We conclude our trio of studies on Psalm 36 today by reviewing the final six verses. So far, we have considered David’s revelation of sinfulness in part 1 – A Revelation of Wickedness, and then yesterday we thought about some of the attributes of God in – Faithful to the Skies.
How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity finds shelter
in the shadow of your wings.
8 You feed them from the abundance of your own house,
letting them drink from your river of delights.
9 For you are the fountain of life,
the light by which we see.
10 Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you;
give justice to those with honest hearts.
11 Don’t let the proud trample me
or the wicked push me around.
12 Look! Those who do evil have fallen!
They are thrown down, never to rise again.Psalm 36:7-12 NLT
Verse seven reminds us of how precious God’s unfailing love is. In many ways, this is obvious but that makes it all too easy to just pass it over. Preciousness means value, not necessarily financial, but something we prize. God does not have to love us (in a sense). Although it would be against His character and nature, He could look upon our sinfulness and reject us outright. God’s love is not to be taken lightly or for granted. The more precious something is, the more it tends to cost, and God’s love cost Him His Son.
Many Christians ask themselves if God really loves them. They may not feel loved, and so question whether God cares at all. In the hectic world we live in, it can be difficult to hear from God at times. This leads us to think He is distant, or even uncaring. Not so! I often ask myself how well or often I hear from God, and my answer is usually the same. When I set aside other things, sit down in the quiet with Him, and listen – truly listen – I inevitably hear what God is telling me. To hear God speak into my life through His Word or in other ways is a true privilege, and it reminds me how much He really does care for me. And the same is true for you.
God’s love is not just restricted to us however, but extends to all humanity (as verse seven reminds us). John 3:16 springs to mind here:
For this is how God loved the world: He gave[a] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal lifeJohn 3:16 NLT
God’s love extends to all humanity. While this does not mean all will accept it, it does affirm that it is available to all. The Bible does not support the idea that all people will be saved, no matter what, for that idea cheapens the cross and leaves little incentive to live a godly life in Christ Jesus. There is a hell to avoid, and while the thought does not bless me, I rejoice that God has made a way for us. Let each of us tell as many as we can of God’s saving love which never fails.
Upon first reading of verse eight, I am not certain if it refers to physical food and drink, or rather points to something more spiritual. God does indeed provide us food and sustenance, and it is certainly important to take a moment to thank Him at each meal time. Not everyone has the abundance of food we do, so it is right not to take our material blessings for granted.
Looking to verse nine as well, I wonder if David was thinking of more spiritual food in verse eight. Verse nine shows us that God is the fountain of life for us. While we need food to survive, we need God no less so. He controls all things, sustains all things, and our next breath is utterly dependent on Him and His grace towards us. God is not just our life, but our light as well. 1 John 1:5 echoes this psalm in telling us God is light. We cannot hope to see our way through this life or the next without the light of God. We cannot hope to understand, nor can we see the right way to go unless God first shows us the way. His Word is indeed a lamp unto our feet as Psalm 119:105 tells us.
Verse ten and eleven turn into an apparent word of prayer. The psalmist asks God to pour out His unfailing love on those who love Him. As referred to above, God has done this at the cross of Calvary. I am not sure we now need ask God to pour out His love, but perhaps it is better to pray that we understand and perceive the love He has already shown. David asks God to give justice to those with honest hearts. Justice is a common theme in the Bible, and we trust God to make all things well in the end. Justice in this life is not guaranteed, but we know that the God of justice will indeed comfort the afflicted and wipe every tear from their eye.
Pour out your unfailing #love on those who love you; give #justice to those with honest hearts. Psa 36:10 NLT #BibleTweet
Verse eleven seeks protection from the proud. I like the phrasing of the NLT here, as no one likes to be “pushed around.” This continues the theme of justice, and the cry to protect the downtrodden. The proud pick on the weak, exploiting them for their own gain. We, as the people of God, must not be like this. We must not show favouritism, nor exploit those who we think are beneath us. Time and time again the Bible speaks of looking after orphans and widows, and we must look after those who are in need or marginalised.
This psalm of contrasts comes to an end with an almost prophetic note. Behold, the psalmist cries out, the wicked are no more! David knows the justice of his God, and knows that the wicked cannot stand before Him. A time will come when sin will end. A time is coming soon when the wicked will see justice. At the end of all things, God will separate the sheep from the goats, and will take care of His sheep for all eternity. I want to be among them, and want you to be too.
You cannot have #love without #justice. #Bible #Jesus #ChristianityTweet
God’s love touched on in this psalm is not so far removed from His justice. To love someone means hating anyone or anything that would harm them. You cannot have love without justice. We give thanks that our God is both full of unfailing love, and a God of true justice. Receive His love today, and allow Jesus to pay the penalty for your sin so that justice is satisfied.
Blessings on you this day.