally, there is a water of life that we will drink from in heaven that is recorded in Revelation 22:1-2. Praise be to God for these glorious truths!
“For with you is the spring of life. In your light we will see light. Oh continue your loving kindness to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart (Ps. 36-9-10).”
You are the spring of life. You are the fountain, the source, מְק֣וֹר, an everlasting resource that will never run dry. Your Holy Spirit will fill us up all the days of our lives, and we will continue to drink from your well forevermore.
You are the light of the world (Jn. 8:12). Jesus told us, “He who follows me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life. Great King and Savior, continue embracing us with your love, truth, and righteousness. For your righteousness comes to the upright in heart.
For you have taken out our fleshly heart of stone and given us a new heart. Ezekiel 36:26 promises this: “ I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Praise be to God for your infinite love.
“Don’t let the foot of pride come against me. Don’t let the hand of the wicked drive me away. There the workers of iniquity are fallen. They are thrust down, and shall not be able to rise (Ps. 36:11-12).”
Precious Savior, I pray that pride does not come against me. Proverbs 11:2 exclaims, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Let us therefore reject pride and seek to be humble so that God can fill us with wisdom and knowledge that will make a positive change in this world. It is also said, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Help us to meditate on this great truth O Lord of Heaven and Earth.
Pride causes sinners to fall. Proverbs 16:18 makes this clear: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Thus, when workers of iniquity are tempted to allow pride to linger in their hearts, it leads to their demise. They are thrust down and will not be able to rise. King of kings and Lord of lords, do not allow us to fall into the trap of pride–give us the strength to reject it so we can rise confidently in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prayer commentary written by Chad A. Damitz (M.Div)