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Thursday, February 25, 2016

PSALM 36


 
"I am still learning."
 Michelangelo
 
 

 
As an artist I have been taught that in a line drawing, contrast is what can set it apart.  Without the dark shadings, against the light, the quality is not distinguished.  So as this Psalm 36 begins, the dark is examined in what some have called "the perfect sinner."

 
"Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;
There is no fear of God before his eyes.
For it flatters him in his own eyes
Concerning the discovery of his iniquity and the hatred of it.
The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit;
He has ceased to be wise and to do good.
He plans wickedness upon his bed;
He sets himself on a path that is not good;
He does not despise evil."(verses 1-4)

 
Condense this to "There is no fear of God before his eyes...He does not despise evil."
 
"...when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin."
(James 1:15)


 
"Some think that the words should be understood,
'He smootheth over in his own eyes, with respect to the finding out of his own iniquity, to hate it.
That is, that he sets such a fine gloss in his own eyes upon his worst actions,
that he never finds out the blackness of his iniquity;
which, were it perceived by him, would be hateful even to himself...
He fixes his purpose to do what is bad, and he does it without any checks of conscience,
or abhorrence of evil.  He is bent only on mischief, and lost to all sense of God and goodness."


 
This is very dark indeed.  It is the contrast upon which we see the glory of the next verses.
 
"Your lovingkindness, O Lord,
extends to the heavens,
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Your righteousness is like
the ( mighty) mountains of God;
Your judgments are like a great deep (the rolling tide)...
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!"
(verses 5-7)
 
Aren't you glad this has been put to music in a familiar chorus that is singing in our souls? 


 
"God is good to all; which is seen in His bountifulness, fidelity, justice; and in His preservation of all things.  Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens...Thy faithfulness is in the clouds (blessings from the heavens)...Thy righteousness is  immoveable.  Thy judgments are a great deep (the great abyss; as incomprehensible as the great chaos, or first matter of all things which God created in the beginning --Genesis 1:2.).  Unsearchable..."


 
"The Old Psalter, in paraphrasing the mountains of God, says 'Thf rightwisnes, that es, ryghtwisemen, er gastly hilles of God; for thai er hee in contemplacioun, and soner resayves the light of Crist.'  Here is a metaphor taken from the tops of the mountains and high hills first catching the rays of the rising son.  'Righteous men are spiritual hills of God; for they are high in contemplation, and sooner receive the light of Christ.' 


 
Now jump down to verse 9,
"In thy light, we see light."

 
"No man can illuminate his own soul...
So when God speaks light into the dark heart of man,
he not only beholds his own deformity and need of the salvation of God,
 but he beholds the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."


  
Now do you see the contrast between the first four verses down to verse 9. 
It is indeed a beautiful picture,


 O Child of God.
 


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