Thursday, June 5, 2014

Psalm 36 “The Foot of Pride”

 “Truth for Truckers” *March 6, 2014*  Psalm 36 “The Foot of Pride”

     This Psalm which is entitled ‘The Foot of Pride’ immediately sets out to describe the fall of the pride-filled man: ‘The transgression of the wicked says within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good. He devises mischief upon his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he abhors not evil.’(v.1-4)

     David tells of the source of this man’s pride right off using the word ‘Transgression’ which indicates sustained rebellion toward God and His ordained authority. When man rebels and sets himself up as the sole authority for his life his reasoning is based on his own inflated opinion of himself. This pride-filled response to God is the basis for all of the humanistic thought that prevails today and controls most governments, religions and social life.

     Humanism, and all of its offshoots can be directly traced to the Garden of Eden when the serpent enticed man to consider their own pride-filled ideas to be better than God’s and the rest of the story is history recorded in God’s holy Word. David recognized early on the condition of this man as not having ‘The fear of God before his eyes’ which is the beginning of wisdom and therefore this will regulate the thoughts and actions of man. But, not this man. He allowed himself to be consumed with himself and the first step in his fall was his lack of the fear of God.

     ‘For he flatters himself in his own eyes’ (v.2a) which is the second step downward and the natural result of a God-less attitude and a puffed-up estimation of one’s own ideas. ‘Until his iniquity be found to be hateful’ (v.2b). This unbridled and unregulated thinking causes him not to be able to discern and hate his own sin. This condition is further revealed in (v.3a) ‘The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit’ as his sinful attitude turns him into a deceiver who in fact began with telling lies to himself in self-flattery the obvious outward evidence of pride.

     The progression continues in  (v.3b) ‘He hath left off to be wise, and to do good’ This complete lack of wisdom and the actions wisdom brings, which is the doing of right, paints a pitiful picture of a man who is completely blind-sided by pride. These statements also show that this man once was wise and did good in the past, but now, his pride has caused this to cease. His life is now controlled by the dark side: ‘He devises mischief upon his bed’ (v.4a) showing the deliberate planning of wicked deeds. ‘He sets himself in a way that is not good’ (v.4b) indicates the deep corruption of the mind as the path of this man is focused upon evil.

     And, that is caused by the following fact: ‘He abhors not evil’ (v.4c) which is the final step of the downward prideful plunge this man’s life takes. He is comfortable with not only planning and executing evil deeds but the wickedness that engulfs his life does not even bother his conscience. This dreadful portrait of the pride-filled man causes David to rebound in his thinking as he brings forth a panorama of praise to the LORD describing some of His glorious attributes and actions in (v.5-9) ‘Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens, Thy faithfulness reaches unto the clouds. The righteousness is like the great mountains; Thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, Thou preserve man and beast, How excellent is Thy loving-kindness, O God!

     The love of God demonstrated in His mercy exceeds the unlimited expanse of heaven, His faithfulness is measured by the extraordinary heights to which God will extend it, His righteousness is likened to the mountains in all their grandeur and greatness being unmovable, unchanging and permanent. God’s judgments refer to His legal pronouncements by which He rules heaven and earth whose spiritual depths can not be measured, His power to preserve life exhibits His care for all living creatures and His merciful love regulates His manifold actions of goodness toward them.

     This list of the LORD’s attributes and actions causes David to give a summary statement: ‘Therefore, the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings.’ God’s great love for mankind produces the response of faith ‘Which works by love’ (Galatians 5:6). Mans love for God reciprocates and energizes his faith, a relationship which continues to grow and abound more and more as men learn to know God through the person of the Lord Jesus Christ! Herein lies the great ‘secret’ to growing in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

     As we learn more of Him our love grows and it in turn energizes our faith, causing us to learn more of Him, which causes our love to grow...the missing link in this great plan of God all too often is our learning more of Him through exposing ourselves to His eternal Word! You see “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God! (Romans 10:17) This hearing is what develops our love which in turn energizes our faith.

     It all began and begins with His love as He reveals Himself to us through His Word we are compelled to love Him, because He first loved us, and as this process continues and is ‘New every morning’ we find that our love for Him continues to grow and it energizes our faith causing a ‘Great awakening’ each and every morning...if we seek Him with all our heart! As this discipline is repeated daily, we die to ourselves by crucifying the flesh so that we can enter in to experience this great relationship of love with Him, who alone is lovely and worthy, which energizes our faith which produces more love.

     David chimes in at the right time with (v.8-10) ‘They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house; and Thou shall make them drink of the river of Thy pleasures. For with Thee is the fountain of life: in Thy Light shall we see light. O continue Thy loving-kindness unto them that know Thee; and Thy righteousness to the upright in heart.’

     Here is David’s vivid description of the soul that is satisfied with God’s gracious provision both physically and spiritually. He makes an intense appeal for the LORD to continue to demonstrate His love and righteousness to those who know Him ‘Who are the upright in heart’ It is through the initiation of the LORD that these blessings are shed forth to His children. However, the key element in all of this is faith. Therefore, if we want the blessing of God we must exercise and build our faith by reading, studying, memorizing and meditating upon the blessed Word of God for the Word of God does the work of God!

     This is not a secret nor is it necessarily a mystical plan or method, but it has been and will always be the only way to know and experience the person and work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is the Light of the World which lights every man that enters into the world, and the Light that is spoken of here in (v.10) and He, Jesus, is found in the Holy Spirit’s illumination of the Word of God.

     David concludes this powerful Psalm by penning the title: ‘Let not The Foot of Pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me. There are the workers of iniquity fallen:they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.’ (v.11, 12)  His request shows his full dependence upon the LORD to keep him from falling ‘Into the condemnation of the devil’ (I Timothy 3:6). He knows this devastating sin can bring a man down without the possibility of ever getting up!

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