Psalm 36 - overcomer - Transgression speaks within my heart
This is a wonderful sweet Psalm. The negativeness of the 1st 4 verses meets me right where I'm at and exposes. From there it lifts up to the sure mercies of God and the enjoyment of His life and light. It leaves with a sober prayer to continue in.
Verses 1-4 are the condemning speaking of David's conscience. Verses 5-9 are the enjoyment of the Lord in contrast to and concurrent with the sinful nature within. Verses 10-11 are a prayer as the result of enjoying the Lord. Verse 12 is a watchful observation as a result of the prayer.
There are only 2 Psalms that have in the heading, "to the servant of the Lord". (It could also be translated "by the servant of the Lord".) The other is Ps 18
. To be a servant of the Lord, we need to know our own sinfulness, yet at the same time enjoy the Lord's mercy, faithfulness, judgment, house's fatness, life and light. This psalm to the Lord's servant does not contain anything about working for the Lord, but to live in and enjoy His light. This is to be an overcomer (Zech 12:8
). This is in contrast to the "workers of iniquity" in the last verse
of this psalm.
The verb for "speaks" here, naum, is used exclusively for the speaking of God or of a prophet, hence it means to speak as an oracle.
The Hebrew in v1 literally says:
Transgression speaks as an oracle to the wicked in the midst of my heart, There is no terror of God in front of his eyes.
Most translate it, "The transgression of the wicked speaks ...". This is wrong. The word "wicked" has the preposition "le
", which means "to the wicked", not "of the wicked". There are 99 occurrences of "of the wicked" in KJV. Not one of these has the preposition "le
". There are 16 uses of "le
" prefixed to "wicked" in the Hebrew Bible, and in none of these does "le
" mean "of". When used with a verb that means "to speak", this preposition means that the speaking is directed to the object of the preposition "le
" (Ex 2:13; Pr 9:7; 24:24; Isa 48:22; 57:21; Ezek 3:18; 33:8,14
The speaking in vv 1-4 is the speaking of David's conscience, which is one with God (1 Jn 3:20-21
). His heart condemns his thought as being someone else inside his heart (Rom 7:15-25
). This wicked one in his heart does not have the fear of God before his eyes.
The pronouns in verses 1b-4 are 3rd person masculine singular. These can be translated into English as "he", or with the indefinite pronoun, "they". Translated as "he", David is referring to the sin within him as someone in him that is not himself as Paul did in Romans 7
. Rom 3:18
translates it as "they", referring to all human beings.
The worst thing you have to fear is the treachery of your own heart. - Charles Spurgeon
Lit. - For he flatters himself in his eyes so that his sin is found to be hateful.
When we have thoughts, particularly of self-justification, we need to ask: Is the fear of God in front of the eyes that produced this thought, or is it flattering myself in my own eyes?
To flatter yourself in your own eyes is to reason away the speaking of the conscience and the Word. (Rom 2:15
; 12:16; Lk 16:15)
If we do not keep the dread of God in front of our eyes, we will flatter ourselves in our own eyes instead. Keeping the dread of God in front of our eyes keeps us from such self-deceiving thoughts.
- Our sinful nature speaks sin within us and deceives us (Rom 7:11
). It goes against the wisdom we know in the Word (Rom 7:10-14
). It deceives us into thinking we will do good, but we actually don't do the good (Rom 7:15
- The servant of the Lord and the overcomer must realize he is like this (Rom 8:5-8
It is not good to stay in bed too long in the morning. Our mind will think up mischief. Go to bed and wake up early the same time every day. This is a way to refuse to be wicked. To sleep late will cause you to tread on a not good road the whole day.
As we listen to our conscience, we turn our eyes to the Lord, His mercy, faithfulness, righteousness, judgments, salvation, protection, satisfaction, abundance, richness, house, enjoyment, life and light.
I love this verse. If this Psalm started off with verse 5, I would not appreciate this verse so much. When I am suffering, the 1st 4 verses meet me where I am at. They remind me of who I am. Then verse 5 gives me such hope. I realize how much I need the Lord's mercy and how wonderful the Lord's mercy is and how faithful He is to bestow it.
The 1st 4 verses of this Psalm remind me of Ephesians 2:1-3
. Verses 5-10 of the Psalm remind me of Ephesians 2:4-10
The Lord's judgments are very deep. When we are suffering, we may not understand why because the Lord's judgments are a great deep. It is for our own best interest as well as His (Rom 8:27-39
The Lord even saves the beasts. Surely He will take care of our need.
