John T. Willis

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Yahweh's Steadfast Love demolishes Wicked Plots--Psalm 36

The composer of Psalm 36 vividly contrasts the wicked plans or plots of the wicked against Yahweh's steadfast love. This psalm falls into three brief pericopes or paragraphs.

1. The Poet describes the attitude and actions of the wicked. 36:1-4.
    a. This composer emphasizes that sin deeply affects the human heart. Transgression [as a personification] SPEAKS to the wicked DEEP in their hearts. Consequently, they do not FEAR [that is, respect, honor, hold in the highest regard, stand in awe of] Yahweh. 36:1.
    b. Wicked people FLATTER themselves and refuse to accept the iniquities which they commit. They dismiss the truth that Yahweh finds out and hates wicked attitudes and actions. This calls to mind the description of the wicked in Psalm 5:9 [Heb. 5:10]:
        "For there is no truth in their mouths;
               their HEARTS are destruction;
          their throats are open graves;
               they FLATTER with their tongues."
"Flatter" means to "shower praise or attentions upon, to gratify the recipient's vanity or to ingratitate oneself, to raise the unfounded hope or belief, as 'he flatters himself that he will win.'" 36:2
    c. The words of the wicked are mischief and deceit, and thus has ceased to act wisely and do good. 36:3.
    d. The wicked PLOT mischief to hurt other people, setting them on a path that is not good and refuse to reject evil. 36:4.

2. In bold contrast to the wicked, the psalmist turns to praise Yahweh's steadfast love. 36:5-9.
    a. The poet declares that Yahweh's steadfast love extends to the heavens, and his faithfulness extends to the clouds. 36:5.
    b. Yahweh's righteousness is like the highest mountains, and his judgments are like the great deep [the deepest ocean]. Yahweh delivers human beings and animals. 36:6.
    c. Yahweh's steadfast love is PRECIOUS [of the very highest value]; thus all people on earth must take refuge in the shadow of his wings. Here the psalmist compares Yahweh with a mother bird who spreads out her wings and gathers in all her little chicks. 36:7.
    d. Yahweh's faithful people FEAST on the abundance of Yahweh's house. Yahweh gives them drink from the river of Yahweh's delights. This RIVER is a symbol of Yahweh's great resources. Yahweh is the spiritual fountain of life, and in Yahweh's light, we see light. 36:8-9.

3. Finally, the psalmist addresses Yahweh directly, asking him that his steadfast love will continue. 36:10-12.
    a. The psalmist beseeches Yahweh to continue his steadfast love to THOSE WHO KNOW HIM," that is, those who maintain an intimately, daily, personal relationship with God, and to continue Yahweh's salvation to the upright in heart. 36:10.
    b. The poet implores Yahweh not to let the ARROGANT prevail or the hand of the WICKED drive him away. 36:11.
    c. Yahweh will demolish the wicked, who will lie prostrate on the ground unable to rise again. 36:12.

Always trust in Yahweh's steadfast love. Share YOUR insights and experiences with other. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis 


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