This week, Richard Coekin (CEO of Co-Mission and Senior Pastor of Dundonald Church) encourages us with the words of another psalm.
Wickedness Comes from Pride – Take Refuge in God’s Love!
In a world of deadly sickness, financial crisis and shocking racial injustice, we are surely compelled to recognise the powerlessness, folly and evil of humanity. And to seek the comfort, wisdom and justice of God in heaven.
In the psalms we are given many prayers/songs that either lament human sin or praise God’s loving righteousness. This beautiful Psalm 36 does both.
Verses 1–4 are a withering diagnosis of the origins of human wickedness – pride before God. Verses 5–12 are a contrasting and thrilling description of God’s commitment to unfailing love, coming justice and eternal blessing.
We meet this God fully in Jesus, who died for our sin and rose for our acceptance into heaven. He graciously invites us all to repent of our pride to trust in him, and to enjoy the abundant delights of his presence – now by faith and one day in heaven. It’s a perfect psalm for us as we grieve with those who are oppressed by hatred and long for justice to be done.
As before, I have fashioned the psalm as a prayer, introducing a line of explanation after each verse. You could pray this on your own, with friends over Zoom or around the tea-table with your family. Let us bend the knee in prayer…
Almighty God, our heavenly Father
‘For the director of music. Of David the servant of the Lord.’
Thank you for giving us musicians and words from your servant King to sing from our hearts.
‘1 I have a message from God in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before their eyes…’
We are grieved to realise that sin and wickedness derive from a lack of reverence and accountability to you.
‘2 In their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin…’
We are grieved that arrogant pride makes sinners ignorant and unashamed of their sin.
‘3 The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful; they fail to act wisely or do good…’
We are grieved by the selfishness and lies of so many who neglect your wisdom and justice.
‘4Even on their beds they plot evil; they commit themselves to a sinful course and do not reject what is wrong…’
We are grieved by those who plot immorality and exploitation, and who fail to resist or condemn injustice.
‘5 Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies…’
We praise you that your love, even for us, is so immense it is beyond measure.
‘6 Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals…’
We praise you that you are just and will bring justice in the end – for you care for all you have created.
‘7 How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings…’
We praise you for your precious and unending love – that we find safety and comfort in your presence.
‘8 They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights…’
We praise you for your many generous blessings, and for the delights you have prepared for us in heaven.
‘9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light…’
We praise you that, even in this world of death and darkness, in Christ we have inexhaustible life and light.
‘10 Continue your love to those who know you; your righteousness to the upright in heart…’
Please keep loving all of us who know you and are trying to be upright and just for you.
‘11 May the foot of the proud not come against me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away…’
Please protect us from those who would oppress and hurt us, and give us access to the resources we need.
‘12 See how the evildoers lie fallen – thrown down, not able to rise!’
We praise you that justice will be done – and are humbled to realise that evildoers will not share your glory.