Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.
Psalm 36 paints a dark picture of the unrighteous. Here’s how the poet describes them. They flatter themselves, not caring about sin or goodness. They operate in post-truth mode: if news annoys them they call it false news, if it flatters them they call it true. They are all image and no substance. Because they do not fear God, their only morality is self-promotion. Whatever enhances their ego and image, whatever get votes, whatever makes money, whatever paints their opponents in a bad light is OK by them. They lie in bed making evil plans.
Against this dark background, the poet sketches a colorful picture of God whose love reaches to the heavens, whose faithfulness is bigger than the skies, whose righteousness is like a high mountain, whose justice plumbs the ocean depths (vv. 5-6). What a contrast to the small minded, self-interested, scheming perpetrators of evil.
God cares for people. We take refuge in the shadow of his wings, we feast in the abundance of his house, we drink water from his river of delights, in his light we see light (vv. 7-9). God’s generous gifts are in stark contrast to the greedy, grasping evildoer who schemes in the darkness.
Given this picture the poet says to God, “Continue your love to those who know you.”
Lord, the news we read, both true and false, is often a meditation on darkness and evil. Each month brings mass shootings, crushing accidents, vicious wars, and economic collapse.
But you invite us to turn away from our obsession with evil, and to turn toward evidence of your goodness. The world you have given us is good–each year it produces food for seven-and-a-half billion people. We live on the bounty of your faithfulness: wheat grows and we make bread, grapes grow and we make wine, olives grow and we have oil.
Your faithfulness reaches the heavens; the sun shines each day, the moon and stars rule the night. Like the mountains, your righteousness watches over us. Like the ocean, your justice plumbs the depths of our unjust world. Like the mother eagle, you spread your wings over our precarious lives.
You are at home in this world (v. 8), and you wine and dine us at your table. You are the host who delights us with stories, who gives us gifts of welcome and well-being and life. We drink at your river of delights, in your light we see light (vv. 8-9).
With you is the fountain of life. You teach us to leave our fears and to play in the fountain. Nothing can separate us from your love, so we need not fear sickness or death or darkness or evil. With the poet we pray,
Continue your love to those who know you,
your righteousness to the upright in heart (v. 10).
I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.