Do Not Be Provoked – Psalm 36

While Bible scholars consider Psalm 18 as the Psalm during the old age of the Psalmist, scholars attribute Psalm 36 to the young David. David was introduced as “the servant of God” in these Psalms. Because in both of these Psalms, David stopped listening to the provoking noises and started listening to the soothing voice of God. If we want to serve God, the primary thing to do is to stop inclining to the provoking noises. When we listen to the provoking noises, we compare ourselves with the worldly blessings of the wicked and torment our hearts for being straightforward. This hinders us from hearing the word of God that is meant for our lives.

A Message From God

I have a message from God in my heart
concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:
There is no fear of God
before their eyes.

Psalms 36:1 (NIV)

This world is full of noises that create a commotion. This noise of the world is nothing but the voice of the devil. Initially, it deceived Eve to deprive her of her image of God. The same voice reaches the people of this world to deprive them of their salvation. The Psalmist had discerned the voice of God amidst commotions, and he wrote about it in Psalm 19.

The author of the book of Hebrews differentiates the noise from the voice of God. For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). We fail to analyze our thoughts before it becomes our attitudes amidst the commotion of the world.

Weighing our thoughts in the light of His word helps us receive pardon for our sins, and once we receive His pardon, God shares His desire and makes us His co-workers. Initially, the pattern of the world swallowed up Jonah’s soul and spirit, and God did not share the burden of His heart with him but only instructed him. When he repented and allowed the word of God to judge his thoughts and attitudes, God revealed His heart to him. 

And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell (differentiate) their right hand from their left—and also many animals?

Jonah 4:11 (NIV)

David heard a message from God that prevented him from ranking himself above all sinners but enabled him to rank himself among the sinners and lift his prayer for their salvation.

Failing To Do Good

In their own eyes they flatter themselves
too much to detect or hate their sin.
The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful;
they fail to act wisely or do good.

Psalms 36:2-3 (NIV)

The devil’s active trick is to make us proud of ourselves and our attitudes. Boasting about our achievements, leads us to forget God, who gave us wisdom and strength to arrive at this stage. It gives us satisfaction, and we fail to identify our sins. When we applaud the achievements of others, we are laying a snare to make them proud.

Pride comes before fall; as our pride does not allow us to thank God for His unconditional love. We fail to act wisely and stop doing good to ourselves and others. Judas Iscariot felt proud about ministering with Jesus, and in his pride, he sold his discipleship for thirty silver coins. We should humble ourselves while we serve God, else, we will end up selling our ministry for the passions of this world.

The Temple Of God

Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
You, LORD, preserve both people and animals.

Psalms 36:5-6 (NIV)

During the Old Testament time, people believed that God was in heaven. Solomon used God-given wisdom to judge his people and rule over his kingdom but failed to see God dwelling in this world. He said in his worldly wisdom, God is in heaven, and we are on earth (Ecclesiastes 5:2). But David had a different opinion of God residing in his heart and dwelling in the world. Jesus hanging on the Cross, sent His love toward sinners to His Father and asked Him to pardon us. The book of Revelation reveals to us that God resides amongst us. 

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 

Revelation 21:3 (NIV)

Wisdom gives us theoretical knowledge regarding the whereabouts of God (Isaiah 61:1). The Spirit of God gives an understanding that God wants to favour people who are humble and contrite in spirit and who tremble at His word residing in them (Isaiah 66:2). David foresaw Jesus praying from this earth to his father to preserve His people from perishing (John 17) and (Hebrews 5:7).

The Feast Of The Lord

They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.

Psalms 36:8-9 (NIV)

The idea of feasting resembles the vision of Isaiah and John. On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine— the best of meats and the finest of wines (Isaiah 25:6) and Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God (Revelation 19:9).”

David talked about a table prepared by God in front of his enemies (Psalm 23:5). Many people mistake this provision for vindication, whereas the real message is to prepare our enemies to join the table. Again, the thought of David about the fountain of life goes in line with Zechariah 13:1 and John 6:68. This is obvious that if we meditate on His word day and night (Psalm 1:3), God reveals the secrets of the scripture well in advance to cherish His presence on this earth itself.

Committing The Faithfull To The Lord

Continue your love to those who know you,
your righteousness to the upright in heart.

Psalms 36:10 (NIV)

While everyone wants to project themselves as righteous by proving others as unrighteous, David commits all who love God in the custody of God for their safe journey towards eternity. Again, this prayer of David, resembles the prayer of Jesus. I have made you known to them and will continue to make you known so that the love you have for me may be in them and that I may be in them (John 17:26).

Don’t be instigated by what is happening around us. Focus on Jesus, who teaches us to pray for the perishing souls.

Heavenly Father, make us instrumental in bringing those who do not know your love into your presence so that they will receive your incredible love in their hearts.

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