- Lit. How precious is Your mercy, O God! And the sons of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
Appreciating the Lord's mercy, faithfulness, righteousness, judgments, and salvation and taking refuge in the shadow of the Lord's wings are things we must do for ourselves individually. These lead us to the Lord's house, the church in the next verse.
Starting in the middle of verse 7 the pronouns in this psalm change from 3rd person singular to 3rd person plural. Realizing our sinfulness is something individual. Enjoying the Lord is much richer together with God's people.
- This experience of being abundantly satisfied with the fatness of the Lord's house requires the Lord's house, which is the church. This requires other believers to enjoy the Lord with.
The river of Your pleasures could also be translated "the river of Your Eden". The river of God's delight flows in the church where there is the freedom of the Spirit (Ps 46:4; Rev 22:1-2; John 7:38-39
Our experience of Christ is much richer in the church than individually (Eph 3:18-21
), however there is no substitute for our individual experience of Him. Our individual experience is the basis for our corporate experience.
- The fountain of life and light is also much richer in the Lord's house, the church (1 John 1:7
When we walk in the light, then we receive light from the Lord in the word and concerning our life.
"We see light" here refers back to our "eyes" in verses 1-2.
- The abundant enjoyment of the Lord's house should cause us to soberly pray to continue His mercy to all those who know Him, and His righteousness to all the upright in heart.
The Lord's blessing often departs because we get proud and do not realize that it is the Lord's mercy. We forget to be upright in heart, and think that if we do religious things for the Lord then we are righteous. It is a mercy of the Lord for us to be upright in heart.
We also need to have the view to pray for all those who know the Lord and all the upright in heart, not just for those that have the same view as we do or those who are in our group.
- I would have ended the Psalm with verse 10. Verse 11 is a prayer that I not be led into temptation by the proud or the wicked. This includes a proud or wicked person coming to deceive me as well as myself becoming proud or wicked. I would like to end with the high enjoyment of Christ, but the Spirit tells us to be watchful in prayer.
- This is serious because the workers of iniquity cannot rise after falling here by stumbling those who love the Lord (Matt 18:6; Mk 9:42; Lk 17:2
). "There" refers to the works mentioned in v11.
The workers of iniquity are in contrast to the servant of the Lord. The workers of iniquity do not keep the fear of God before their eyes but succumb to flattering themselves. At one time they may have had the enjoyment spoken of in this Psalm in vv 5 - 9, but did not continue in the Lord's mercy. This should be a warning to us. We can all become "workers of iniquity".
No Christian today would end a hymn in this way. We want to always end with something positive. The divine way usually ends with a positive, but not infrequently, as here, with a warning. This way we do not forget the warning.
3/27/09 copyright Steve Miller voiceInWilderness.info
to the overcomer
, to the servant of the Lord, through David
Transgression speaks to the wicked
in the midst of my heart,
Before him there's no dread of God
to guard his eyes apart.
For he flatters self in his eyes
so that his sin is magnified,
found to be hateful in God's eyes.
He is blinded by pride.
The words of his mouth, they
and are deceitful too.
He has forsaken instruction.
The good he does not do.
He thinks up mischief on his bed.
Upon a road not good, he treads,
not refusing to be wicked,
in darkness he is led.
5 Praise You, O
which in the heavens is.
Beyond the clouds which I can see,
so is your faithfulness.
Your righteousness as mounts mighty,
Your judgments are as a great deep,
O Lord, You save both man and beast.
How precious Your mercy!
Therefore the sons of men, O God,
in Your wings' shadow trust.
Abundantly they're satisfied
with Your house's fatness.
You give them to drink of Your life,
from the river of Your delight,
for with Thee is the fount of life.
In Thy light we see light.
Continue Your mercy to those
who know You, though in part,
and Your surpassing righteousness
to the upright in heart.
The foot of the proud let not come
against myself to make me numb,
nor the hand of the wicked one
move me from my portion.
The workers of iniquity,
there are they fallen low.
They are cast down and cannot rise.
Your mercy they don't know.
Ex 2:13 And he goeth out on the second day, and lo, two men, Hebrews, striving! and he saith to the wicked, `Why dost thou smite thy neighbor?'
Pr 9:7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.
Pr 24:24 He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him:
Isa 48:22 There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.
Isa 57:21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
Eze 3:18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
Eze 33:8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
Eze 33:14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;
1 John 3:19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
Rom 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
8:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.
