Psalms 36

Listen to Psalms 36
1 Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart;[a] 1there is no fear of God before his eyes.
2 2For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
3 The words of his mouth are 3trouble and deceit; 4he has ceased to act wisely and do good.
4 He 5plots 6trouble while on his bed; he sets himself in 7a way that is not good; 8he does not reject evil.
5 Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
6 9Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; 10your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you 11save, O LORD.
7 12How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge 13in the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast on 14the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from 15the river of 16your delights.
9 For with you is 17the fountain of life; 18in your light do we see light.
10 Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who 19know you, and your righteousness to 20the upright of heart!
11 Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12 There 21the evildoers lie fallen; they are thrust down, 22unable to rise.

Psalms 36 Commentary

Chapter 36

The bad state of the wicked. (1-4) The goodness of God. (5-12)

Verses 1-4 From this psalm our hearts should be duly affected with hatred of sin, and seek satisfaction in God's loving-kindness. Here is the root of bitterness, from which all the wickedness of wicked men comes. It takes rise from contempt of God, and the want of due regard to him. Also from the deceit they put upon their own souls. Let us daily beg of God to preserve us from self-flattery. Sin is very hurtful to the sinner himself, and therefore ought to be hateful; but it is not so. It is no marvel, if those that deceive themselves, seek to deceive all mankind; to whom will they be true, who are false to their own souls? It is bad to do mischief, but worse to devise it, to do it with plot and management. If we willingly banish holy meditations in our solitary hours, Satan will soon occupy our minds with sinful imaginations. Hardened sinners stand to what they have done, as though they could justify it before God himself.

Verses 5-12 Men may shut up their compassion, yet, with God we shall find mercy. This is great comfort to all believers, plainly to be seen, and not to be taken away. God does all wisely and well; but what he does we know not now, it is time enough to know hereafter. God's loving-kindness is precious to the saints. They put themselves under his protection, and then are safe and easy. Gracious souls, though still desiring more of God, never desire more than God. The gifts of Providence so far satisfy them, that they are content with such things as they have. The benefit of holy ordinances is sweet to a sanctified soul, and strengthening to the spiritual and Divine life. But full satisfaction is reserved for the future state. Their joys shall be constant. God not only works in them a gracious desire for these pleasures, but by his Spirit fills their souls with joy and peace in believing. He quickens whom he will; and whoever will, may come, and take from him of the waters of life freely. May we know, and love, and uprightly serve the Lord; then no proud enemy, on earth or from hell, shall separate us from his love. Faith calleth things that are not, as though they were. It carries us forward to the end of time; it shows us the Lord, on his throne of judgment; the empire of sin fallen to rise no more.

Cross References 22

  • 1. Cited Romans 3:18
  • 2. Deuteronomy 29:19; [Psalms 10:3; Psalms 49:18]
  • 3. [Psalms 12:2]
  • 4. [Jeremiah 4:22]
  • 5. Micah 2:1; [Proverbs 4:16]
  • 6. Psalms 10:7
  • 7. Isaiah 65:2
  • 8. [Psalms 97:10]
  • 9. [Psalms 71:19]
  • 10. Psalms 92:5; Romans 11:33
  • 11. Psalms 104:14, 15; Psalms 145:9, 15, 16; Nehemiah 9:6
  • 12. [Psalms 31:19]
  • 13. See Ruth 2:12
  • 14. Psalms 23:5; Psalms 27:4; Psalms 65:4; Isaiah 25:6; See Jeremiah 31:12-14
  • 15. Psalms 46:4; Revelation 22:1
  • 16. Psalms 16:11
  • 17. Jeremiah 2:13; John 4:10, 14; John 5:26
  • 18. John 1:9; Acts 26:18; 1 Peter 2:9
  • 19. Jeremiah 22:16; Galatians 4:9; [Psalms 79:6]
  • 20. See Psalms 7:10
  • 21. Psalms 94:4
  • 22. See Psalms 1:5

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Some Hebrew manuscripts, Syriac, Jerome (compare Septuagint); most Hebrew manuscripts in my heart

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician, [a Psalm] of David, the servant of the Lord. This title, which the psalmist takes to himself, regards him not only as a creature, every man being the servant of the Lord as such, of right, though not in fact; but as a king, he being a minister of God for good to good men, and for evil to evil men; and also may respect him as a renewed man; and it is here used in opposition to and distinction from the wicked, who are the servants of sin and Satan, of whom he speaks in this psalm. The Syriac and Arabic versions in their titles suggest that this psalm was written when David was persecuted by Saul, and which is the sense of some interpreters; but R. Obadiah thinks Ahithophel is designed by the wicked man in it; and so it was penned on account of Absalom's rebellion.

Psalms 36 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.