Luke 16:13 No household servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. 14 And the Pharisees, being lovers of money, heard all these things and were sneering at Him. 15 And He said to them, You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
Rom 8:5 For they that are according to flesh mind the things of the flesh; and they that are according to Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
6 For the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the Spirit life and peace.
7 Because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God; for neither indeed can it be:
8 and they that are in flesh cannot please God.
Matt 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
Luke 12:6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
Jonah 4:11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?
Ps 46:4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
Rev 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Eph 3:16 that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man;
17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 may be strong to apprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
19 and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled unto all the fulness of God.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 unto him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever. Amen.
Matt 3:17 And behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is My Son , the Beloved, in whom I have found My delight.
Mk 1:11 And a voice came out of the heavens: You are My Son , the Beloved; in You I have found My delight.
Lk 3:22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form as a dove upon Him. And a voice came out of heaven: You are My Son , the Beloved; in You I have found My delight.
Matt 12:18 ``Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul has found delight . I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will announce justice to the Gentiles.
Matt 17:5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is My Son , the Beloved, in whom I have found My delight. Hear Him!
1 Pet 1:17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory, a voice such as this being borne to Him by the magnificent glory: This is My Son , My Beloved, in whom I delight. 18 And this voice we heard being borne out of heaven while we were with Him in the holy mountain.
Into a large place He brought me.
He delivered me because He delighted in me.
Luke 2:14 Glory in the highest places to God, and on earth peace among men of His good pleasure .
John 4:13 Jesus answered and said to her, Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again, 14 But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall by no means thirst forever; but the water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water gushing up into eternal life.
John 7:37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water. 39 But this He said concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed into Him were about to receive; for the Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.
Eph 1:5 Predestinating us unto sonship through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 To the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He graced us in the Beloved; 7 In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of offenses, according to the riches of His grace, 8 Which He caused to abound to us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 Making known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure , which He purposed in Himself,
Phil 2:12 So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only but now much rather in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 For it is God who operates in you both the willing and the working for His good pleasure .
Heb 10:38 But My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul does not delight in him.''
11:5 By faith Enoch was translated so that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God had translated him. For before his translation he obtained the testimony that he had been well pleasing to God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing to Him, for he who comes forward to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
1 John 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Mt 18:6 But whoso shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea.
Mr 9:42 And whosoever shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it were better for him if a great millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
Lu 17:2 It were well for him if a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, rather than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble.
Rom 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the passions for sins, which acted through the law, operated in our members to bear fruit to death.
8 But sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, worked out in me coveting of every kind; for without the law sin is dead.
9 And I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.
10 And the commandment, which was unto life, this very commandment was found to me to be unto death.
11 For sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.
12 So then the law is holy, and the commandment holy and righteous and good.
13 Did then that which is good become death to me? Absolutely not! But sin did, that it might be shown to be sin by working out death in me through that which is good, that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.
14 For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am fleshy, sold under sin.
15 For what I work out, I do not acknowledge; for what I will, this I do not practice; but what I hate, this I do.
16 But if what I do not will, this I do, I agree with the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no longer I that work it out, but sin that dwells in me.
18 For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but to work out the good is not.
19 For I do not do the good which I will; but the evil which I do not will, this I practice.
20 But if what I do not will, this I do, it is no longer I that work it out but sin that dwells in me.
21 I find then the law with me who wills to do the good, that is, the evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inner man,
23 But I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and making me a captive to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of this death?
25 Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh, the law of sin.
Rom 8:27 But He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to God.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
29 Because those whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers;
30 And those whom He predestinated, these He also called; and those whom He called, these He also justified; and those whom He justified, these He also glorified.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
32 Indeed, He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also with Him freely give us all things?
33 Who shall bring a charge against God's chosen ones? It is God who justifies.
34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ Jesus who died and, rather, who was raised, who is also at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword?
36 As it is written, ``For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; we have been accounted as sheep for slaughter.''
37 But in all these things we more than conquer through Him who loved us.
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor things present nor things to come nor powers
39 Nor height nor depth nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Zech 12:8 In that day will Jehovah defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that stumbles among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David as God, as the Angel of Jehovah before them.
Eph 2:1 And you, though dead in your offenses and sins, 2 In which you once walked according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, of the spirit which is now operating in the sons of disobedience; 3 Among whom we also all conducted ourselves once in the lusts of our flesh, doing the
desires of the flesh and of the thoughts, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest;
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in offenses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) 6 And raised us up together with Him and seated us together with Him in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus, 7 That He might display in the ages to come the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; 9 Not of works that no one should boast. 10 For we are His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand in order that we would walk in them.
3/29/09 copyright Steve Miller voiceInWilderness.info